U.S. Senator John Boozman is applauding President Trump’s immigration enforcement budget proposals, but is cautioning that other parts of the Homeland Security budget are “unworkable.” The Republican senator convened his first meeting as chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security on Thursday.
Boozman praised increases in spending for border patrol agents and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“This budget request gets many things right. We’ve seen over the past few months that border security and immigration enforcement are closely related. As the new administration has demonstrated there are consequences for those entering and staying in the country illegally,” said Boozman.
Others on the committee, like Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, found plenty to object to in Trump’s immigration enforcement budget.
“I think the budget proposal can be summed up pretty quickly. Abyssmal. I’m not surprised that the budget before us proposed billions of taxpayer dollars to build a misguided wall on the southern border and to fund the President’s deportation force,” the committee’s vice-chair said.
The President’s budget would boost Homeland Security’s Border and Immigration budget by $2.7 billion. That includes over 1,600 new ICE employees, 500 border patrol agents, and more than $1 billion for detention facilities.
While Boozman generally approved of the immigration enforcement budget, he said he would like to see more specific plans, and that other parts of the budget may be non-starters.
“Many of the choices reflected in this budget put the subcommittee in a difficult position. For instance, it assumes statutory changes to programs that Congress would almost certainly be unable to enact before the fiscal year. From the proposed increase to airline passenger fees; to the significant reductions for state and local partners; to the failure to invest adequately in research and development this budget fails to take into consideration many practical realities,” said Boozman.
The subcommittee plans to review the DHS budget proposal over the next two weeks.