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DHS to Get $3 Billion For Border Wall, More Agents, Better Cybersecurity

The White House has asked Congress to spend an extra $3 billion in 2017 to fund a border wall and to bolster other security and repatriation programs run by the Department of Homeland Security.

“The president’s budget requests demonstrate a renewed focus on supporting the hard work of the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security,” said a statement from the Secretary of Homeland Security, John Kelly.

The budget document sent to Congress March 16 is titled “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again.” It is not the formal budget request for 2018 but outlines spending plans for 2018, and it requests amendments to the 2017 budgets set by Congress late last year. If the requested budget amendments are approved by Congress, the DHS 2017 budget in 2017 would rise by $3 billion.

The budget plan also calls for the DHS 2018 budget to be set at $44 billion. A comprehensive budget request for FY 2018 will be delivered to Congress in May. According to a department statement:

The FY 2017 Budget Amendment would provide $3 billion [in 2017] for DHS implementation of recent Executive Orders. The request would fund efforts to plan, design, and construct a physical wall along the southern border, and make other critical investments in tactical border infrastructure and technology. The request also proposes funding to increase immigration detention capacity, which is necessary to ensure the removal of illegal aliens from the United States. Finally, the request funds additional capacity at DHS to prepare for hiring additional immigration law enforcement officers and agents…

• Funds hiring of 500 new Border Patrol Agents and 1,000 new ICE law enforcement personnel, plus associated support staff.

• Provides a further investment of $2.6 billion for high priority tactical infrastructure and border security technology, including funding to continue planning, designing, and constructing a border wall.

• Provides $1.5 billion above the 2017 Annualized CR level to expand detention, transportation, and removal of illegal immigrants.

• Invests $15 million to begin implementation of mandatory nationwide use of the E-Verify Program.

• Includes $1.5 billion for DHS activities that protect federal networks and critical infrastructure from an attack.

• Sustains current funding levels for the U.S. Coast Guard, which allows for the continuation of day-to-day operations and investments in the Acquisition, Construction, & Improvements account.

• Restructures user fees for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to ensure that the cost of government services is not subsidized by taxpayers who do not directly benefit from those programs.

• Reduces Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administered grants, saving $667 million; additionally the budget proposes establishing a 25% non-federal cost match for FEMA preparedness grants that do not currently require a non-federal match.

Read the entire budget plan here

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