Key Dems push back on Trump's $4.5b border request

Key Dems push back on Trump's $4.5b border request
© Greg Nash

Key Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee pushed back Wednesday at President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump supporters at Pa. rally 'upset' after Democrats introduce impeachment articles Trump on removal of protester at rally: 'We don't want to be politically correct' Trump rails against FBI, impeachment during Pennsylvania rally MORE’s request for $4.5 billion in emergency spending at the border.

Rep. Lucille Roybal-AllardLucille Roybal-AllardICE emerges as stumbling block in government funding talks Bicameral group of Democrats introduces bill to protect immigrant laborers Lawmakers skeptical of progress on spending deal as wall battle looms MORE (Calif.), the top House Democrat on Homeland Security spending, accused Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of being too focused on adding detention beds, a major sticking point for Democrats who see detaining undocumented immigrants who have not committed other crimes is a waste of resources.

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“Additional funding simply rewards ICE for its poor fiscal management and inability to prioritize enforcement efforts,” she said. “Before Congress considers any additional resources for ICE, the agency must demonstrate that it is appropriately prioritizing the use of its existing resources.”

She also called a proposal to shift asylum screenings to Customs and Border Patrol “ill-advised.”

“Border Patrol agents are already overwhelmed in trying to perform their own duties. To protect the integrity of the asylum process, we must ensure that asylum seekers are evaluated only by trained asylum officers,” she said.

Rep. Rosa DeLauroRosa Luisa DeLauro'Medicare for All' backers notch win with high-profile hearing Republicans push back on expanding paid family leave beyond federal workers Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments MORE (D-Conn.), who heads the appropriations subcommittee in charge of Health and Human Services, objected to the administration’s request for $2.9 billion for the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

She said it was not the health agency’s job to enforce immigration policy, and that she would ensure there are conditions attached to make sure the refugee office is fulfilling its core mission.

The White House says it is running out of money because of an onslaught of asylum seekers at the southern border. The number of migrant families crossing the border was set to double in comparison to last year, according to the White House.

Without more funds, the White House said, funds for unaccompanied children crossing the border into the U.S. would be depleted by June.