Republican legislators express ICE funding concerns

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A group of Republican legislators recently forwarded correspondence to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) leadership regarding the ICE budget shortfall and its impact.

U.S. Reps. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) led U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Jim Banks (R-IN), Jay Obernolte (R-CA), Ronny Jackson (R-TX), Scott DesJarlais (R-TN), Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) and Richard Hudson (R-NC) on the letter.

“Axios recently reported that U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is estimated to have a $345 million budget shortfall, and funding for this agency is projected to run out before October,” the legislators wrote to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and ICE Director Tae Johnson. “Words matter, the push from the left to defund ICE and open our borders has led to a flood of illegal immigrants and a poorly funded enforcement agency that has been unable to handle the influx.”

Additionally, the legislators cited the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) seized over 20 million counterfeit pills last year, maintaining enough fentanyl came across the border to kill the domestic population seven times over while overdose deaths exceeded 100,000 for the first time.

“It has been reported that the Administration is planning to redirect $100 million from the Coast Guard to go toward the budget shortfall, as well as possibly $80 million from other internal funds,” the legislators concluded. “Pulling funding from the Coast Guard as the U.S. sees boatloads of illegal immigrants from Haiti attempting to enter the country is irresponsible. Regardless, this still leaves a $165 million shortfall, and ICE isn’t the only agency in need of extra funding within the Department of Homeland Security. It is fiscally and morally irresponsible to continue to push policies that allow illegal immigrants to flow into our country.”

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