Trump’s Spending Bill Lacking Immigration Promises

Credit:Jirsak
Credit:Jirsak

(ESPAÑOL) Trump puts out his new spending bill, with many of his immigration promises absent therefrom.

President Trump’s plans to hire thousands of new deportation officers, cut off money to cities that refuse to turn over undocumented immigrants and target states that legally sell marijuana were notably omitted from the spending compromise bill unveiled by Congress to avert a government shutdown.

To the displeasure of conservative groups and supporters of Mr. Trump, lawmakers from both parties rejected key elements of the president’s proposals to enforce the nation’s immigration laws more aggressively.

“All the things the president talked about are conspicuously absent from the budget bill,” said Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, an organization that favors more restrictive immigration policies.

The funding bill does add nearly $1.5 billion for border and aviation security. But while most attention has been paid to Congress’ decision not to include money for Mr. Trump’s border wall, an examination of the 1,665 pages of the budget and accompanying documents shows a rejection of much of the president’s approach to border security in favor of a more conventional approach by lawmakers.

The funding includes money for new surveillance systems, replacing existing border fencing, and adding more unmanned aerial vehicles and other border surveillance technologies for Border Patrol agents. It also adds some money to hire Border Patrol agents, in an effort to increase the number of agents up to the level mandated by Congress.

Mr. Trump wants to re-establish Secure Communities, a program set up during the George W. Bush administration that identified potentially deportable immigrants who had committed crimes. Under the program, immigration agents were provided with fingerprint records collected at local jails, regardless of the severity of the crime or if the person had been convicted. President Obama ended the program in 2014, saying he wanted ICE to focus on “felons not families.”

The Trump administration on Tuesday tried to make positive what was widely seen as a defeat for much of its efforts to get tougher on immigration. Speaking to reporters during a White House briefing, Mick Mulvaney, the budget director, said the administration had outfoxed Democrats in the budget showdown. He pointed to money for the replacement of existing border fencing along the Southwest border as proof that construction of the wall was moving forward.