As House and Senate negotiators continue to work out a compromise over funding the Department of Homeland Security through the end of the fiscal year, ICE officers say they're being left out of the discussions and warn of the Democrats proposal that would reduce the amount of detention space.
According to the Washington Times, a briefer from Immigration and Customs Enforcement stood outside the room where Congressional negotiators were meeting and was never given an opportunity to brief the group. Most of the talks have centered around Pres. Trump's request for $5.7 billion to fund new fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, but a counter-offer from House Democrats proposed slashing funding for ICE and reducing the amount of detention space.
Pres. Trump has called for increasing the number of detention beds to 52,000. Democrats have offered funding for approximately 35,000 beds, while Republicans have offered approximately 40,000 beds. The ICE briefing says both figures could pose a threat to public safety.
"Up to 30,000 releases of criminals, illegal aliens with criminal charges and recent border crossers" would not be held, ICE said. In some cases ICE would even be forced to break the law to release migrants deemed subject to "mandatory detention" by Congress.
Representatives from the Border Patrol have been able to brief the negotiators.
On Thursday, newly-elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) led a rally at the Capitol calling for the abolishment of ICE. She said that ICE "does not deserve a dime."
For more, see the WashingtonTimes.com.
Updated: Fri, Feb 22nd 2019 @ 9:20am EST