Biden Budget Request on Immigration is a Missed Opportunity for Meaningful Change

May 28, 2021

WASHINGTON—The Biden administration disclosed today a $54.2 billion budget request for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for fiscal year 2022, representing an overall decrease in net budgetary authority of roughly 0.5% or $300 million.

The budget request calls for $2.8 billion for immigration detention (a decrease of just 2%); an additional $291 million for the Border Patrol; and $345 million for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to address naturalization and asylum backlogs. The president’s request also requests a flat funding level for ICE’s alternatives to detention programs.

The following statement is from Jorge Loweree, policy director at the American Immigration Council:

 “The Biden administration’s budget request seeking to largely maintain Trump-era funding levels for immigration enforcement— including immigration detention— is deeply disappointing and a missed opportunity for meaningful change. The president’s first budget represented a unique opportunity to set immigration enforcement in the United States on a new path that is efficient but also reduces the harm to immigrants, families, and our communities.

“The government’s own data confirms that immigration detention is unnecessary, and that far less harmful means exist to help ensure that immigrants attend their hearings in immigration court. Congress can and must consider reducing funding for detention and instead investing in appointed counsel and community-based support services for immigrants navigating our immigration system.”

The American Immigration Council has a range of research and other resources on the cost of immigration enforcement, funding for immigration benefits and relief, and community-based alternatives to detention, including experts available to speak on Biden’s agenda on legal immigration and immigration enforcement.



For more information, contact:


Maria Frausto at the American Immigration Council, [email protected] or 202-507-7526.

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I wasn't able to find this in the budget in any reasonable amount of time searching. [AR2]

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