July 30, 2014
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers gave a statement on H.R. 5230, a supplemental appropriations bill for fiscal year 2014 before the Rules Committee today. H.R. 5230 provides funding to address the current immigration crisis at the Southwest border.
Chairman Rogers' statement follows:
"Chairman Sessions, Ranking Member Slaughter, and members of the Rules Committee, I am here before you today to present H.R. 5230, the bill providing immediate, short-term funding to address the Southwest border crisis.
"It is very clear that our law enforcement personnel and federal agencies require additional resources to respond to this dire situation.
"To that end, this bill contains $659 million to boost border security, provide humanitarian care for unaccompanied children, and to help stem the tide of illegal immigration.
"This funding level will allow these agencies – that have been overextended as a result of the massive influx of immigrants – to sustain and increase operations, strengthen the borders, and process these unaccompanied children in an expedited manner.
"This includes $405 million for the Department of Homeland Security to beef up border operations, increase detention space, and fund additional deportation and enforcement personnel.
"$22 million is included to accelerate judicial proceedings for immigrants.
"The bill provides $35 million for National Guard border efforts to assist the Border Patrol with surveillance, intelligence, and humanitarian activities.
"$197 million is provided to the Department of Health and Human Services for humanitarian assistance for unaccompanied minors to provide them with food and shelter and other critical needs while they await processing.
"And, lastly, $40 million in previously appropriated funding for Central American countries is redirected toward the repatriation and reintegration of their returning citizens.
"This is a responsible, narrowly focused bill that keeps a tight rein on taxpayer dollars. In fact, every dollar of this funding is offset by rescissions of unused, prior-year funding.
"Any future funding needs can and should be addressed as part of the regular appropriations process as we move forward.
"In terms of policy changes, the bill includes several items that will help begin to solve our border challenges for the future, including: a change to the “Trafficking Victims Protection and Reauthorization Act of 2008,” to require that all unaccompanied minors are treated the same as Mexicans for the purpose of removals; a lifting of current restrictions regarding CBP apprehension activities on federal land; a change to the Immigration and Nationality Act to strengthen the law prohibiting criminals with serious drug-related convictions from applying for asylum; and a provision expressing the “Sense of Congress” that the Secretary of Defense should not house unauthorized aliens at military installations unless certain specific conditions are met.
"Chairwoman Granger, who did a fantastic job leading the Task Force on this issue, can go into greater detail on these non-funding items.
"I would like to request an appropriate rule that will allow for swift consideration of this bill on the House floor, to allow this matter to be considered this week.
"Moving this package forward is critical for our security and for the children on the Southwest Border, and I hope that both the House and the Senate will approve it quickly, before the August recess. Thank you."