"This is a scandal", Merkley, said in a statement Wednesday. However, the movement of the funds is raising questions about FEMA's preparedness as Hurricane Florence charges toward the Carolinas and Virginia. With this said, however, a DHS spokesperson says that the funds have nothing to do with disaster relief, meaning it won't impact FEMA's ability to help in the recovery of Hurricane Florence or any subsequent hurricanes. Jeff Merkley of OR in an appearance Tuesday on "The Rachel Maddow Show", as Hurricane Florence barreled toward the Carolinas. His office has shared the file with NPR.
To cover the shortfall, DHS "reprogrammed" its financial resources, which is permitted under budget rules. 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. He appeared on MSNBC to discuss the transfer. "So $10 million dollars comes out of FEMA when we're facing hurricane season, knowing what happened a year ago, and look what's happened since?" Small's organization provided Merkley with the DHS document.
In the documents, it is stated FEMA "will curtail training, travel and public engagement in response to the cuts". ICE only has roughly 40,000 spots in detention, meaning it can not possibly detain every undocumented immigrant in the US. "ICE could also be forced to reduce its current interior enforcement operations".
FEMA and ICE both belong to the Department of Homeland Security.
Merkely said he believes the budgeting reallocation happened in response to the Trump administration's zero-tolerance policy, which was rolled out earlier this year.
At a Wednesday morning briefing, FEMA Administrator Jeff Byard said the agency has "plenty of resources both monetary, staff and commodities" to respond to approaching Hurricane Florence, which is set to reach the Carolinas on Thursday evening.
The decision to transfer the funds came directly from the Department of Homeland Security.
"Under no circumstances was any disaster relief funding transferred from FEMA to immigration enforcement efforts", Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton said.
British companies excluded from EU Galileo space project if no-deal Brexit
Renewing a passport costs a reasonably hefty £72.50 (€80), while the cost of an worldwide drivers' permit is a mere £5.50 (€6). This could mean the return of higher charges to make and receive calls, texts and mobile data usage when travelling in the EU.
Ray Zaccaro, Merkley's communications director, tells NPR the administration's response has been "defensive and completely fallacious".
Regardless, it does make you wonder why Trump would be taking any money at all away from FEMA after the disaster we saw in Puerto Rico past year.
Where did that money come from?
"There's perhaps never been a clearer articulation of this administration's priorities than this transfer document: cruelty over compassion".
"DHS has become masterful at manipulating the appropriations process to pursue its political agenda of jailing and deporting as many immigrants as they can", she said.
DHS says that since the money had not been spent, authorization to do so was going to expire at the end of the fiscal year on September 30.
Similar language is popping up in this year's appropriations bills.
CBS News' Jeff Pegues reported that the money in question was transferred back in August to ICE. Partly, it's certainly going to an expansion of the immigration detention system that ICE oversees.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is aggressively lobbying for an additional $1 billion to boost deportations to their highest levels yet under President Trump, according to a budget document obtained by The Washington Post.