On Tuesday, the House of Representatives approved a $4.5 billion immigration spending package on a party-line vote.
The spending bill includes funding for addressing the humanitarian crisis on the border. However, the bill is likely to face steep opposition in the Senate, and President Trump has already signaled that he won’t sign it. Another measure is working its way through the Senate and has garnered more bipartisan support.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which the Office of Refugee Resettlement is part of, has struggled to provide proper oversight to shelters. The office has been plagued by staff shortages and inexperience when it comes to reuniting families and running the shelters under their watch. For example, HHS attempted to roll back educational and recreational programs at their shelters to save money, but was forced to reinstate the programs when they found that they had to run them under state law.
The office has also faced problems from the Trump administration itself, which has implemented measures related to sharing information with immigration authorities that have frightened would-be sponsors and caregivers from coming forward for undocumented children in HHS’s custody. Further compounding the problems the office is facing, they are in danger of running out of funds at the end of this month.
John Sanders, the acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commissioner, resigned this past Tuesday as more about the inhumane conditions migrant children have been kept in CBP facilities has come to light.
Mark Morgan, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is expected to be tapped for the spot. Morgan was Border Patrol chief toward the end of the Obama administration, but more recently has appeared on Fox News expressing hardline immigration views that are in line with those pursued by the Trump administration.