President Donald Trump may be proposing trillions in spending cuts over the next decade in his 2021 budget request — but none of the cuts would affect the immigration enforcement agencies, which would instead get a significant boost.
The president would invest heavily in construction of his southern border wall, expanding immigration detention and staffing up the immigration agencies. It’s another way to show voters that he’s tough on immigration as he goes up for reelection.
During his time in office, Trump has built, layer by layer, impediments in Central America, at the border, in detention centers, and in the immigration courts that have made obtaining asylum nearly impossible.
And he has swept aside former President Barack Obama’s immigration enforcement priorities in favor of vastly expanding immigration detention and prosecuting every immigrant who crosses the border without authorization. The result is a punitive system that treats immigrants as criminals and places them in prolonged detention even if they don’t pose any danger to the public.
His budget proposal for the coming fiscal year would continue to advance that agenda.
The proposal includes $2 billion to construct an additional 82 miles of wall, which is likely to face pushback among the House’s Democratic majority. Trump has already constructed 101 miles of wall and plans to construct an additional 475 miles, according to the proposal, costing an estimated $18.4 billion and making it the most expensive wall of any kind worldwide.
Trump has sparred with Congress for years over funding for the wall, his signature campaign promise from 2016. It even led to a government shutdown in December 2018 after he refused to sign a funding bill that offered anything less than $5 billion for the wall. And after Congress refused to give him what he wanted, he sidestepped Democratic lawmakers and redirected military funds to border wall construction anyway with the Supreme Court’s blessing.
By Nicole Narea for VOX
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