Homeland Security

Rolling AnalysisHomeland SecuritySpoiler Alert: There's a $5 billion request for the wall.

Budget & Tax, National Security,  | Analysis
Mar 11, 2019  | 3 min read | Print Article

The President’s FY 2020 Budget Request includes $51.7 for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This is a $3.7 billion increase (7.8 percent) from the DHS 2019 estimated budget.

Border security accounts for over one-third of the total DHS budget, and of this, the lion’s share is for the president’s border wall. The budget request proposes $18.2 billion for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency (CBP), roughly $3 billion (20 percent) more than in FY2019. This includes a whopping $5 billion for construction of President Trump’s border wall in the DHS budget (and this doesn’t include additional $3.6 billion Defense Department, probably in the Military Construction portion of the Pentagon’s budget). It provides $192 million to hire 750 new Border Patrol agents, and $367 million for CBP aircraft, vessels, surveillance technology, and equipment. It also includes $1.2 billion for U.S. Coast Guard vessel and aircraft modernization, and $8.8 billion for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement service (ICE), up from $7.6 billion in FY 2019.

The Trump Administration is also proposing the creation of a new Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Fund. The fund would provide “additional mandatory funding resources necessary to meet the President’s border security and immigration enforcement goals.” [Emphasis added.] The details about this initiative are sketchy at this point, but it seems that the White House is trying to do an end-around around Congress it its efforts to beef up the Southwestern border. Mandatory spending is not part of the annual Congressional appropriations process, meaning if enacted, this fund would provide the president with money for border security outside of Congress’s normal budget control.

Securing the Nation’s Transportation Network The budget includes approximately $7.8 billion for the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) to safeguard our country’s aviation, but also mass transit, passenger and freight railway, pipeline, highway and port systems.

Cybersecurity The budget includes just over $1 billion for DHS’s cybersecurity efforts. DHS is the lead federal agency responsible for coordinating federal efforts to safeguard government computer networks and the nation’s critical IT infrastructure. It includes provisions intended to hire at least 150 new federal cybersecurity employees by the end of 2020.

Immigration Reform The Trump Administration is also urging Congress to enact immigration reform legislation. The budget calls for ending chain migration for families, canceling the visa lottery program, and moving to a merit-based system which discourages the immigration of low-skilled workers.

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