Trump administration says transfer of millions from FEMA won't harm hurricane relief

16 September, 2018, 00:01 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • FEMA Says It’s Ready for Hurricane Florence, Defends 2017 Response

DHS also transferred, per NBC News, $33 million from other programs within ICE to the agency's detention and removal operations.

Number two, the $10 million represents less than one percent of FEMA's operations budget.

However, money was taken from the response and recovery, preparedness and protection and mission support operations budgets, which are used to prepare for emergencies like Florence.

FEMA even contacted Merkley's office to explain the facts - to no avail.

Merkley's staff tells ABC Files it used to be a "full mischaracterization" and that the separate Merkley staffer who spoke with FEMA used to be "acknowledging that Merkley used to be on TV discussing this topic and that he took very critically the dramatic funding swap from FEMA to ICE detention products and services, and that that cash could nearly definitely well were mature in rather more productive solutions". FEMA spokeswoman Jenny Burke tweeted on Wednesday.

"There is an increasing risk of life-threatening impacts from Florence: Storm surge at the coast, freshwater flooding from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event inland and damaging hurricane-force winds", warned the National Hurricane Service in the beginning of this week.

The money will reportedly be used to house immigrants detained by ICE at the Mexican border.

This is a scandal.

But FEMA says the $10 million was not meant to go to disaster relief and represents an extremely small percentage of what is actually being spent on hurricane recovery.

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Merkely said he believes the budgeting reallocation happened in response to the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy, which was rolled out earlier this year. "It wasn't enough to rip thousands of children out of the arms of their parents - the administration chose to partly pay for this horrific program by taking away from the ability to respond to damage from this year's upcoming and potentially devastating hurricane season".

The Department of Homeland Security transferred almost $10 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to a budget document released by a Democratic senator late Wednesday night, diverting funds from the relief agency just as a major hurricane barrels toward the East Coast.

Funds are regularly transferred among government departments.

Without the transfer of funds, the document notes, 'ICE will not be able to fulfill its adult detention requirements in FY 2018'. Insufficient funding could require ICE to release any new book-ins and illegal border violators. He also used the occasion to trumpet as an "incredible, unsung success" his administration's response to Hurricane Maria, which caused almost 3,000 deaths on Puerto Rico, a USA territory already badly damaged by Hurricane Irma weeks earlier.

Long said he and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, plan to brief President Donald Trump about the emergency Tuesday afternoon.

"We'll handle it", Trump said in a video posted on his Twitter account on Wednesday. We are sparing no expense, ' said the president.

"FEMA and first responders are out there", Trump said.

In the funding request, officials said they anticipated deporting more than 253,000 immigrants during the next fiscal year, which goes from October 1 to September 30, 2019. "When you must nearly definitely non-public preparedness traces and traces devoted to response, that's exactly the salvage of funds that back you prepare and take care of the voice that comes from these storms", he talked about.

"The bottom line is, I'm asking people to heed all the warnings that are put forward", said Long, adding the storm could make landfall as a category four or five storm.

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