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WaPo: ICE Considers Mass Release Of Migrants To Cover Budget Shortfall


The Washington Post reportingthat, "U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has drafted plans to release thousands of immigrants and slash its capacity to hold detainees" due to, "a $700 million budget shortfall."

  • The report comes as immigration dominates the political discourse ahead of November's general election, displacing inflation as the key issue in many districts. A mass release of migrants, while intuitively more harmful to Democrats, could also damage the GOP if Democrat messaging is effective .
  • A bipartisan border bill, negotiated over a period of months in the Senate, which would have boosted funding for ICE by USD$7.6 billion was blocked by Senate Republicans earlier this month after a campaign led by former President Donald Trump cratered support for the deal.
  • Polling suggests that voters overwhelming blame Democrats for the uptick in migration at the border but if the White House can communicate to voters that Congressional Republicans undermined a bill that would have meaningfully reformed border policy, it could repair a major political vulnerability for Democrats.
  • A special election in New York yesterday was won by moderate Democrat Tom Suozzi who ran a campaign which was to the right of much of the Democratic conference's position on immigration potentially providing a 2024 blueprint for Democrats.
  • Although caution should be taken against reading too much into highly localised special elections, Suozzi's campaign also appeared to successfully argue that Congressional Republicans blocked the border deal for political purposes, suggesting that a similar nationwide message could gain traction for Democrats.

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