The Trump White House on Wednesday asked Congress for $4.5 billion in emergency border funding, warning that the Department of Homeland Security is at risk of running out of money to deal with a developing “humanitarian and security crisis” resulting from a surge in migrants.
“The situation becomes more dire each day. The migration flow and the resulting humanitarian crisis is rapidly overwhelming the ability of the Federal Government to respond,” White House acting budget director Russ Vought wrote in the request, according to The Washington Post.
The $4.5 billion request includes $3.3 billion for humanitarian assistance such as increased shelter capacity and money to feed and care for migrants, the White House said in a fact sheet. It also includes $1.1 billion for border operations like additional personnel and detention beds. None of the additional fund requested would go toward building the president’s desired border wall.
The emergency funding would be in addition to the $8.6 billion in border barrier money that Trump is requesting in his 2020 budget, as well as the $6.6 billion he sought to secure for wall construction by redirecting other funds and declaring a national emergency at the border, The Washington Post reports.
Democrats greeted the request with some skepticism. "The Trump administration appears to want much of this $4.5 billion emergency supplemental request to double down on cruel and ill-conceived policies," said Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), who chairs the House Appropriations Committee. "We will carefully review the request in its totality and, where possible, work with the Senate and the White House to make conditions at the border more humane.”