While grappling with finding solutions to the issue of undocumented immigration, the Trump administration is reportedly considering a plan to shift funds allocated to the U.S. Coast Guard to instead be used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and several other agencies in the Department of Homeland Security.
The Washington Post reported Saturday that it had obtained an internal communication from the Coast Guard and had spoken to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
Most of the transferred funds would go to ICE, the report said. DHS might also shift other funding to help pay for ICE operations.
The Coast Guard message stated that up to $77 million could be transferred to other agencies or departments, and the Coast Guard Reserve might also be required to contribute funding.
Coast Guard officials declined to comment on the matter, referring questions related to the transfer of funds to DHS.
In a statement, DHS spokeswoman Lesley Fulop said the department is “currently evaluating the need to reallocate funds, and will do so in a manner to minimize the impact on its operations and mission execution to the maximum extent possible.”
The Trump administration researched a similar transfer of Coast Guard funds in March 2017, when draft versions of the administration’s first annual budget called for Coast Guard funding to be cut 14 percent – approximately $7.8 billion – in an attempt to secure funding for a wall along the United States’ southern border. A bipartisan group of lawmakers opposed that plan.