It was bad enough that the Trump administration took $10 million from FEMA to fund migrant detention camps – especially as climate change generates stronger storms like the one we’re seeing barrel toward the Carolinas.
But Rachel Maddow revealed on Wednesday that it’s actually much worse than that. The administration didn’t just take money from FEMA; they took nearly three times more – $29 million – out of the U.S. Coast Guard to fund increased ICE detention operations.
The Coast Guard, of course, is the branch of the U.S. armed forces that is often on the front lines when it comes to rescuing people caught in a devastating natural disaster.
Just ahead of hurricane season, Trump thought it would be a smart move to take money and resources from them and hand it over to ICE, his pet government agency.
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) September 13, 2018
Tonight, we can report that it’s not just FEMA that’s being tapped for the Trump administration’s ICE programs instead. They’re not just taking money from FEMA. According to this document from the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Homeland Security is also taking tens of millions of dollars from the Coast Guard to instead give to ICE for immigrant detention. Just over $29 million taken from the Coast Guard, targeted by the Trump administration to be transferred instead to ICE for immigrant detention. $29 million from the Coast Guard. Triple what they took from FEMA.
Trump cares more about riling up his base than saving American lives
At a time when natural disasters (hurricanes, floods, fires) are getting stronger due to climate change and undocumented immigration is falling (and has been for years), this president is taking money from FEMA and giving it to ICE.
Sadly, this is the kind of disastrous policymaking that should be expected when the president of the United States is the human embodiment of a YouTube comment section. Facts on the ground don’t matter. Not even human lives matter.
To Trump, the only thing that’s important is carrying out a bigoted agenda that riles up his base – even if it’s completely untethered to reality. Even if it costs lives.
So while American cities drown in the aftermath of increasingly dangerous and deadly storms, Donald Trump is not using government money to save you; he’s using it to lock up children.
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Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.