House Releases Border Deal
National Immigration Forum - While you were sleeping, the House released its 1,159-page spending bill, which includes $1.375 billion for 55 miles of new border fencing and language to limit detention capacity by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), reports The Washington Post. “The bill will provide $49.4 billion for the Homeland Security Department for the 2019 budget year, an increase of $1.7 billion above 2018 levels. The legislation also includes policy provisions specifying that members of Congress cannot be barred from accessing any facility housing children, and it contains language aimed at making it easier for separated children to reunite with family members in the U.S.”
One line from the Senate Appropriations Committee summary that warrants further investigation: “$58.5 million to begin reducing the non-detained docket and enhance family case management capacity.” If resources are provided to increase the number of immigration judges, that is a good thing. Especially when, per BuzzFeed News, immigration judges feel they are “cogs in the deportation machine.”
A new Fox News poll shows 66 percent of registered voters favor a compromise budget deal that includes “funding for some form of a border barrier, plus other security measures and humanitarian relief.