in

ICE may release thousands of immigrants to close $700M budget shortfall: report

ice-may-release-thousands-of-immigrants-to-close-$700m-budget-shortfall:-report
ICE may release thousands of immigrants to close $700M budget shortfall: report

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may release thousands of migrants en masse and significantly slash its holding spaces for detainees as the agency battles a $700 million budget shortfall, according to a new report.

ICE officials have discussed cutting costs through the release of migrants in US custody as well as cutting the number of detention beds from 38,000 to 22,000, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The outlet spoke to four officials from the agency and the Department of Homeland Security on the condition of anonymity.

The proposal comes after the Senate last week voted down a national security package that included more than $7 billion in supplemental funding for ICE.

The Senate bill failed under heavy pressure from Republican border hawks, who took issue with its policies allowing for expedited processing of asylum claims, taxpayer-funded legal counsel for migrants and handouts to non-governmental groups that help shelter and settle them in the US.

In this July 8, 2019, photo, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers detain a man during an operation in Escondido, Calif.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may release thousands of immigrants en masse and cut its holding spaces for detainees in order to avert a $700 million budget shortfall, according to a new report. AP

They also criticized a Title 42-style authority that would have bestowed the president with emergency powers to shut down the border — except at ports of entry — when migrant crossings exceeded 5,000 per day over a one-week period.

The majority of ICE detainees aren’t migrants who have been arrested for committing crimes in the US but are migrants who were apprehended along the US-Mexico border, according to the agency’s statistics — with 72% of those in custody as of last month having been moved into holding facilities by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

ICE stats also show that arrests that resulted in deportations more than halved under President Biden, dropping to roughly 35,000 per year compared to around 80,000 per year that occurred under former President Donald Trump.

In fiscal year 2023, more than 142,000 were deported in total by the agency.

“This is absurd, on a number of levels,” House Homeland Security Committee chairman Mark Green (R-Tenn.) said in a statement of the release proposal, claiming Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had asked for Congress to cut his department’s fiscal year 2024 budget by roughly the same amount as the projected shortfall.

“This is just further proof of Secretary Mayorkas’ refusal to comply with the law requiring him to detain illegal aliens—one of the reasons he was just impeached,” he added.

House Republicans impeached Mayorkas on Tuesday on charges of “willful and systemic refusal to comply” with federal immigration law and lying to Congress about the border being “secure.”

Green also claimed that Mayorkas has “consistently requested fewer ICE beds year after year” and also “consistently failed to even fill the beds that Congress has given him.”

“Instead of treating enforcement as a hostage negotiation—‘give us more money or else’—Secretary Mayorkas should just do his job and follow the law,” the congressman said.

The Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Union City, NJ.

ICE officials have discussed cutting costs by releasing many immigrants and deporting fewer eligible ones, as well as reducing detention beds from 38,000 to 22,000, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. G.N.Miller/NY Post.

The Department of Homeland Security has alternatives to shore up its budget shortfall, such as transferring funds from its other agencies, but remains “chronically underfunded” by Congress, a spokesperson told The Post.

“Most recently, Congress rejected the bipartisan national security bill out of hand, which will put at risk DHS’s current removal operations, put further strain on our already overtaxed workforce, and make it harder to catch fentanyl at ports of entry,” spokesperson Erin Heeter said in a statement.

Since Biden took office, more than 8.5 million migrants have been apprehended crossing into the US, CBP data shows, with more than 7 million of those encounters occurring on the southern border.

Migrants detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents after crossing into the United States from Mexico to request asylum get in a vehicle to be transferred to a detention center, in El Paso Texas, U.S. December 19, 2022.

Since Biden took office, more than 8.5 million migrants have been apprehended crossing into the US, CBP data show, with more than 7 million of those encounters occurring on the southern border. REUTERS

Last December, more than 276,000 asylum seekers came into the country, breaking the agency’s monthly record for border apprehensions.

Mayorkas admitted in January that “higher than 85%” of those border crossers are subsequently released, according to National Border Patrol Council president Brandon Judd.

Many will await court hearings on their claims of asylum scheduled years in the future, which has led to a current backlog of more than 3 million cases.

Capitol Police officers await the arrival of thousands of demonstrators from across the country marching to demand a pathway to citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States on September 21, 2021 in Washington, DC.

ICE stats also show that just around 35,000 arrests by the agency per year have resulted in deportation under President Biden, whereas roughly 80,000 per year occurred under his predecessor, former President Donald Trump. Getty Images

The House impeachment resolution also drew attention to a Sept. 30, 2021, memo from Mayorkas that implemented policies to flout the Immigration and Nationality Act’s rules for detaining illegal aliens.

Instead, the resolution states the Homeland Security secretary opted for a “catch and release scheme” that also “paroled aliens en masse in order to release them from mandatory detention.”

The Senate is set to receive the impeachment articles against Mayorkas following the Presidents’ Day holiday weekend, when it will have to vote procedurally on whether to move forward with a trial and eventual vote to convict Biden’s Cabinet official.

patrick-mahomes-‘praying-for-kansas-city’-after-chiefs’-super-bowl-parade-shooting

Patrick Mahomes ‘praying for Kansas City’ after Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade shooting

how-ny’s-$6-billion-cdpap-medicaid-program-has-been-abused,-overused-for-years

How NY’s $6 billion CDPAP Medicaid program has been abused, overused for years