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: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' MORE’s request for $4.5 billion in emergency spending at the border.

Rep. Lucille Roybal-AllardLucille Roybal-AllardIt's time to retire primate experiments Bill allowing Congress to hire Dreamers advances On The Money: Fed holds rates steady as economy strengthens | Trump requests .5 billion more for border crisis | Dems seek unity on spending bills | Moore looks to save Fed bid 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 DeLauroPress: Who will be the first conservative to take on Trump? A good week for the nation's family planning program House committee approves 9.8b health, education bill 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.