Merkley Decries Trump Decision to Transfer FEMA Funding to Immigrant Detention

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after NBC News reported that the Trump administration is shifting millions in funding away from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in order to fund its extremist immigration agenda, including thousands more detention beds and costs associated with its program forcing asylum seekers to await their hearings in Mexico. Last fall, Merkley discovered—right as a major hurricane was bearing down on the East Coast—that the Trump administration had diverted more than $10 million away from FEMA to fund detention.

“It’s déjà vu all over again. Once again, this administration is endangering America by moving funds away from emergency management for their extremist border agenda.

“President Trump and his administration are not just endangering the lives of the children and families they seek to harm in the name of deterrence. By shortchanging preparedness, they’re endangering the lives of millions of Americans who live in hurricane zones as well.

“Once again, the American people will pay the price for President Trump’s extreme and irresponsible agenda, with millions fewer dollars available to help prepare for and respond to storms and hurricanes that are arriving with greater intensity each passing week.”