Biden Changes DHS Policy Away From Deterence

( On Monday, President Joe Biden released the details of his 2023 proposal budget for the federal government.

Included in it was a significant increase in funding going toward the Department of Homeland Security. At the same time, though, the budget also calls for the agency to move away from deterring illegal immigration and the enforcement policies that were implemented under the Trump administration.

For 2023, Biden is calling for DHS to receive $56.7 billion in discretionary funding. That would represent an increase of 5.4% over what DHS spent in 2021.

Under that umbrella would be increases to both Customs and Border Protection as well as Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

CBP would get $15.3 billion in discretionary funds, an increase over 2022’s number of $14.7 billion and 2021’s number of $15 billion. ICE, meanwhile, would get $8.1 billion, a slight increase from the $8 billion it received in 2021 and 2022.

Most of the funding included here, though, would go toward focus more on improving ports of entry in the U.S. southwestern border with Mexico.

In a statement, Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of Homeland Security, said:

“Notably, the Budget makes smart investments in technology to keep our borders secure and includes funding that will allow us to process asylum claims more efficiently as we build a safe, orderly and humane immigration system.”

Immediately after the plan was released, many people criticized it as doing next to nothing to discourage people from immigrating to the U.S. illegally. This is an outrage, especially as the migrant situation has become a crisis under the Biden administration.

One of the biggest detractors of the budget was RJ Hauman, who heads up communications and government relations at the organization Federation for American Immigration Reform.

He said:

“At this point, they might as well change the name of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to U.S. Customs and Border Processing.”

His point is that the American government should be doing everything it can to actually deter illegal immigration, not encourage it by streamlining processes and claims.

Those who support Biden’s proposal say that budgets for enforcement have always risen, even at times when the priorities of the federal government have changed.

The American Immigration Council’s policy director, Jorge Loweree, recently said:

“In terms of the topline funding amounts, this budget maintains that historical year-over-year record funding for immigration enforcement in the U.S. We will continue to spend more on immigration enforcement than all other federal law enforcement combined.”

Biden’s proposal would also reduce the number of people kept in detention, pushing instead alternatives to the detention system.

Of the 34,000 total detention beds that exist right now, Biden’s plan would cut about 25% of them.

This aspect of the proposal has many pro-immigration groups happy, such as the National Partnership for New Americans. Its executive director, Nicole Melaku, recently said:

“The funding for legal representation would be an investment in our ideals of due process, fairness, and human rights and opportunity to seek asylum and other forms of humanitarian protection. There are, unfortunately, concerning provisions, including increasing so-called alternatives to detention, which would increase surveillance over immigrants and private profiteering.”