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Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

The White House is asking for a boost to this year's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) budget, a proposal that includes 60,000 detention beds — 6,000 more than last year's budget proposal and around 15,000 more than ICE actually received.

Why it matters: It is a "wildly large" ask, an administration official told Axios. "It's almost too much money absent any sort of immigration reform."

By the numbers: The administration's immigration focus seems to have shifted from the border wall to detention.

  • The White House has proposed funds to hold an average of 55,000 adults and 5,000 family members each day in ICE detention centers. In the past two fiscal years, ICE has only been granted enough funding to fill an average of 45,000 beds each day.
  • Meanwhile, the administration is asking for just $2 billion for the border wall, significantly less than the $5 billion for the wall it requested last year, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • The proposal also includes funds for 4,600 new ICE personnel.
  • At $9.8 billion, the administration wants nearly $2 billion more in ICE's total "operations and support" budget than they received for this fiscal year, as Politico reported.

Between the lines: ICE held record numbers of migrants in detention during and shortly after the border crisis last summer — reaching an average of 55,000 detained migrants per day.

  • But the detained population never reached close to 60,000. The annual White House budget proposals are generally interpreted as a wish list and are expected to be negotiated with Congress.

The big picture: Next to Trump's border wall, funding for ICE detention space has caused the biggest headache during Congress budget negotiations.

  • It's become especially controversial in the wake of the family separation crisis in 2018, after which "abolish ICE" became a rallying cry among many in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
  • Over the past couple of years, congressional Democrats have tried to lower the number of immigrants ICE is legally allowed to detain, while the White House, Republicans and the Department of Homeland Security have pushed to expand that capacity.

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

U.S. drone strike victims' families in Afghanistan seek compensation

A relative of Ezmarai Ahmadi, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike, looks at the wreckage of a vehicle that was damaged in the strike in the Kwaja Burga neighbourhood of Kabul on Saturday. Photo: Hoshang Hashimi AFP via Getty Images

Relatives of 10 Afghans killed by a U.S. drone strike in Kabul last month said Saturday they want to see punishment and compensation over the deaths.

Driving the news: The relatives said it's "good news" that the U.S. had "officially admitted" that "they had attacked innocents" in the Aug. 29 strike that killed Zamarai Ahmadi, an aid worker with a U.S.-based group, and nine family members, but they still need "justice," per AFP.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
5 hours ago - Science

All-civilian Inspiration4 is back on Earth after flight to space

A side-by-side of the Inspiration4 crew and a shot of their capsule on the way back to Earth. Photo: SpaceX

The all-civilian Inspiration4 crew is back on Earth after their three-day mission in orbit.

The big picture: The launch and landing of this fully amateur, private space crew marks a changing of the guard from spaceflight being a largely government-led venture to being under the purview of private companies.

28 U.S. citizens depart Afghanistan on Qatar Airways flight

Passengers board a Qatar Airways aircraft bound to Qatar at the airport in Kabul on September 10, 2021. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department on Saturday confirmed that a Qatar Airways charter flight left Kabul on Friday with 28 U.S. citizens and seven lawful permanent residents on board.

The big picture: Friday's flight is the third such airlift by Qatar Airways since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, AP reports.