Democrats want to spend $870 million on ‘border security’ in the Middle East — but nothing on the US-Mexico border wall
With a pair of spending plans unveiled on Tuesday, Democrats in Washington made clear they have no intention of directly addressing the immigration crisis rocking America even while they suggest doling out money to address border security concerns elsewhere in the world.
Case in point: Democratic lawmakers on the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday released a Department of Defense funding bill that earmarks $870 million in taxpayer money to enhance border security for Middle Eastern countries. Here’s what sections 8148 and 8149 of the bill state (emphases mine):
SEC. 8148. Of the amounts appropriated in this Act under the heading ”Operation and Maintenance, Defense-Wide”, for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, $370,000,000, to remain available until September 30, 2023, shall be available to reimburse Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, and Oman under section 1226 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (22 U.S.C. 2151 note), for enhanced border security, of which not less than $150,000,000 shall be for Jordan …
… SEC. 8149. Up to $500,000,000 of funds appropriated by this Act for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency in ”Operation and Maintenance, Defense-Wide” may be used to provide assistance to the Government of Jordan to support the armed forces of Jordan and to enhance security along its borders.
Yet while rubber-stamping nearly a billion dollars for “enhanced border security” in foreign countries, Democrats in Washington evidently don’t feel it is necessary to invest in border wall construction at the U.S. southern border, even as unprecedented numbers of migrants continue to flood into the country with little resistance.
In a Department of Homeland Security budget plan also released Tuesday, House Democratic lawmakers called for stripping more than $2 billion in border wall construction money that had already been appropriated, reducing federal border wall funding to zero.
Major gaps in effective border wall leave large areas of Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico wide open to illegal border crossers, resulting in a constant strain on those communities as well as Border Patrol agents.
However, the spending plan does “make responsible investments in border security,” according to a summary brief of the budget. Those investments include earmarking millions for “migrant processing improvements” and “migrant child caregivers” and billions for “Civil Immigration Enforcement Operations” in addition to enhancing border technology.
The budget plan also “authorizes the use of up to $100 million from prior border barrier construction appropriations for mitigation activities, including land acquisition, and authorizes the transfer of such funds to the Department of the Interior.”