(NewsNation) — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is poised to spend more taxpayer funds than ever, as it has a budgetary deficit of $345 million for this fiscal year, according to a report from Axios.
Three sources told the news outlet that ICE will run out of money before October unless the Department of Homeland Security is able to shift millions of dollars from other programs. Two people told Axios that about $100 million is could come from the Coast Guard’s budget, while $80 million could be freed up by moving existing ICE funds around.
Even if that extra funding came together though the federal agency would still need another several million dollars, meaning it would potentially need more assistance from the government.
Axios cited several reasons for the $345 million shortfall: new policies, court decisions and border trends. But the publication noted that it’s not clear how much of ICE’s financial problem stems from a low early estimate of needs at the border, and how much of it comes from how the agency has managed its funds.
Border patrol has seen over 200,000 encounters with migrants per month recently, with numbers reaching new all-time highs for the Department of Homeland Security.
ICE planned to spend around $15 million on training for its officers to follow President Joe Biden’s enforcement policy to focus on arrests of convicted criminals, Axios said, although a judge’s order ruled that prioritization policy illegal on June 10, per the New York Times.
Another $100 million was reportedly spent to restart the Trump-era Migrant Protection Protocols or “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy, which required migrants seeking asylum to stay on the Mexican side of the southwest border as they wait for their claims to be processed. Recently, the Supreme Court ruled the Biden administration can roll back that policy — but money was already put into enforcing it.
“There’s $100 million right out the window,” Charles Marino, former acting special agent in charge with the U.S. Secret Service, said on NewsNation’s “Morning in America.” “$15 million to the new enforcement priorities of the Biden administration, which were overturned by the courts. So there’s a lot of mismanagement here.”
Marino said it is the Biden administration’s policies causing the rising number of migrants coming into the country.
“The administration did not uniformly enforce Remain in Mexico, they did not uniformly enforce Title 42 regarding COVID, so that word is out now, and people are making the journey,” he said. “The big thing here is now you’ve got to take funds from other agencies that also have very important missions.”
The Biden administration has sent far fewer people back to Mexico than its predecessor Donald Trump, The Associated Press reported.
According to the American Immigration Council, since 2003, ICE spending has nearly tripled, from $3.3 billion to $8.3 billion currently. The Council said a lot of the funding has gone to increasing ICE’s ability to hold immigrants in detention centers.