Homeland Security Shifted $10M from FEMA to Combat Immigration

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Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., who first shared the documents live on MSNBC late Tuesday.

News of the budget transfer comes several weeks after FEMA acknowledged staffing shortages and logistical challenges in responding to Hurricane Maria past year in Puerto Rico, where aging infrastructure and island terrain complicated relief efforts.

"There is an increasing risk of life-threatening impacts from Florence: Storm surge at the coast, freshwater flooding from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event inland and damaging hurricane-force winds", warned the National Hurricane Service in the beginning of this week.

While a Department of Homeland Security spokesman claims disaster relief funds were not affected by the diversion, the changes concern Tyler.

"Under no circumstances was any disaster relief funding transferred from @fema to immigration enforcement efforts", Houlton tweeted. A source at DHS told Pegues the funds were transferred to ICE for adult detention beds, not to house children.

The funding shakeup comes as Trump and the DHS are struggling to fund a costly crackdown on illegal immigration. The document mentions Fiscal Year 2018 but doesn't include an exact date.

A spokeswoman for the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees DHS also notes that these reprogramming notification funds are routine and that they get dozens, if not hundreds, each month. "It says that money came from Response and Recovery right on it", Merkley told Maddow.

It's unclear when the funds were transferred. "We are ready for the big one that is coming!" He also suggested that the financial pressure was linked to this month's announcement by the administration of new regulations created to enable expanded detention of families who cross into the USA without legal status.

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"FEMA will curtail training, travel, public engagement sessions, IT security support and infrastructure maintenance, and IT investments in the legacy grants systems for transition to the Grants Management Modernization Program", the document says.

The Department of Homeland Security pushed back against Merkley's claims on Wednesday, saying that the funds were unspent money from operational accounts for training, office supplies and headquarters costs, which can not be spent on disaster response, according to The Associated Press.

"It does not come out of the disaster relief fund that funds everything behind me and in the field so it's a non-issue for us at this moment", administrator Brock Long said this morning on ABC's "Good Morning America", gesturing to workers at computers at FEMA headquarters in Washington.

The "response and recovery" category contains about 21 percent of FEMA's operations budget- about $223 million - does non-public a more instruct characteristic in paying for catastrophe efforts.

Sen. Jeff Merkley of OR said the administration was taking money from FEMA's "response and recovery" to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency at a time when Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the Southeast U.S. coast. Jeff Merkley, of OR, shows that the money would come from FEMA's operations and support budget and was transferred into accounts at ICE to pay for detention and removal operations. "Nothing that the staffer talked about indicated that this used to be done in a roundabout diagram as a TV stunt".

Trump said on Tuesday that the government was "absolutely, totally prepared" for the hurricane bearing down on the Carolinas.

Sure enough, the documents were released just days before Hurricane Florence is expected to pound the Carolinas, leading to the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of people.