Border Supplemental Provides Limited Funding for Border Crisis

Aug 1, 2014 Issues: Immigration

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 5230, Making Supplemental Appropriations FY 2014, to addresses the president’s emergency request for dealing with the border crisis. 

In response to the president’s $3.7 billion request, the House-passed bill provides $659 million to meet immediate border security and humanitarian needs through the end of the year. Along with sending National Guard assistance to the southern border and improving enforcement resources for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the supplemental amends a 2008 law that requires all minors entering the country illegally from Central America be treated the same as Mexican minors, who are sent back immediately. The bill speeds up deportation proceedings by adding temporary immigration judges to hear cases and prevent backlog while working with the countries from which the individuals migrated to return them safely home. It also includes language that prevents further expansion or funding for the Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“Rather than throw money at a problem that the president’s failed policy created, the House today voted for a measure that covers immediate border security and humanitarian needs until the end of this year,” said Cole. “With the limited funding, the bill makes reforms that help change the incentive of those attempting to stay in America illegally by speeding up the process for returning them to their countries of origin. I am pleased that the supplemental actually addresses the situation at our borders and helps reverse the surge of thousands of illegal minors.”

The legislation also includes language recommended by Cole that addresses the use of military facilities for housing illegal minors. It specifically states that military installations should not be used for housing unauthorized aliens. It outlines conditions the Department of Defense and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should meet such as providing written and advance notice to Congress and the public in the Federal Register about housing UAC’s at military facilities.

In addition, the final bill includes an amendment introduced by Congressman Mike Rogers (AL-03) that prohibits use of military facilities for UAC housing should it “displace members of the Armed Forces or interfere with the activities of the Armed Forces.”

“I am very encouraged by the changes made to the final bill as it relates to use of military installations. Ever since I learned of the border crisis and the president’s plan to use Fort Sill in my district for housing illegal minors, I’ve thought it was an inappropriate use of military facilities. I am pleased that this strong language was included because it will help prevent the confusion of missions at our military bases and reserve use for our military personnel.”

Cole represents Lawton, which includes Fort Sill Military Base that is currently being used to house unaccompanied illegal minors.

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Contact: Sarah Corley (202) 225-6165