Border Briefs: An Update on the Emergency Supplemental

WASHINGTON — After months of Democratic inaction and denial, Congress finally passed an emergency supplemental to address the crisis at the southwest border, which the president signed into law on July 1.

As a reminder, here is what the $4.6 billion supplemental included:

  • $2.9 billion for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure the department didn’t run out of funding before the end of the fiscal year and continue to care for unaccompanied migrant children;
  • $220 million for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to fund new immigration judge teams, provide education about immigration court proceedings to expedite the process, and emergency spending by the U.S. Marshals Service;
  • $145 million for Department of Defense (DOD) to reimburse the department for its border mission expenses;
  • $1.4 billion for Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including $209 for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and $905 million for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to set up temporary facilities and to provide essentials like food, clothing, and medical care, and to provide overtime pay for CBP agents.

We’ve already seen the supplemental in action.

  • Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan wrote to Speaker Pelosi emphasizing the impact the supplemental has had on the border crisis.
  • CBP has also been able to move children and families out of their facilities faster, reducing crowding.

But, our work doesn’t end here. More action is needed to address the border crisis.

  • ICE detention beds: The border crisis has also resulted in ICE detaining record numbers of illegal immigrants. Because Congress has been unwilling to provide funding for detention beds, single adult men have been stuck in CBP facilities instead of being transferred to ICE, which are not made to house migrants for more than 72 hours.
  • CBP Officers: The emergency supplemental did not provide funding to hire new border patrol agents. Both CBP and the president have called on Congress to staff up the agency. Congress should provide funding to recruit and retain more agents.
  • Border Security: We also need to continue to make investments in securing the border by advancing an all-of-the-above approach to border security by providing barriers, manpower, and 21st century technology.

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