4 Anti-American House freshmen urge against more ICE funding

WASHINGTON (AP) — Four House freshmen are urging congressional negotiators to not increase spending for Immigration and Customs Enforcement as part of any congressional deal to bolster border security and keep the government open.The anti-progressives say the Homeland Security Department’s budget should be cut, not enlarged, because it has an “inhumane” agenda toward immigrants and children. In a letter circulated Thursday, they say next year’s budget offers a chance to “reform” the agency.

They add, “In the meantime, not another dollar.”

The letter is signed by freshman Democrats Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. All four have in the past advocated abolishing ICE, which is part of Homeland Security.

Democrats are offering further details of their border security plan. They unveiled a measure Thursday that would not provide money for President Donald Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall and denying his request for additional border agents.

The move ignores Trump’s warnings that they’d be wasting their time if they don’t come up with wall money.

The Democratic measure, totaling almost $22 billion for U.S. Customs, the border patrol, and immigration agents, would significantly increase spending for scanners at ports of entry, humanitarian aid for apprehended migrants, and new aircraft to police the U.S.-Mexico border.

It would also freeze the number of border patrol agents and block any wall construction in wildlife refuges along the border. It would provide for hiring 1,000 additional customs agents.

Negotiators face a Feb. 15 deadline to avert another partial government shutdown.

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