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Trump Asks Congress for $4.5 Billion in Emergency Border Funds

May 1, 2019, 4:05 PM UTC
President Donald Trump’s administration will ask Congress for $4.5 billion in emergency border funds, a request the Democratic House may treat skeptically after a dispute over the president’s decision to seize other federal money for his border wall.

The request doesn’t seek more funding for the wall, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg News. The White House says that the Department of Homeland Security is in danger of running out of funds needed to deal with a surge in migration before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

The request includes $3.3 billion to shelter migrants and to process their arrival, $1.1 billion for operations including detention beds and personnel, and $178 million for information technology system upgrades and law enforcement pay adjustments.

“This crisis is threatening lives on both sides of the border and is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Front-line professionals need additional resources to address this emergency and to continue providing humanitarian protections and care to families and children in United States custody,” a fact sheet on the request states.

Trump earlier this year declared an emergency to divert $3.6 billion in military construction funding to build a border wall, following a 35-day partial government shutdown. Congress agreed to provide only $1.4 billion for 55 miles of new construction, far short of the $5.7 billion the president said he needed.

Democrats sued the president over the move and included a provision in next year’s military construction bill to bar such transfers. They have signaled they will treat additional requests skeptically.