Trump has moved $155 million out of the disaster relief fund, as a storm is about to hit Puerto Rico, and given it to ICE.
Politico reported, “The Trump administration plans to divert $271 million from various Department of Homeland Security accounts to beef up funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, including $155 million in federal disaster aid. In a recent letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) said the administration hasn’t provided an adequate justification for funneling money from FEMA’s disaster fund to an account that supports facilities for immigration court proceedings.
The diversion of funds was reported on the same day that Trump complained about another hurricane heading for Puerto Rico, while lying about the amount of aid Puerto Rico has gotten:
Wow! Yet another big storm heading to Puerto Rico. Will it ever end? Congress approved 92 Billion Dollars for Puerto Rico last year, an all time record of its kind for “anywhere.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 27, 2019
Puerto Rico has not received $92 billion in aid. According to an NBC News fact check, “Congress has allocated $42.5 billion to disaster relief for Puerto Rico, according to federal data, but the island has received less than $14 billion through May. Trump signed another aid bill in June that will send an additional $1 billion to the island. The bulk of aid dollars are still in Washington, much of it waiting on processes that require officials to submit a series of plans that outline how they expect to use the money and await federal approval.”
Puerto Rico suffered $90 billion in damage from Hurricane Maria and has only received a fraction of the aid that they need.
Trump’s racist complaint was a signal that Puerto Rico gets hit with another storm, Congress is going to have to fight with the White House to get the president to sign off on disaster relief for US citizens.
Trump is taking disaster relief money and giving it to ICE, which means that less immediate assistance will be available to storm victims, because Trump has to have more ICE agents to deport sick kids from the US.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association