Crisis of Border Lies: Biden Actually Increased Funding for Border Enforcement and Immigration Processing

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Biden Increases Immigration Enforcement

In March of 2022, the Biden Administration submitted its budget to congress and asked for a 700% increase in USCIS funding and an 80% increase in funding for immigration courts to process backlogs.

Under Biden, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) funding is much higher than it’s peak under the Trump administration. 

Boundless reported, “Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), another component of DHS, will receive 13% more funding than 2021, with the administration’s request of $15.3 billion to hire an additional 300 Border Patrol agents and 300 officials to process the paperwork and applications of undocumented people entering the country at the southwest border. The budget prioritizes improvements to border processing and management, with funding earmarked to “enforce immigration law, further secure U.S. borders and ports of entry, and effectively manage irregular migration along the Southwest border.” The budget requests $309 million in modern border security technology and $494 million for “noncitizen processing and care costs.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, will receive 8% less than the enacted funding in 2021, though the $8.1 billion dollar request does include $3.8 billion for ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations and $527 million dollars for alternatives to detention programs. Notably, the budget proposal included a request for fewer detention beds.”

Let’s look at the 8% reduction in ICE funding

When Biden released this budget, right-wing pundits jumped on the 8% cut to the ICE budget. But this isn’t actually a cut in enforcement, when you look at the details, it’s a shift from expensive incarceration to technology-based programs.

National Priorities outlined the shift in resources away from beds and detention-related goods and services while increasing e-carceration budgets.

“[The budget] requests a historic reduction in immigration detention beds: $2.4 billion for custody operations. The budget request funds a decrease of detention beds to 25,000 from the 34,000 funded in the latest FY22 omnibus bill—eliminating all family detention beds and reducing total bed capacity at immigration detention facilities by 25%.

[The budget] calls for a significant increase in ICE “Alternatives to Detention” (ATD) to $527 million. The request projects an average daily participant level to 170,000, but that could rise to 200,000 by the end of FY22.”

Prepared for What’s Coming

The influx of people trying to enter the country both legally and illegally has been years in the making. And while the U.S. – Mexico border is the entry point, Mexico is not the cause of the surge.

Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador–are experiencing a combination of push factors that include poverty and inequality, political instability, and violence.”

Unlike other points in history where we would see working-aged men cross the border to find work to send money back to their families, the Central American immigrants are packing up their entire families to find a better life. This presents new challenges to immigration enforcement and Biden’s budget has kept up with those challenges.

More from the Crisis of Border Lies Series

The Crisis of Border Lies series from FactPAC looks at the claims being made by Republicans about the Southern Border. 



Boundless: The request includes a 700% funding increase for USCIS and an 80% increase for immigration courts

National Priorities Project: Biden FY 2023 Budget Maintains Trump-Era Spending on ICE and CBP

Time: The Situation at the U.S.-Mexico Border Can’t Be ‘Solved’ Without Acknowledging Its Origins

Office of Management and Budget: Budget of the United States, Fiscal Year 2023

Updated on Oct 21, 2022

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