Going Through Airport Security? You May Be Helping Fund Detention Beds at the Southern Border

If Congress refuses to fund $1.1 billion that the administration is requesting for “border operations,” the Department of Homeland Security has asked agencies to come up with how they would re-allocate funds to pay for it, each essentially paying a ‘tax’ out of their budget.

Organizations such as FEMA would have to move funds away from disaster relief. The TSA’s plan is as follows:

  • $50 million that would have been used “to buy advanced airport screening equipment”
  • $64 million “from a worker’s compensation fund set aside for injured TSA employees in 2010”
  • $3 million from “change left in trays at airports”
  • Diverting funding for airport screening staff is also a possibility

In other words, if you go through an airport security checkpoint and accidentally leave change in one of the trays, your money may go to “personnel expenses, additional detention beds, and operations combating human smuggling and trafficking” at the U.S. border with Mexico. This is all detailed in documents obtained by news sources.

This is in addition to redeploying TSA employees to work at the southern border.

(HT: Jordan Allen)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. “…..essentially paying a ‘tax’ out of their budget”
    No, they are not paying a tax on their budget. The government, just like companies everyday, can re-allocate money that was budgeted for one purpose to another purpose. So in reality, these agencies are being asked to re-prioritize their funds.

  2. Excellent

    Obama: Change you can believe in!

    Trump: Change you can detain illegals with!

    I may leave a quarter in the tray next time

  3. We pay a designated fee to cover the cost of TSA’s security services. Such fees cannot be diverted to other purposes without the approval of Congress (and the House in particular). This diversion would be another overstep by the Executive branch.

  4. Don’t put loose change or anything of monetary value in the trays. They go inside a carry on or personal item that you won’t forget. Take 15 seconds to empty your pockets into a designated compartment of your bag, not onto those trays that go through the scanner.

  5. PJ…it’s correct when you say “government” can reallocate money, but it’s important to note that Congress has that authority, not the executive branch.

  6. Gosh I wonder how some of the people commenting on here travel the world and still have such xenophobic attitudes. There is a special place in hell for those who think it is okay to keep kids from their parents. And I live in Texas and my husband is involved in border security so please for the love of pete don’t say I don’t know what I am talking about. I’ve also traveled to border towns in Mexico and Latin America and seen how horrible and wretched and sometimes violent these areas are for the families living there. I’d challenge you to go and visit and imagine what you would do to save your kid from that. Come to the US and seek asylum? Heck yeah. Also try googling human trafficking, child trafficking, and sex trafficking along the border (this is how desperate these folks are, they are willing to risk this) and see where our money SHOULD be going.

  7. I’d rather if it funded a one way ticket back to wherever the hell they came from illegally,why should anyone invading another country receive anything but a quick trip back from where they came from and a threat of being thrown in jail [ preferably a Mexican jail] if ever caught here again.

  8. There is a special place in hell for people who hoards of illegals flooding this country or Europe who bring high levels of crime, violence, poverty and will always vote to take money away from productive people to pay for more welfare benefits.

    It is a disgrace that congress is aiding and abetting illegal immigration by not providing funds to secure the border. I wish Trump would declare martial law on the border already and send in 100,000 troops

  9. Re: “There is a special place in hell” from pious hypocrite John Rogerson, yeah if Jesus were at the border pretty sure he would welcome illegals with open arms. No doubt you would attempt to sentence him and the immigrants to a special place, but you are the one in that special place which is your current vitriol filled existence in the here and now. Not that I disagree with proper administration of borders, but I do disagree with hate filled rhetorical fueling alleged Christians.

  10. @dean. Love when people want to put the disadvantaged into jail for trying to get to a country for a better life. In the early 1900s there was a way for people from Italy, Ireland and other places to enter the USA. They were judged on an Island if they were healthy enough to walk up a set of stairs or not without having problems. Most were allowed in, but many were refused entry, not because of them being “Latino” . Today some “Americans” whose parents or grandparents also came in on those boats say send these “Latins” back but at the same time they eat the Peaches they pick in Georgia, the Strawberries in California, the Corn in the American heartland. They eat off the dishes that they clean at their local dinners. Golf on the grass at the golf course. Sleep in the hotels that the maids clean. @Dean you can not have it BOTH WAYS. When you tell them to SHIP THEM BACK but then you use the services and products that the MANY CITIZENS feel it below them to work at.

    So the next time you are at TSA remember that the money you leave helps send back the guy that polishes your shoes and cleans your dishes at the Airport Lounge because on other 20 yr old white male will do it, they rather be on welfare then work to support their family.

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