Immigration and Customs Enforcement has, yet again, hit a grim record. The unshackled agency now has 52,398 migrants in custody, a direct result of the Trump administration policies making just about any undocumented immigrant here a priority for deportation. ICE is also jailing a record number of people in defiance of limits set by Congress.
“ICE had requested funding for 52,000 detention beds, but Congress in February only agreed to fund a daily average of around 45,000 beds till the end of September,” Huffington Post reports. “As Bloomberg noted, however, the Trump administration has the authority to expand the number of beds by transferring money to ICE from other security programs.”
The agency told Congress in October that the average daily population was over 44,000, approximately “4,000 more people than Congress has funded.” ICE refused to say where the extra money was coming from, but there’s plenty of clues to answer that question. Now as the Trump administration has yet another migrant child’s death on its hands, it’s again going beyond congressional limits to jail even more people.
“This new record continues ICE’s now historical habit of ignoring congressional limitations on its budget and unilaterally increasing its detention bedspace,” Migration Policy Institute analyst Sarah Pierce said. “The fact that ICE has rather brazenly now exceeded 52,000 individuals in custody should raise red flags in Congress. This is a threat to Congress’s power of the purse.”
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