June 25, 2019

S.1900 – Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for the Border


Background: Due to an unprecedented surge of people crossing our southern border, the Department of Health and Human Services will run out of money to provide shelter and care for more than 13,000 unaccompanied children in the next few weeks. On May 1, President Trump requested $4.5 billion in emergency supplemental funding to provide humanitarian aid including shelter, food, and medical care to migrants.

Floor Situation: The Senate Appropriations Committee adopted S.1900, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act by a vote of 30-1 on June 19. The Senate is expected to insert the text of this bill as an amendment to a House appropriations bill.

Executive Summary: The appropriations bill provides approximately $4.6 billion for the humanitarian crisis at the border, with $2.88 billion for HHS to provide shelter and care for unaccompanied children. The bill contains no funding for construction or repair of a border wall.

On May 1, President Trump requested $4.5 billion in emergency funding for the humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border. The Senate bill provides $2.88 billion for the Office of Refugee Resettlement at the Department of Health and Human Services, the same amount requested by the president. The Senate bill provides $1.3 billion for the Department of Homeland Security versus $1.1 billion requested by the president. For the Department of Justice, the Senate bill provides $220 million, a $65 million increase over the president’s request. The Department of Defense would receive $145 million to reimburse its border operations expenses, versus $377 million requested by the president.


Title I – Justice

Appropriates $220 million for the Department of Justice:

  1. $65 million to fund 30 new immigration judge teams for the Executive Office for Immigration Review

  2. $155 million for the United States Marshals Service for housing, transportation, and care for federal detainees

Title II – Defense

Appropriates approximately $145 million for the Department of Defense for operating expenses related to the use of the military at the southern border:

  1. $93 million for the Army

  2. $21 million for the Army National Guard

  3. $13 million for the Marine Corps

  4. $18 million for the Air Force

Title III – Homeland Security

Appropriates $1.34 billion for the Department of Homeland Security, including:

  1. $1 billion for U.S. Customs and Border Protection

    1. $708 million for operation of migrant care facilities

    2. $112 million for medical care and consumables for migrants

    3. $35 million for transportation

    4. $110 million for overtime and temporary duty for CBP officers

    5. $50 million for IT and business system improvements for CBP

  2. $209 million for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement$85 million for procurement, construction, and improvements for migrant care facilities

    1. $36 million for ICE to transport unaccompanied children

    2. $12 million for transportation of detainees for medical care and court proceedings

    3. $20 million to fund alternatives to detention

    4. $45 million for detainee medical care

    5. $70 million for pay adjustments of ICE officers

    6. $21 million for counter-human trafficking operations

  3. $30 million for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reimburse states, local governments, and nongovernmental organizations for care of homeless migrants

Title IV – Health and Human Services

Appropriates $2.88 billion to the Office of Refugee Resettlement at the Department of Health and Human Services, including:

  1. At least $866 million to provide care in licensed shelters and increase the number of beds in state-licensed shelters

  2. At least $100 million for post-release services, child advocates, and legal services

  3. At least $8 million to hire additional federal field specialists and increase case management and case coordination services to place unaccompanied children with sponsors

  4. At least $1 million to hire project officers and program monitor staff for the Unaccompanied Alien and Children program

  5. $5 million to HHS Office of Inspector General to provide oversight

  6. General Provisions

    1. HHS must prioritize community-based residential care such as small shelters and group homes over large shelter facilities.

    2. Influx shelters, which provide temporary shelter to unaccompanied children, can only be used as a last resort and must be monitored to comply with child welfare standards.

    3. HHS must notify Congress 15 days in advance of opening a new influx facility. 

    4. Ensures that, when feasible, certain children are not placed in influx facilities, including children who would be expected to be there for more than 30 days.

    5. Provides oversight access to members of Congress, as long as visits are coordinated at least two business days in advance so that visits do not inhibit facilities from functioning properly.

    6. HHS must report to Congress monthly on the number and ages of children separated from their parents or guardians, as well as the cause of separation.

    7. HHS must provide Congress with a spending plan detailing how it will use all funds.


The president has not yet issued a Statement of Administration Policy on this bill.


According to the Congressional Budget Office estimate, S.1900 would not have any impact on mandatory spending. If enacted, the measure would provide $4.586 billion in emergency discretionary appropriations. The emergency designation permits the statutory limits on such spending to adjust upward and avoid a breach.