Evaluating America First Priorities in the White House Border Supplemental

November 7, 2023

Key Takeaways

The White House’s border supplemental is found within the Administration’s roughly $106 billion spending request for foreign assistance to Israel, Ukraine, other foreign organizations, and certain domestic initiatives.

The border supplemental ignores the House-passed Secure the Border Act (H.R. 2) and instead funnels billions of dollars to initiatives that will accomplish little until the southwestern border is secure.

The Biden Administration’s strategy of processing and transporting more illegal aliens into our country requires fundamental policy change, which AFPI has researched and reported on extensively. Congress should support nothing less than the House-passed (H.R. 2) Secure the Border Act.

The border supplemental fails to advance America First policies

President Biden’s border supplemental request is part of the Administration’s emergency supplemental request for roughly $106 billion. The whole supplemental request includes $61.4 billion of additional foreign assistance to Ukraine and also includes $14.3 billion in funding for Israel and $13.6 billion in additional funding for the border (White House Supplemental Request). Highlights include:

President Biden’s border supplemental request, like the whole supplemental request (Evaluating the White House Supplemental, AFPI), fails to put the needs of Americans first. Spending more money on the border is not the answer. The Biden Administration’s strategy of processing and transporting more aliens on illegitimate grounds into our country requires a fundamental policy change that starts with Congress passing (H.R. 2) The Secure the Border Act, which AFPI has researched and reported on extensively. Further, as the Biden Administration is the first in U.S. history to preside over a more than $1.7 trillion budget gap, Congress should strongly consider reforms that offset all new spending proposals while advancing policies that put America First.

The White House’s border supplement does NOT allocate money for border security. Instead, it includes:

$481 million to the unlawful “Uniting for Ukraine” (U4U) parole program, providing cash, medical assistance, job training, English language classes, and more for inadmissible aliens. [p. 35]

  • The U4U program was set up by the Biden Administration, promising to raise “private” resources for Ukrainians and provide a sponsor responsible for maintaining their financial needs. If this program already utilizes private sponsorship, why are millions in taxpayer funds needed to backfill this failing program?
  • Read more about the illegality of the Biden Administration’s parole proposal in AFPI’s The Biden Administration’s New Plan Fails to Solve the Border Crisis issue brief.

Extends the ability of U4U parolees to receive unlawful welfare benefits through the end of FY24. [p. 36]

  • Beyond the illegality of U4U, this request continues to enlarge the pool of inadmissible aliens treated like refugees to immediately become eligible for taxpayer-funded welfare, creating a temporary immigration status category for parolees.
  • The total fiscal cost of this program to American taxpayers is unknown.
  • Read AFPI’s DHS’s Unlawful Use of Parole is a Profit Driver for Cartels and Human Traffickers issue brief.

$3.5 billion for displaced Ukrainians. [p. 40]

  • This provision provides taxpayer-funded benefits to Ukrainians, resources unavailable to other populations around the world coming from war-torn environments like India, Somalia, or Yemen.
  • This request is another example of the administration’s lie that U4U would have sponsors provide for the parolees.

$2.5 billion to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) for fentanyl-related interdiction activities and programs. [Attachment 5]

$4.4 billion for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) management operations, including soft-sided facilities, migrant transportation, and medical care requirements. [Attachment 5]

  • This is for processing illegal aliens, not deterring illegal immigration or enforcing the existing law.
  • Millions of taxpayer dollars to Federal Emergency Management Administration for Shelter and Services Program grants that go to NGOs that provide housing and other resources for illegal aliens.
  • “Soft-sided facilities” were heavily criticized during the Trump administration.
  • Millions to CBP to reimburse DOD for “border security support” along the border.

$849 million to CBP for “non-intrusive inspection” technology to interdict fentanyl and human trafficking. [Attachment 5]

  • The Biden Administration continues to wrongly insist that fentanyl only comes across the border at ports of entry. If the current open borders policies continue, fentanyl, human traffickers, and national security threats will still pour across our unsecured border.

$2.5 billion to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hire additional criminal investigators, attorneys, and support staff. An undeclared amount for “immigration enforcement, detention, transportation, and removal.” [Attachment 5]

  • Criminal investigators are not involved in immigration removal proceedings, and the hiring of additional attorneys will take months to years, which will have little effect on the current case backlog.
  • The proposal does not alter ICE’s current “enforcement priorities” that exempt nearly all illegal aliens from being deported.

$13.8 million to DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate to “support counter-fentanyl research and development.” [Attachment 5]

$1.42 billion to DOJ’s Executive Office for Immigration Review to hire 375 additional Immigration Judges and support staff through FY24. [Attachment 5]

  • The hiring process within the Department of Justice takes six months at a minimum and is far too long to make a dent in the caseload, which is the highest in history. The Biden Administration also does not have a history of hiring applicants who would enforce the laws on the books.
  • Throwing more money at the immigration problem is not the answer. The current caseload for immigration judges is never-ending.
  • Alternately, spending $3.9 billion would produce more than 350 miles of new border wall system to help secure the border and disrupt the drug trafficking networks. 

$23.2 million to the Drug Enforcement Agency to combat fentanyl and drug networks in the U.S. [Attachment 5]

  • The Biden Administration fails to recognize the connection between open borders and the fentanyl crisis.

$50 million to the Department of Labor (DOL)’s Wage & Hour division for efforts to protect children from exploitation, particularly vulnerable children entering the U.S. through the southern border. [Attachment 5]

  • The Biden Administration eliminated vetting standards at HHS facilities and for sponsors of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) that increase the likelihood of child labor exploitation.
  • This is an insufficient amount of money to contend with the record number of UACs trafficked across the border.
  • The Biden Administration also has hampered ICE’s ability to conduct worksite enforcement.
  • See AFPI’s 2021-2023: Child Exploitation at the Southern Border Issue Brief for more. 

$50 million to DOL Solicitor’s office to prosecute companies exploiting child labor. [Attachment 5]

  • *See above*

$50 million to DOS “Diplomatic Programs” to promote and process unlawful categorical parole programs. [Attachment 5]

  • Continues to fund the Biden Administration’s abuse of immigration law and policies designed to hide the optics of the border crisis.

$850 million to DOS “Migration and Refugee Assistance” to fund illegal aliens from the Western Hemisphere exploiting categorical parole. [Attachment 5]

$400 million to DOS “International Assistance Programs” to provide American taxpayer dollars to the governments of Central American countries whose nationals make up a large percentage of the illegal aliens making fraudulent asylum claims at the southern border. [Attachment 5]

  • No evidence suggests these governments will finally take steps to keep their nationals in their own countries or enforce their own immigration laws against nationals of other countries who transit through them on their way to the U.S.

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