Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) released a budget document this week showing President Donald Trump’s administration took $9.8 million out of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) response and recovery budget to pay for immigrant detention centers.
That $9.8 million was apparently just a fraction of the funds Trump diverted to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in order to lock up migrants; NBC News reported Thursday that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) transferred a total of $169 million to ICE from other agencies.
Many of the transfers came from key national security programs, including $1.8 million from the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, $9.8 million from FEMA, $29 million from the U.S. Coast Guard and more than $34 million from several TSA programs.
In addition, DHS redirected $33 million of ICE funding to immigrant detention, marking over $200 million that was diverted to the agency by the Trump administration for the purpose of confining migrants.
Merkley told Rachel Maddow that Trump is planning on creating “family internment camps” for immigrants during an appearance on MSNBC on Tuesday. The budget document obtained by the Oregon Democrat shows the additional money given to ICE paid for “detention beds” and “ICE’s transportation and removal program.”
Over 400 immigrant children remain separated from their parents months after Trump announced he was ending his policy that separated families at the border. Trump’s administration is holding at least 12,800 migrant minors in detention, which is more than a 500 percent increase from the previous year. Earlier this month, the administration filed proposed rules that would enable the government to detain immigrant children and parents for long periods of time.