Congress Reveals Details of Border ‘Compromise’ to Avoid Shutdown

EL PASO, TEXAS - FEBRUARY 01: Central American immigrants walk between a Bollard-style bor
John Moore/Getty Images

The details of a Republican-Democrat border deal package includes about $1.3 billion for 55 miles of construction at the United States-Mexico border for “physical barrier” and $415 million in “humanitarian relief” for border crossers.

The bipartisan offer to President Trump falls short of the $5.7 billion that the White House requested in border wall funding, providing just $1.375 billion in total to construct about 55 miles of new physical barriers in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas, sector of the southern border. The full text of the legislation can be read here. Section 230 discusses border construction funding — which appears to limit new construction to bollard fencing:

The amounts designated in subsection (a)(l) shall only be available for operationally effective designs de20 ployed as of the date of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 (Public Law 115-31), such as currently deployed steel bollard designs, that prioritize agent safety.

Roughly $100 million will fund “new border security technology.”

Meanwhile, the offer includes $415 million in “humanitarian relief specifically for medical care, transportation, food, and cloth” and funds “humanitarian improvements” for the McAllen, Texas, processing center and for a new El Paso, Texas U.S. Border Patrol processing center.

The spending deal attempts to reduce overall detention of border crossers and illegal aliens by limiting the number of beds at federal detention centers to only 40,250 — far less than the 52,000 the Trump administration requested.

The limited detention space will mean that current rates of Catch and Release — where border crossers and illegal aliens are released into the interior of the U.S. — will continue as they have throughout 2017 and 2018.

While reducing detention space for federal immigration officials, the spending deal ramps up what is known as “Alternative to Detention” (ATD) programs that effectively allow for illegal aliens and border crossers to be released into the U.S. with ankle monitors.

Homeland Security officials have previously told Breitbart News these programs are ineffective in monitoring border crossers and that illegal aliens who have been released put into ATD programs are rarely ever deported as federal officials lose track of them.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — tasked with deporting the 12 to 22 million illegal aliens living in the U.S. — would not receive any additional funding to add enforcement and deportation agents to the agency, despite requests by Trump.

Though Trump has yet to confirm his support for the spending, White House aides have told the media that they believe the president will sign the deal.

Illegal immigration at the southern border is expected to reach levels that have not been seen since President George W. Bush if reforms are not implemented this year. Researchers project, at current rates, there will be more than 600,000 illegal aliens apprehended at the border this year. In December 2018, there were about 51,000 border crossers apprehended and 52,000 apprehended in November 2018. This is a two-month border crosser population that exceeds the total population of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder


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