According to a letter from Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, which was seen by @NBCNews, $155 million would move from FEMA's disaster relief fund to DHS's U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), for more migrant detention space and temporary hearing sites for people seeking asylum. The shift of funds would reportedly allow ICE to hold close to 50,000 migrants at a given time.
Trump's decision came as Tropical Storm Dorian, potentially strengthening into a Category 1 hurricane, approached Puerto Rico, leading the U.S. territory to declare a state of emergency. Dorian could hit Puerto Rico by Wednesday afternoon, reach the Bahamas by Friday, and southwestern Florida by Sunday, forecasters predict.
Officials in Puerto Rico said Monday they declared a state of emergency in order to coordinate with FEMA for resources.
On Tuesday afternoon, Trump acknowledged Dorian and touted past relief to Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria in 2017, but did not mention his new drainage of FEMA funds.
"Wow! Yet another big storm heading to Puerto Rico. Will it ever end?" Trump tweeted. "Congress approved 92 Billion Dollars for Puerto Rico last year, an all time record of its kind for 'anywhere.'"
The island has received $12.6 billion as of May, while the Trump administration has allocated $42.3 billion, according to the Center for a New Economy.
Congress received a notification, not a request, from the Trump administration to shift funds away from FEMA to ICE because the administration thinks it is entitled to do so after Congress refused to approve more funding for detention beds in an emergency funding border bill two months ago, according to NBC News.
Source: NBC News