Homeland Security raids Coast Guard coffers to pay for border programs
The Associated Press
By: Colleen Long
August 27, 2019
"Taking money away from TSA and from FEMA in the middle of hurricane season could have deadly consequences." House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson
Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team Puerto Rico personnel attach hurricane shutters on Monday in preparation for Tropical Storm Dorian. (Ricardo Castrodad/Coast Guard)
WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security is moving $271 million from other agencies such as FEMA and the U.S. Coast Guard to increase the number of beds for detained immigrants and support its policy forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases play out.
The news comes as hurricane season is ramping up and Tropical Storm Dorian is heading toward Puerto Rico.
The sprawling 240,000-person Homeland Security Department includes the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Coast Guard and the new Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in addition to immigration agencies.
It is not uncommon for unassigned funds to be transferred between agencies under the same department as the fiscal year ends. Last year around the same time, about $200 million was transferred, including $10 million from FEMA that prompted major criticism from Democrats.
Homeland Security officials said in a statement Tuesday they would transfer $155 million to create temporary facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border for holding hearings with the aim of moving asylum cases through the system faster.
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