The Department of Homeland Security is apparently exhausting every option available to it in order to fund $1.1 billion for operations at the southern border — including yanking loose change found in airports across the country.
President Donald Trump requested $4.5 billion in appropriations from Congress on May 1 in order to address a growing influx of migrants coming to America, USA Today previously reported. Of that amount, $1.1. billion is slated to go directly toward “border operations.”
In the event that Congress doesn’t agree to those funding requests, however, DHS is looking for ways to get the money anyway, by shifting funds from agencies under its purview.
A spokesman for DHS said it’s looking at “all option” in order to address the immigration issue.
The funding from TSA includes $50 million planned for advanced screening equipment and $3 million collected from loose change left in trays at airports. https://t.co/vAmL9l1U42
— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 21, 2019
According to the contingency plan obtained by NBC News, that includes shifting funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is charged with responding to and aiding local communities when national disasters strike the U.S.
DHS is also looking toward reducing the number of Transportation Security Officers that are staffed at airports across the nation, a move that could make wait times longer for travelers during the summer months.
And yes, DHS is also looking to pocket the loose change that TSA agents find when travelers forget to grab their money after going through metal detectors and other security checkpoints. In total, funding from the discarded change could provide DHS with $3 million.
DHS could also take funding away from a program aimed to compensate injured TSOs, a compensation fund currently valued at $64 million.
DHS spokesman Tyler Houlton explained that the extreme measures were necessary to address the growing number of migrants coming to the U.S. southern border.
“We will continue to work with our workforce to find dynamic solutions and funding to address this very serious problem,” Houlton said. “As part of this effort, it is our responsibility to explore fiscal mechanisms that will ensure the safety and welfare of both our workforce and the migrant population, which is also reflected in the supplemental request submitted to Congress.”