‘Turn It Into A Travel Agency’: GOP Senator Spars With Biden Official On Funding Police Abroad While Defunding ICE

Republican Sen. Bill Hagerty of Tennessee attacked the Biden administration during a Senate hearing on Thursday for funding foreign law enforcement agencies while it defunds the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The Biden administration’s fiscal year 2024 budget request for the Department of State And Other International Programs seeks $1.3 billion of taxpayer money for “International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement,” according to a document published by the White House. Hagerty questioned Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols about the size of the amount, relative to the cuts to ICE requested by the administration, during a Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues hearing. (RELATED: Top Biden Immigration Official Called To ‘Abolish’ ICE, End Detention Of Illegal Immigrants)

“It’s very shocking to me that, in order to avoid a government shutdown, the president is demanding the ability to defund ICE here in America,” Hagerty told Nichols. “The administration wants to reprogram $7 billion per year of ICE funding away law enforcement and essentially turn it into a travel agency for the transportation of immigrants to cities like New York.”

As a part of Biden’s demand to keep the government open, they’re effectively defunding ICE at a time when the Dem mayor of America’s largest city, @NYCMayor, is pleading for border security & warning that illegal immigration “will destroy New York City”. (1/2) https://t.co/WWmECC9Lcy

— Senator Bill Hagerty (@SenatorHagerty) September 7, 2023

“They are under a series of judicial orders that they cannot hold migrants beyond a certain period of them. They have to release them,” Nichols noted, justifying the administration’s proposal.

Hagerty contrasted the reprogramming of ICE funding with the budget request for international law enforcement, “specifically in Latin America, in places like Columbia, where policing needs to be reinforced dealing with counter-narcotics trafficking.”

“I suppose you would oppose defunding this component of the FY 2024 budget request,” Hagerty noted.

The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact [email protected].