Trump Administration Asks Congress for $4.5 Billion To Spend on Border 'Crisis'

It's not clear if congressional Democrats will comply.


The Trump administration has asked Congress for $4.5 billion in funding to address the "humanitarian and security crisis" at America's southern border with Mexico.

The funding is needed due to increased border-crossing, according to Russ Vought, acting director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, who told Congress that Border Patrol has apprehended more than 360,000 migrants through April of this year.

"This is over 187,000 more than during the same period in FY 2018, and just 35,500 below the number apprehended for all of FY 2018," Vought wrote in the letter requesting the funding.

The request comes several months after President Donald Trump used executive authority, including the declaration of a national emergency, to obtain more than $8 billion in funding for his proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. But that money, which Trump took from the Pentagon's military construction budget and other sources, can only be used for certain purposes. The money that Vought requested will not be used for the border wall, according to CNBC.

So what will it be used for? A White House fact sheet says $3.3 billion would go to "humanitarian assistance." Of that amount, $2.8 billion would be used to raise the Department of Health and Human Services' capacity to house unaccompanied migrant children, while another $273 million would be allocated to the Department of Homeland Security so that agency can improve its ability to process migrants. Aside from the $3.3 billion, "$1.1 billion will go to border operations, including personnel expenses, additional detention beds, and operations combating human smuggling and trafficking," the fact sheet says, in addition to $178 million for "mission support."

Vought's letter claims apprehensions at the southern border "are expected to surpass one million by the end of the year," which would be more than double last year's number. "As we've been saying for months and months, the situation at the border becomes more and more dire each day," a senior administration official told reporters on Wednesday, according to Politico. "The bottom line here is that the migration flow and the resulting humanitarian crisis is rapidly overwhelming the federal government's ability to respond."

The request is "an opportunity for House Democrats to put down their partisan rhetoric and embrace the need for more DHS funding," said Rep. Mike Rogers (R–Ala.), the House Homeland Security Committee's ranking member, according to USA Today.

But it's unclear whether Democrats will comply with the Trump administration's request. "The Trump administration appears to want much of this $4.5 billion emergency supplemental request to double down on cruel and ill-conceived policies, including bailing out ICE for overspending on detention beds and expanding family detention," House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D–N.Y.) said in a statement, The Washington Post reported. "Locking up people who pose no threat to the community for ever-longer periods of time is not a solution to the problems at the border." Lowery did say she'd review the White House's request.

It's worth noting that for all its emphasis on the humanitarian crisis at the southern border, the Trump administration's actions often speak louder than words. Just this week, for instance, Trump ordered new fees on asylum applications as part of a plan that's likely to backfire, as Reason's Billy Binion detailed.

And the request for more funding wouldn't even be necessary if the Trump administration realized that detaining immigrants isn't the answer. We need more immigration, not less.

NEXT: Social Security's Real Problem? Not Money, but Time.

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  1. The only “border crisis” in the US is the fact that we have a border at all. Allow anyone to cross in either direction, at any time and for any reason, and the problems go away.

    1. Now you’re on your A game.

    2. ISIS approves your message OBL.

      1. who approves of your mom hitting your dad?

        1. What a retarded and bizarre thing for you to say.

    3. This is the *core principle* of libertarianism.
      — Nick

  2. MORE political theater from our MOST favored political comedian!!!

    Also note that border hysteria, political theater, and grand-standing is endangering our genuine military security needs. We do not have infinite funds.


    Man the barricades against warlocks, witches, vampires, and illegal sub-humans!!! All “costs” considerations be damned!!! It is “for the children” and the purity of our essence!

    1. FFS you’re a blithering idiot.

      1. Really rich coming from the shitlord himself.

        Your posts are wastes of bytes honestly.

        1. Oh go fuck yourself you retarded cunt. I have ten times your brainpower. Your mind is simple, thick and dull.

          Best you go share some Drano with Tony.

          1. But at least you take criticism well, like the Orange Slag Heap.

  3. Here are some other ideas about how to discourage phony asylum seekers:

    1) Privatize our school systems.

    Why should any of us have to pay to educate other people’s children?

    2) Slash funding for food programs.

    There’s an obesity epidemic in America, and the poor are among the hardest hit. How can making the taxpayer pay to give them free food be the answer?

    3) Slash rent subsidies.

    Why should any of us have to pay for other people’s rent.

    . . . .

    People who are really fleeing persecution will come even without those cushions once they get here. Some 80% of people who show up seeking asylum are either deemed unworthy of a hearing, are denied asylum at their hearing, or never show up for their hearing after they get one. Those 80% should be going through the standard immigration process, rather than abusing the asylum system, and if we reduced the incentives for them to come here, less of them would come . . . other things being equal.

    As libertarians, we’re not in favor of socialist wealth redistribution programs anyway, so there’s no reason not to cut them–not just for asylum seekers but for everybody including native born Americans. Believe me, there isn’t anything reassuring to me about learning that the welfare queens are mostly native born Americans. Cut benefits for all of them–and include Medicaid, SNAP, disability, and all the other federal programs, too.

    There’s this thing called moral hazard, and rewarding people for making irresponsible choices isn’t the solution to any of our problems. If you can’t afford to pay tuition at an elementary school, feed your kids properly, and keep a roof over their heads with the fruit of your own labor, then maybe you should consider a) not immigrating to the United States or, b) if you’re a citizen, not having children.

    1. . . . or I guess we could build a wall. When I read self-described “libertarians” around here, sometimes I think they’d rather build a wall than slash funding for socialist wealth redistribution programs.

      1. Go Ken Go!!! Amen all around!!!

        (Ken ah subscribe to yer newsletter, or is Reasonoid comments all that there is?)

        1. If’n we wanted to be cost-effective (rather than political-theater obsessed) about border control, we’d look at this…

          The walls are not a cost-effective measure at ALL… They are political show-pieces. If we wanted cost-effective, we’d do this:

          A simple technology could secure the US-Mexico border for a fraction of the cost of a wall — but no one’s talking about it
          But Trump is obsessed about what LOOKS intimidating… Walls (old tech thousands of years old) and barbed wire (dating from the late 1800s). He wants his (and I quote) “Big, beautiful wall”. And the psychology (hate the other tribe or troop) dates back to apes and monkeys. To hell with effective; it is all a political show. And since we are racists, we do NOT bother with the political theater with respect the Cannucks.
          Once again, if we’d want effective, we’d go fiber-optic sensors. Leaves the wildlife alone as well…. But NOOOO, Trump and the troglodytes want highly visible political theater!

          1. PS, in the name of full disclosure and honesty, some previous incarnations of “electronic fences” have been total flops. But they do deserve a fresh chance, with new tech. is old border tech, no mention of fiber or fibre… The new tech is NOT at all the same as the old tech, so it deserves a fresh chance! SAVES YOU MONEY!!!

            1. No. Just build the goddamn wall. They work.

              1. They work as political theater… That’s ALL that they work at! “Big, beautiful wall”, in the words of Der TrumpfenFuhrer!!!

                Physical walls can be undermined, tunneled under, flown over, or, we can throw ladders or ramps over them, or throw rugs over the “beautiful” rolls of barbed wire… Or, we can just over-stay our visas!!!

                Physical walls are red meat for the troglodytes, and nothing more…

                1. You are ignorant of the proposed design. The type of wall in question has layers and is not vulnerable to any of those things. Not that you really care. You’re just against it no matter what.

              2. Yup, walls work. You know that they work because the Lefties and other people wanting to destroy the USA scream when you even discuss increasing border security obstacles.

                1. it hasn’t always been the case, but in the last few years the number of illegal immigrants who are visa overstayers has increased rapidly while illegal border crossing apprehensions have fallen.

                  If it wants to be xenophobic trash, it could at least be smart about it. Deporting visa overstayers is where the action is today, and a wall has no effect on that.

                  I realize that it is a child of the basket, a piece of a white trash, i.e. a skid mark on the gusset of society’s panties as revealed by its irrational hatred of anything it considers left, but it could still be better, or better yet, leave and go hang out with its fellow ricfhard spencer types at the daily stormer.

                2. Poor new troll. Same as the old trolls. Trying to increase web traffic to a dying anarchist website.

                  1. “A dying anarchist website” that you just can’t leave. Because it’s the only one out there that won’t ban your stupid cracker ass.

              3. Just for the record, my point was . . .

                If you want to see the so called “libertarians” around here fall over themselves to support building the wall? Just make slashing welfare the alternative to building the wall.

                I’d bet Suderman, for instance, would rather build a wall than slash Medicaid spending. ENB seems to think women have a right to make the taxpayers pay for their abortions. Is Soave even against Title IX, or does he just want to see it implemented fairly? I’ve seen Gillespie argue for a social safety net, etc., etc.

                Some of the “libertarian” commenters around here are even worse.

                1. Most of the Reason staff think managed trade (NAFTA) is good enough and the USA should never dare to question its trade polocy.

      2. Cut social security, medicare, medicaid, AND build a wall for national defense.

      3. Are you ready to slash corporate limited liability?

    2. I oppose the Trump administration’s attempt to charge fees to asylum seekers on humanitarian grounds, but for some of the self-described “libertarians” around here, I suspect they’d rather charge fees for asylum applications than expect immigrants to pay for the care of their own children.

      1. Evidently some US worker visa programs charge fees but the applicant gets some amount back if they are denied.

        There is nothing fundamentally un-Libertarian, about government charging fees for services it performs.

        As you point out, some 80% of asylum applicants are denied or dont show up. This bogs the system down for immigrants with actual prima facie asylum claims.

        The media will never self-blame for encouraging immigrants to flood the immigration system in order to break it. These assholes will never admit that they dont care about immigrants who are unable to get speedy immigration and asylum hearings.


          Trump Is Building a Wall of Bureaucracy

          Anything and everything that the Trump administration can do, to keep you out (if you are brown-skinned at the southern border, not a blue-eyed blonde-haired Aryan at the northern border), the Trump administration WILL do, to keep you out! Government Almighty, in this case, is NOT simply “charging for services rendered”! It is stomping heavily on the side of collectivism! “We the Collective Hive will decide WHICH skin-color of people we want here”!

        2. there is nothing libertarian about restricting the free movement of labor. there is nothing libertarian about loveconstitution1789. It has a fetish for a non-libertarian document (the US constitution), and alt right conspiracy theories. It is white trash and society would be better of were it dead.

          1. You think the U.S. Constitution isn’t a libertarian document?

            Show me another constitution with a separation of powers like ours and a First and Second Amendment–not to mention the Ninth Amendment.

            You’ve gone off the rails.

            1. Its another new troll trying to destroy libertarianism.

            2. Completely unlibertarian *at it’s core*.

              Article IV, Section 4
              “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion”

              The Constitution *obligates* the federal government to prevent invasion.

              Can’t get any more unlibertarian than that. Our *core principle* is free movement of people.

              — Nick

    3. what do you do with the children of dead beat parents? do they not get schooling, housing, and food, etc because their parents are trash?

      1. There’s this thing called “garnishment”. They do it to people’s wages all the time when they don’t pay traffic fines, get sued, don’t pay child support, etc. If there’s a good reason for the government to garnish people’s wages, it isn’t because they didn’t pay their income taxes. It’s because they stuck the taxpayers with the bill for raising their children.

        P.S. Even IF IF IF orphans, the handicapped, and hard luck cases should be cared for by the state rather than charity, that’s no reason why everyone else who wants an elementary education should get one courtesy of the taxpayer just for showing up. Is all this new to you? Have you never thought about this before? Are you a libertarian or aren’t you?

        1. Its a new new troll. Sure signs of a troll are numerous syntax, spelling, and capitalization errors.

  4. For all his faults, Himmler knew how to deal with the Border Crisis™. And he didn’t stop at one puny wall, no sirree. Lots of Big Beautiful Walls®, with accommodations for thousands, running water and gas included!

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