President Donald Trump unveiled his first budget blueprint last week and, although virtually every agency will see some sort of cut, Trump wants to boost funds for certain federal agencies to bolster his efforts to deport more people.
To this end, Trump's 2018 budget blueprint seeks to increase the number of judges in immigration courts and increase the number of prosecutors, so as to aliviate the conjestion in immigration cases and speed up the deportation process.
Trump's 2018 Budget Plan For DHS & DOJ
Trump’s budget plan – viewed by most as a foundation to open negotiations with Congress, which will draw up the eventual federal budget – would help carry out his campaign promise to deport more people.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
His DHS budget, one of the few federal agencies seeing a boost under his budget, requests:
- $1.5 billion in additional funding “for expanded detention, transportation, and removal of illegal immigrants”
- $314 million to hire 500 new border patrol 1,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and staff
Department of Justice (DHS)
The 2018 budget request submitted by Trump also asks for $27.7 billion for the DOJ, specifically requesting $80 million dollars to hire:
- 75 immigration judge teams to speed up the removal proceedings
- 60 additional border endorsement prosecutors
- 40 deputy US marshals “for the apprehension, transportation, and prosecution of criminal aliens”
- 20 attorneys focused on Federal efforts to obtain the land and holdings necessary to secure the Southwest border
- 20 attorneys and support staff for immigration litigation assistance
Concerns About Trump's 2018 Budget Proposal
Fear and uncertainty among the immigrant community remains, not for the millions requested by the president, but for the language used to justify the request. Trump says in the petition that additional funds will be used "to extend the detention, transportation and elimination of illegal immigrants."
Some immigration attorneys say that compliance with these measures would aggravate the accumulation of cases in immigration courts. In addition, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) fears that these decisions will affect due process for immigrants by not giving attorneys enough time to prepare cases of clients struggling to stay in the United States.
Trump's 2018 Budget is "Dead on Arrival"
It is important to remember that the president’s budget is only a wish list. It is Congress that ultimately controls the government’s purse strings and will have the final say.
Since releasing his budget blueprint, lawmakers have already expressed opposition to many of the proposals.
When asked on February 28th about the Trump administration’s proposed cuts to the State Department, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told reporters the president’s budget is “dead on arrival.”