House appropriations bill would increase border enforcement capacity

House appropriations bill would increase border enforcement capacity

A U.S. Border Patrol agent stands near the border fence, which stretches through the Imperial Sand Dunes in California.

John Moore/Getty Images

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John Moore/Getty Images

A U.S. Border Patrol agent stands near the border fence, which stretches through the Imperial Sand Dunes in California.

John Moore/Getty Images

The 2024 budget appropriations include an increase in money for immigration and border enforcement.

On Friday, the House of Representatives approved the $1.2 trillion bipartisan package to keep the government open. It leaves a tight turnaround for the Senate to vote on it before midnight.

In this budget, the Republican-dominated House emphasized their desire for heightened spending on curbing illegal immigration at the US-Mexico border. The White House has been asking Congress to fund these efforts, as undocumented crossings increase. So far, all attempts to fund more border security have failed.

Here are some highlights of the package:

Over $9.5 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Close to 5 thousand new police-type vehicles.  For the Department of Homeland Security 7,500 police-type vehicles, money for marine vessels, aircraft, and unmanned aerial systems. Over $850 million for the procurement of marine vessels, aircrafts and unmanned aerial systems for US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). In addition, over $55 million for CBP construction and improvements. $650 million for FEMA to relieve overcrowding in short-term US Customs and Border Protection holding facilities. $2.5 million of that may go to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for maintenance and repair of roads on Native American reservations used by the U.S. Border Patrol. 

The bills needed two-thirds support to pass. The final vote was: 286-134.

Republicans are touting an increase in the number of ICE detention beds and border agents.

House Speaker Mike Johnson celebrated the package in a statement early Thursday: “it significantly cuts funding to NGOs that incentivize illegal immigration and increases detention capacity and the number of Border Patrol agents to match levels in the House-passed appropriations bill and the Secure the Border Act.” It’s unclear which NGO’s Johnson was referring to.

The package now heads to the Senate.

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