Democrats demand $20 million in increased funds for a controversial DHS program that aids illegal immigrants. Republicans have opposed the DHS program because of its ties to an anti-ICE non-profit.
In a controversial pilot program that assists illegal immigrants facing deportation, House Democrats are urging “robust funding” while stating that such funding should not be accompanied by increased Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) surveillance of those in the United States illegally.
36 Democrats, headed by Representatives Pramila Jayapal(D-Washington), Jerrold Nadler (D-New York), and Nanette Diaz Barragin (D-California), requested that the Office of Management and Budget to continue financing the Case Management Pilot Program (CMPP) with $20 million.
In addition, they requested the OMB to instruct DHS (Department of Homeland Security) to prioritize establishing the program and ensure that CMPP expansion will not increase the number of individuals subject to ICE surveillance through detention and electronic surveillance.
The CMPP, authorized by Congress in the 2021 DHS Appropriations Act, provides $5 million to FEMA. There was a provision for an additional $20 million in the appropriations bill for fiscal year 23.
The program provides voluntary case management and other services, such as counseling, school enrollment, legal aid, cultural orientation programs, and links to social services, as well as screening for human trafficking and departure planning for those being deported. The services are meant for migrants registered in ICE’s Alternative to Detention program, also known as ATD, which entails tracking more than 300,000 illegal immigrants using a variety of tactics, such as ankle bands, phone check-ins, and mobile applications.
While the CMPP expects participants to continue in ATD, lawmakers have called for the ISAP – Intensive Supervision Appearance Program – versions of ATD to be minimized and not extended once activities restart after the COVID-19 regulations are lifted.
Legislators say ISAP does not give real support to assist immigrants in navigating the judicial system. They are afraid that ICE will continue to extend the use of ISAP as it ramps up detention when it returns to normal operations. Case management programs, according to Democrats, are an efficient means of avoiding imprisonment for persons in the country illegally.
Several of their Republican colleagues have criticized the Biden administration for its dependence on ATD and the decrease in ICE deportations and arrests throughout its tenure. In addition to moving away from immigration detention, the Biden administration sees an unprecedented influx of migrants at the southern border.
Senators. Roger Marshall (R-Kansas) and Bill Hagerty (R-Tennessee) sought additional information about the CMPP last year, citing its monitoring by a foundation that has previously advocated for the defunding and elimination of ICE.
In a letter to top DHS officials, Republican senators stated it is past time for the Case Management Pilot Program (CMPP) to be subject to the monitoring it so desperately requires. A congressionally directed pilot program must be monitored to ensure taxpayer money is not misused to funnel money to non-governmental organizations that promote rhetoric intended to frustrate and dismantle immigration enforcement and the nation’s borders; Congress has a fiduciary duty to do so.
It is terrible, but not unexpected under the present administration that a program created to enhance Alternatives to Detention (ATDs) would be utilized as a gimmick to further leftist ideology rather than advancing the Department’s important function, they add.
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