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Docs Show Trump Admin Moved $10 Mil From FEMA To ICE



As Hurricane Florence makes its way to the eastern coast of the United States, revelations from U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) demonstrate that the federal government took millions of dollars away from a disaster relief agency to pay for controversial anti-immigrant programs.

Merkley provided government documents on Tuesday night during “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC, detailing the transfer. Nearly $10 million was taken from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) earlier this summer (just before hurricane season) in order to provide more capital to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to pay for beds and a “transportation and removal program.”

A spokesperson from the Department of Homeland Security disputed the controversy behind the transfer, insisting that the money that was moved did not impact FEMA’s disaster response efforts. However, documents provided by Merkley seem to contradict that statement.

The transfer may be alarming to many, given the impending impact that Hurricane Florence will have on the U.S. in the immediate future. President Donald Trump himself warned Americans about how bad the storm would be, tweeting out earlier this week that the hurricane “is looking bigger than anticipated.”

Trump is also facing renewed criticism for his administration’s response to Hurricane Maria last year, which ravaged Puerto Rico and resulted in nearly 3,000 deaths on the island territory. Despite the death toll, Trump insisted that the response to the disaster was stellar.

“I actually think it is one of the best jobs that’s ever been done with respect to what this is all about,” he said earlier this week.

Beyond the pending storm, the transfer is controversial for another reason. Earlier this year, it was revealed that undocumented immigrants seeking asylum to the U.S. were detained by immigration officials, which separated immigrant parents and their children as part of a “zero tolerance” policy implemented by the Trump administration.

At this time, hundreds of families remain separated, despite a federal court order demanding the administration rectify the situation.

Featured image credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr





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