WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Homeland Security is moving $271 million from FEMA, the Coast Guard and other agencies to fund immigration detention beds and support its policy forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico.
Homeland Security officials say they will transfer $155 million for temporary hearing spaces along the U.S.-Mexico border to help hear asylum cases faster. They will also transfer $116 million to fund Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention bed space, though Congress specifically did not authorize additional ICE funding.
Democratic House lawmakers are objecting. The chair of the Homeland Security Appropriations subcommittee says the change would support "inhumane" programs and take away necessary funding for other agencies.
The news comes as hurricane season is ramping up and Tropical Storm Dorian is barreling toward South Florida.