Trump Administration Accused of Diverting $10 Million From FEMA to ICE
Trump Administration Accused of Diverting $10 Million From FEMA to ICE
Doc Shows Trump Transferred $10M From FEMA To ICE
16 September, 2018, 00:01
This summer, the Trump administration transferred almost $10 million away from the agency that responds to disasters and emergencies, redirecting it toward one of President Trump's top priorities - the deportation of undocumented residents of the U.S. One of the people responsible for this transfer is Kansas 3rd District Rep. Kevin Yoder, who chairs the House subcommittee that oversees the Department of Homeland Security budget.
This time - as Hurricane Florence and a series of other storms barrel toward the USA - the Department of Homeland Security division charged with responding to disasters says it's prepared even as the agency defends its 2017 response. Jeff Merkley, of OR, shows that the money would come from FEMA's operations and support budget and was transferred into accounts at ICE to pay for detention and removal operations.
At a Wednesday morning briefing, FEMA Administrator Jeff Byard said the agency has "plenty of resources both monetary, staff and commodities" to respond to approaching Hurricane Florence, which is set to reach the Carolinas on Thursday evening.
The latest monthly report on the Disaster Relief Fund shows more than $26.5 billion in the account as of August 31.
In addition to the $9.8 million in FEMA money that ended up funding things like "Detention Beds" and ICE's "Transportation and Removal Program", DHS redirected tens of millions from other agencies. DHS said the money came from an operations account, which the spokesperson said covers everything from training to office supplies and "cannot be used for disaster response". DHS/FEMA stand fiscally and operationally ready to support current and future response and recovery needs, ' he added.
The senator, who sits on the Senate Committee on Appropriations, said that the way he reads the documents, the money did come from dollars that could be spent on disasters response.
"It wasn't enough to crawl 1000's of early life out of the hands of their fogeys-the administration chose to in part pay for this horrific program by eradicating from the flexibility to answer to effort from this year's upcoming and doubtlessly devastating hurricane season", he talked about. "And look what we've had since, a hurricane just barely miss Hawaii". "We are going to see more storms, we're going to see fiercer storms, and so it's absolutely critical that when Congress designates these funds for hurricane preparedness, that's what they are used for".
Under no circumstances was any disaster relief funding transferred from @fema to immigration enforcement efforts. "This is a sorry attempt to push a false agenda".
The administration says its top priority remains deporting criminals, but ICE and other immigration agencies are increasingly under fire for targeting immigrants with nocriminal records and for splitting up families at the border without a plan to reunite them.
"The power is going to be off for weeks and you will be displaced from your home and the coastal areas", Long said.
But while FEMA officials issued dire warnings about the days ahead, President Donald Trump insisted-despite what Merkley's documents show-that the White House is "sparing no expense" and is "totally prepared" for the storm. Bennie Thompson, ranking member of the committee, said in a statement Wednesday. But news of it comes as the National Weather Service warns that Hurricane Florence "will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast".
"What I think all of us want to hear from the administration is not what the president says is an A+ performance, which it clearly wasn't, but what went wrong", Merkley said, referring to a quote by President Trump Tuesday that the response to Hurricane Maria was an "unsung success". "The federal government has people and supplies in Guam, Hawaii, and along the East coast from SC to Pennsylvania, but this will take all levels of government, the private sector, and individuals". The Category 4 storm is expected to make landfall in North Carolina Thursday and may be the costliest hurricane in US history.
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The President of the European Commission also voiced his support on Twitter, affirming he was "in harmony" with the decision. An obvious candidate is Poland who are facing the same fate with a report brought against them by the European Commission.
Meanwhile, many were experiencing a complete blackout as the storm damaged infrastructure, utility poles and transmission lines. North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons, enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches.
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Strong winds and heavy rain continue to present a danger, and Florence is now being attributed to several deaths. Storm surges - the bulge of ocean water pushed ashore by the hurricane - were as high as 10 feet (3 meters).
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At 800 AM AST (1200 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located near latitude 14.4 North, longitude 54.1 West. However, it's not too late to prepare for Hurricane Florence - or any other storm that may move through Coweta County.
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It will likely take until Monday, however, before the threat of significant heavy rain is over, and it will still rain at times. Meanwhile, many were experiencing a complete blackout as the storm damaged infrastructure, utility poles and transmission lines.
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