Tennessee Senator Presses Biden Official on Plans to Defund Immigration Enforcement

Below is a press release from U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty, (R-Tenn).

WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today pressed Assistant Secretary of State Brian Nichols on a hidden provision in President Joe Biden’s supplemental funding request that would enable the White House to effectively abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)—the federal law enforcement agency tasked with protecting Americans from crime, drugs, and illegal immigration—by defunding the agency and reallocating its funds to transport and resettle illegal immigrants across the United States.

Hagerty called out the Biden Administration’s hypocrisy for including more than one billion dollars for international law enforcement funding in its FY 2024 budget request, including for foreign police to address violence and drug trafficking in Latin American countries like Colombia, while requesting that Congress defund ICE, an American law enforcement agency, here in the United States.

“There’s over a billion dollars in the budget request for law enforcement in other countries, law enforcement in Latin America, places like Colombia where policing needs to be reinforced, dealing with counter-narcotics, trafficking and that sort of thing,” said Hagerty. “I presume then you would oppose defunding this component of the FY 2024 budget request?”

Assistant Secretary Nichols replied, “Absolutely, Senator.”

Hagerty then asked Nichols about the White House’s supplemental funding request to Congress, which President Biden proposed to include in legislation to fund the government past September 30. Page 51 of that request includes a provision granting the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) authority to reprogram ICE funding for services and support to migrants, including “through contracts[,] . . . grants or cooperative agreements to non-governmental organizations”—effectively changing ICE’s mission from one focused on law enforcement and combating illegal immigration to one focused on illegal alien resettlement in American communities.

“It’s very shocking to me that in order to avoid a government shutdown, the President is demanding the ability to defund ICE here in America,” Hagerty said.

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