Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kevin McAleenan is urgently requesting more funding “even sooner” as border resources are depleting faster than expected as immigrant apprehension numbers continue to surge at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“While our 2020 budget will help address this crisis, we will need additional funding even sooner,” McAleenan testified before the House Appropriations Committee testimony on Tuesday.
The acting DHS secretary — who took over the position after former DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen left the job in early April — made note that the president will be asking for additional funds from Congress to help with the crisis at the southern border.
“Given the scale of what we’re facing, we will exhaust our resources before the end of this fiscal year,” McAleenan said. “Which is why this week the administration will be sending a supplemental funding request to the Congress.”
In March, @DHSgov interdicted over 100,000 migrants – the most single-month total over a decade. Our facilities are at full capacity along our border – Congress must act with additional authorities, resources & tools in order to accomplish our humanitarian & security mission. pic.twitter.com/iUYtonKmXW
— Acting Sec. Kevin McAleenan (@DHSMcAleenan) April 23, 2019
While the number of funds desired wasn’t specified, McAleenan said the funds would go to immigrant processing facilities where “families and children will receive timely and appropriate medical attention, food, and temporary shelter.”
The personnel at the U.S.-Mexico border have faced a massive influx of immigrants trying to cross the border in recent months.
In the fiscal year 2019, there is expected to be more than double the number of immigrants apprehended over the number apprehended in the fiscal year 2018, as IJR Red reported.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics, in the fiscal year 2018, 404,142 immigrants were apprehended at the southern border — this number was met in the first half of the fiscal year 2019 alone, with over 418,000 immigrants apprehended thus far.
“The system is full and we are well beyond our capacity,” McAleenan said during Tuesday’s hearing.
“This means that the new waves of vulnerable populations arriving here and exacerbating the already urgent humanitarian security crisis at the border, we don’t have room to hold them, we don’t have authority to remove them fairly and expeditiously, and they are not likely to remain in the country at the end of their immigration proceedings.”
Watch McAleenan’s testimony below:
McAleenan’s request for additional funding for the border crisis comes the day after President Donald Trump made moves on Monday to tighten asylum laws by signing a presidential memorandum that would require asylum court proceedings to receive final adjudication within six months, as well as creating a fee for asylum applications.
According to the White House, Trump’s purpose of the memorandum “is to strengthen asylum procedures to safeguard our system against rampant abuse of our asylum process.”