Trump Officials Defend Decision to Send FEMA Funds to ICE Ahead of Hurricane Dorian

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Sunday the funding changes won't "affect our ability to respond and recover from a major disaster"

Trump administration officials said Sunday that transferring $155 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Disaster Relief Fund to Immigration and Customs Enforcement won't affect the federal government's ability to respond to Hurricane Dorian, a massive storm headed for the country's east coast. 

As NBC News reported last week, the Department of Homeland Security notified Congress in July that to increase funding for court hearings for asylum seekers, FEMA would transfer $155 million to ICE.

In an interview with ABC's "This Week," acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said "no money has been moved yet."

"Any potential transfers will not impact our ability to respond to this storm or any other storms in the rest of the hurricane season," he said. "There are two different elements of the disaster recovery fund. The major disaster fund has $25 billion in it. So, a $155 million transfer from the base fund is not going to affect our ability to respond and recover from a major disaster."

McAleenan said his agency "needed that funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to respond to the ongoing humanitarian and border security crisis at the border."

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