Retiring Republican Sen. Richard Shelby helped Democrats win at least $3 billion to fund the administration’s catch-and-release network that delivers economic migrants into Americans’ workplaces and housing.
The migration funding is hidden deep in the 4,155-page appropriations bill that will keep agencies funded until October 2023. Shelby is the top Republican senator on the Senate’s appropriations committee and packed at least $600 million in “earmark” spending for his home state in his final appropriations bill.
The spending bill is expected to pass Congress before Christmas because Democrats have likely won back-room support from at least 10 GOP Senators.
“A huge chunk of the money that’s going to DHS [the Department of Homeland Security] is being used to fund [migrant] processing and release — and definitely not being used for deportation, ” said Rosemary Jenks, the political director at NumbersUSA.
“The bill provides $16.7 billion for CBB [Customs and Border Protection] $1.8 billion above the fiscal year 2022 enacted level and $1.3 billion above the President’s budget request,” said a statement from Democrat-run House homeland appropriations panel. The statement added:
$1.9 billion in additional support for CBP and ICE to help manage the high volume of migrants arriving at the southern border, including:
$1.56 million to CBP for processing facilities, migrant medical care, transportation, personnel overtime, and other costs; and
$339.7 million for ICE for processing capacity, migrant medical care, transportation; and other non-detention costs.
The bill added at least $2 billion in emergency funds — some of which is used to aid the migrants — according to the GOP summary of the spending bill:
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): $5.501 billion is provided in discretionary funding for FEMA operations, investments, and grants … well as $19.945 billion provided to the Disaster Relief Fund.
The FEMA funding includes “$130 million for the Emergency Food and Shelter program; and $800 million … for a new Shelter and Services Program for migrants encountered by DHS,” said the House statement.
Congress provided almost $18 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund last year, according to a July 2022 federal document.
The bill also cuts funding for immigration enforcement — even as it added $45 billion to help defend Ukraine’s borders from a Russian invasion.
In November, Biden’s deputies told the U.S. Supreme Court that they cannot detain all migrants because they lack funds. The claim was made in the United States v. Texas, where Texas officials say that Biden’s deputies are violating the law by not trying to detain migrants.
This month, Biden’s deputies asked for an extra $3.5 billion to help register, shelter, and transport the extra migrants expected once the Title 42 border barrier is lifted. The funding is also intended to minimize crowds of migrants that might be broadcast by evening TV networks.
NEW: Video provided to @FoxNews by TX Congressman @RepTonyGonzales shows extreme overcrowding at the Border Patrol Central Processing Center in El Paso, TX. Congressman Gonzales says he took the video on Friday, when 4,600 migrants were in federal custody. Capacity is only 1,040. pic.twitter.com/dpvH0NNseJ
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) December 18, 2022
However, there is some good news in the bill.
For example, the GOP denied funding for a $375 million push to accelerate the award of asylum status and green cards to newly arriving economic migrants at the border. The bill “Rejects the Biden Administration’s $375 million request to fund the Asylum Officer Rule,” says the GOP document.
The GOP also blocked a Democratic effort to reduce funding for the detention of migrants, saying the bill “Rejects the Biden Administration’s attempt to slash ICE detention capacity by 30 percent, and instead provides $379.5 million above the request to maintain 34,000 detention beds.”
“I don’t know why they even bothered from the 34,000 beds [because] DHS isn’t going to fill them, just like they’re not filling them now, ” said Jenks.
Some GOP legislators tried to minimize funding for Biden’s migration. RollCall.com reported on December 15:
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., the Homeland Security Appropriations ranking member, said Republicans are concerned about providing emergency funding for border management without additional “deterrence” measures to “stem the flow” of migrants.
“My feeling is there has to be much a better effort through appropriations for deterrence,” she said. “Let’s make some moves there and then see where we are.”
Capito’s state — and many other GOP-led heartland states — loses investment because coastal employers prefer to hire new migrants than to invent in distant inland states.
Shelby is a former Democrat from Alabama who is being replaced by recently elected Katie Britt.
Next year, “Congress should actually find out what the Biden administration immigration policies are costing taxpayers,” said Jenks. “If the federal government is paying [non-profits] to traffic more people into the country, then we should be cutting off that money,” she said, adding:
The only way that they can gain some control is to first know how much money is going where and then start to block that money … It should be the [House GOP] appropriators working with the authorizing committee to figure this out. The appropriators are in a much better position to know where they’re actually spending money and then work with the authorizing committees to figure out where it’s going and what needs to be stopped.
Biden’s deputies admitted roughly 1.3 million southern migrants in 2022, alongside 600,000 “gateways” who sneaked across the border,” plus roughly 1.5 million legal immigrants and temporary workers.
The carefully planned inflow of roughly 3,4 million legal, illegal, and quasi-legal migrants adds up to roughly one immigrant for every American birth during the 2022 year.
The migrants are flooding into the United States from poor countries and from countries where dictators have the incentive to exile potentially rebellious young men out of the country to U.S. jobs.
“Immigration figures show a quarter of a million Cubans have arrived in the U.S. in the past year,” often via chain migration, the Wall Street Journal reported on December 20:
… Cristhian González flew from Havana to Managua in October after a close relative sold his car in Miami and bought him a round-trip airline ticket for $3,600.
After landing in Nicaragua, Mr. González received another $4,000 from his relative to pay for a smuggler who helped him and two dozen other Cubans make their way up through Central America and Mexico in a grueling, monthslong road journey to the U.S.
“It’s a mass escape,” says the 22-year-old Mr. González. “Every day I get news through Facebook or Instagram of another friend who is leaving Cuba.”
The opening of the route via Nicaragua gives Cuba a release valve for its discontented population, and provides Mr. Ortega with cash, said John Feeley, a former U.S. ambassador to Panama who also held senior diplomatic posts in Mexico.
“It is the largest number of Cubans to arrive in the U.S. in a single wave since the late Fidel Castro came to power in 1959, twice the 125,000 who came in the Mariel boatlift of 1980 and almost six times as many as in the comparable 2021 period,” the newspaper added.
Many migrants sell their homes to make the trip, likely enriching the wealthy Cubans — including shadow buyers in the United States — who want to buy Cuban property for very cheap prices.
The federal government has long operated an economic policy of “Extraction Migration” which pulls human resources from poor countries and use the imported people to grow investors’ revenues and profits. The inflow has forced down Americans’ wages and boosted rents and housing prices. The inflow has also pushed many native-born Americans out of careers in a wide variety of business sectors and has reduced their clout in local and national elections.