Federal spending is hard enough to keep track of at the best of times, but the Biden administration is highly adept at hiding how it funds an open borders agenda.
In a cynical budget negotiation tactic, the White House now is trying to push through a $40 billion “supplemental” funding bill that holds bailout money for the Federal Emergency Management Agency hostage to sending billions more to Ukraine with insufficient accountability.
It gets worse. If the White House tactic works, and Congress coughs up enough aid to Ukraine that rescue money for FEMA can get through, hundreds of millions of that funding won’t go to disaster-afflicted Americans. Instead, taxpayers’ money will provide housing, food, health care, and transportation for illegal immigrants through grants to activist nongovernment organizations and “sanctuary” cities.
That’s right. Even though FEMA grants are meant to help taxpaying Americans prepare for and cope with hurricanes, fires, and floods, the Biden administration has used these same funds to pay activist NGOs to settle migrants illegally in the United States.
FEMA’s major disaster relief and flood insurance programs are already in debt and need to be refilled each year. The White House’s supplemental request uses that as a smokescreen to slip in grant money for its open borders operation.
FEMA’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program already is being siphoned for over $332 million “to assist communities receiving noncitizens released from custody,” which means housing migrants here illegally at the border, then transporting them to places such as New York City.
New York has been promised $104 million from this pot, though at a burn rate of $8 million a day, it won’t last long. Big city mayors gripe about a few buses sent by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, but the main train delivering migrants to their sidewalks is driven by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security using FEMA money.
And the Biden administration is getting even more brazen. FEMA grant money, unlike its Disaster Relief and Flood Insurance programs, doesn’t require the president to declare a federal disaster—which would at least highlight the self-defeating results of his policies. So it should come as no surprise that the Department of Homeland Security, in its fiscal year 2024 budget, already asked for a directly appropriated $83.5 million for FEMA Shelter and Services Program grants to “nonprofits and local entities to provide support to noncitizens released from DHS custody.”
Furthermore, DHS asked for $800 million—$650 million more than last year—“for communities to support migrants who have been released from DHS custody pending the outcome of their immigration proceedings.”
Bear in mind that with the asylum system backlogged as never before, this outcome would be far in the future in most cases. The money would come from a $4 billion “Southwest Border Contingency” fund in DHS’ proposed fiscal year 2024 budget.
In plain English, this means that having created a giant magnet for illegal immigration, the Biden administration wants to continue to burn your tax dollars to sustain hundreds of thousands of people who entered the U.S. illegally, for an indefinite period. To be clear, not only did these people have no right to enter the country, but they stand little chance of getting asylum even after a due process lasting many years.
Naturally, Biden faces resistance in Congress. Republicans have seen the Department of Homeland Security use appropriated money to facilitate mass illegal entry over the past two years, and they are wise to the White House’s attempt to ramp this up in the 2024 budget.
Hence the administration’s attempt to sneak immigration funds as a Trohan horse into the Ukraine-FEMA bundle. In the supplemental request, DHS asks not only for $203 million more for U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s industrial migrant-processing machine—which includes tent housing, transportation, and medical care—but also $600 million more for FEMA’s Shelter and Services Program grants.
In a recent hearing before Congress, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell tried to “clarify for the record that FEMA is not an immigration agency.” Yet she also proclaimed her support for Biden’s Southwest Border Contingency Fund, which would channel money to FEMA to spend on services to immigrants here illegally.
But as a firefighter for two decades, Criswell surely knows which arsonist set the dumpster fire on the border that her agency’s cash hose is pointed at now.
All this only adds to the reasons that Congress should oppose this corrupt deal. Tying a FEMA top-up to Ukraine aid—in the middle of hurricane season and shortly after the deadly Maui fires—shows that the Biden administration will maintain open borders at any price.
Simon Hankinson, a former foreign service officer with the State Department, is a senior research fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Border Security and Immigration Center. Original here. Reproduced with permission.