“FEMA Is Not an Immigration Agency”: Biden Wants to Divert Additional FEMA Funds to House Illegals

The Biden administration’s budget tactics have people concerned about the diversion of FEMA funds — money meant for disaster relief is going to support illegal immigrants. 

The White House Wants Money

In a budget negotiation strategy, the White House is seeking to secure a $40 billion “supplemental” funding bill, which includes funding for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and gives billions to Ukraine.

Some worry that there is a lack of oversight of the money being given by the Biden administration. This has now sparked concerns about transparency and the use of FEMA funds.

If the White House’s strategy succeeds and Congress approves substantial aid to Ukraine, a portion of that funding may not be directed toward disaster relief for Americans. Instead, it could be used for housing, food, healthcare, and transportation for illegal immigrants, distributed through grants to activist NGOs and “sanctuary” cities.

This diversion of FEMA funds intended for disaster-afflicted Americans to support migrants has made some people furious.

FEMA’s Finances

FEMA’s programs, including major disaster relief and flood insurance, are already grappling with financial challenges. Almost every year FEMA requires additional funds from the government to help supply the organization.

The White House’s additional funding request takes advantage of this financial problem as an excuse to redirect grant money for its open-border plan, leading to concerns about how funds are being spent.

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program, funded by FEMA, has seen over $332 million redirected “to assist communities receiving noncitizens released from custody.” 

What It Pays For

The redirected money goes to housing migrants who entered the country illegally at the border and transporting them to cities like New York. In New York, they have been allocated $104 million, but this won’t last long since they are spending $8 million of it per day.

FEMA’s Disaster Relief and Flood Insurance programs require the declaration of a federal disaster by the president. However, FEMA grant money does not require such a declaration and can be used more readily.

Biden’s Bold Request

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has already requested a direct appropriation of $83.5 million in its fiscal 2024 budget for FEMA Shelter and Services Program grants, aimed at supporting noncitizens released from DHS custody.

Additionally, DHS has asked for $650 million more than the previous year, totaling $800 million, to support migrants released from DHS custody while awaiting immigration proceedings.

Given the already huge backlog in the asylum system, this massive increase in budget has some questioning the sustainability of such spending.

In simple terms, the Biden administration’s actions suggest that they want to continue using taxpayer dollars to support hundreds of thousands of people who entered the U.S. illegally for an indefinite period. 

Congressional Resistance

Biden’s budget tactics have encountered resistance in Congress, particularly from Republicans who have seen the DHS using funds to allow for mass illegal entry in recent years.

Congress seems cautious about the administration’s efforts to increase immigration-related funding through the 2024 budget, including attempts to bundle immigration funds with the Ukraine-FEMA request.

Despite receiving such a massive increase in budget for immigration services, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, in a recent hearing in Congress, tried to, “clarify for the record that FEMA is not an immigration agency.”

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