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As Hurricane Florence Approaches, Document Shows Trump Admin Funneled Nearly $10 Million From FEMA to ICE
As Hurricane Florence threatens the East Coast, a newly released document shows that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) transferred almost $10 million from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show reported Tuesday night.
The document was released by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), who said he believed the transfer of $9,755,303 occurred this summer.
"$10 million dollars comes out of FEMA when we're facing hurricane season, knowing what happened last year, and then look what we've had since?" Merkley told Maddow, referring to Hurricane Lane's near miss with Hawaii, a tropical storm that hit Mississippi, and the oncoming Hurricane Florence.
The money was earmarked for more detention beds and for ICE's "transportation and removal program," Maddow said.
DHS confirmed that the transfers were made, but said they did not come from any of FEMA's "disaster response and recovery efforts," Maddow reported.
Homeland Security Press Secretary Tyler Houlton tweeted on Wednesday that the FEMA money did not come from disaster relief, CNN reported.
"The money in question—transferred to ICE from FEMA's routine operating expenses—could not have been used for hurricane response due to appropriation limitations. DHS/FEMA stand fiscally and operationally ready to support current and future response and recovery needs," Houlton said.
However, Maddow and Merkley noted that the document does appear to show money coming out of "response and recovery."
Merkley told Maddow he came across the documents as part of his work opposing the Trump administration's policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S. border as part of a drive to criminally detain everyone caught crossing the border illegally.
The FEMA money is part of a broader transfer of $201.88 million to ICE from other DHS agencies.
"Without the transfers and reprogramming identified in this notification, ICE will not be able to fulfill its adult detention requirements in FY 2018. Insufficient funding could require ICE to release any new book-ins and illegal border violators. ICE will not be able to deport those who have violated immigration laws," the document said.
Some scholars have linked the increased presence of entire Central American families at the southern border to pressures related to climate change, which President Donald Trump famously denies is a problem.
Trump continues to insist his administration responded well to the storm that devastated Puerto Rico.
"I think Puerto Rico was incredibly successful. Puerto Rico was actually our toughest one of all because it's an island. You can't truck things onto it. Everything is by boat," Trump told reporters Tuesday as he discussed preparations for Hurricane Florence, CNN reported.
- Hurricane Florence path: FEMA gears up for disaster response ›
- FEMA Says Hurricane Florence Will Knock Out Power for Weeks ... ›
- Hurricane Florence will be "devastating," FEMA chief says - CBS News ›
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‘Companies Should Not Be Allowed to Use Hazardous Ingredients in Products People Use’: Michelle Pfeiffer Speaks Up for Safer Cosmetics
The beauty products we put on our skin can have important consequences for our health. Just this March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that some Claire's cosmetics had tested positive for asbestos. But the FDA could only issue a warning, not a recall, because current law does not empower the agency to do so.
Michelle Pfeiffer wants to change that.
The actress and Environmental Working Group (EWG) board member was spotted on Capitol Hill Thursday lobbying lawmakers on behalf of a bill that would increase oversight of the cosmetics industry, The Washington Post reported.
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.