For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano unveiled the Department’s $55.1 billion FY 2010 budget request today, focused around five major priorities—counterterrorism; border security; enforcement of immigration laws; disaster preparedness, response and recovery; and Department unification—designed to create a leaner, smarter, more effective agency.
“Our proposed budget strengthens current efforts that are vital to our nation’s security, bolsters our ability to respond to emerging and evolving threats, and enables DHS to embrace new responsibilities,” said Secretary Napolitano. “This budget represents a critical investment in the protection of the American people. It reflects the five priorities I have set for the Department, which will be achieved through strong partnerships, investments in technology and an emphasis on efficiency.”
In addition to enhancing each priority area, the proposed DHS budget furthers Secretary Napolitano’s major reform goals—government efficiency, transparency and cohesion—to bring about a new culture of responsibility and fiscal discipline at DHS. The FY 2010 budget request was based on alignment with the Department priorities, and programs were assessed based on effectiveness and risk.
Secretary Napolitano’s recently announced Efficiency Review initiative—intended to streamline operations and eliminate redundancy and waste—will help to ensure that the funds requested are used as effectively as possible. The Department will save more than $40,000 on this year’s budget roll-out from previous years by printing fewer copies of the budget materials, posting the information online and hosting stakeholder briefings at a government facility.
FY2010 Budget Priorities:
Guarding Against Terrorism—Protecting the American people from terrorist attacks is the founding purpose of DHS and the Department’s highest priority. The proposed DHS budget expands efforts to battle terrorism, including funding for an additional 109 Bomb Appraisal Officers to help secure the nation’s airports and 15 additional Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams to detect explosives in public spaces and transportation networks; $400 million to protect critical infrastructure and cyber networks from attack; $94.5 million to detect agents of biological warfare; and resources to expand information-sharing partnerships with state and local law enforcement to mitigate threats.
Securing Our Borders—DHS is on the frontlines of preventing the smuggling of people, drugs, cash and weapons across our nation’s borders while facilitating international trade and travel. In March, the Department announced a new initiative to strengthen security on the Southwest border in order to disrupt the drug, cash and weapon smuggling that fuels cartel violence in Mexico. The budget request strengthens those efforts by adding technology, assets and manpower, including an additional five U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) cutters and two patrol planes, 44 Border Patrol agents, 65 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, 349 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, analysts and investigators, 68 pilots, and 20 marine personnel. It also includes $40 million for smart security on the Northern border to expand and integrate surveillance systems.
Smart and Tough Enforcement of Immigration Laws—DHS welcomes new legal immigrants, protects against dangerous people entering the country, and pursues tough, effective enforcement against those who violate the nation’s immigration laws. The FY 2010 proposed budget contains $112 million to strengthen employment eligibility verification systems; designates $139 million to expedite the application process for new legal immigrants; allows for 80 new ICE Secure Communities personnel to target and crack down on criminal aliens; and $144.9 million to support the implementation of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which will both improve border security and facilitate trade and tourism.
Preparing for, Responding to, and Recovering from Disasters—The Department aids state and local first responders in all stages of a disaster from preparation and response to long term recovery. DHS’ budget request provides nearly $4 billion for state and local grant programs, emergency management performance grants and firefighter assistance grants and $150 million for pre-disaster hazard mitigation efforts designed to reduce injuries, loss of life and destruction of property.
Unifying and Maturing DHS—DHS is a young department with offices dispersed throughout the country and the National Capital Region. To operate as one agency with a single, unified security mission, the proposed budget contains critical funding to consolidate more than 35 Department offices to new headquarters facilities and $200 million for new information technology infrastructure to standardize acquisitions and streamline maintenance and support contracts across the Department.
Secretary Napolitano also laid out three cross cutting initiatives to bolster activities in each priority area—increasing cooperation with state and local law enforcement, international allies, the private sector, and other federal departments; expanding DHS’ science and technology portfolio; and maximizing efficiency in operations.
The full DHS FY 2010 budget request can be found at www.dhs.gov/xabout/budget/.