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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

The White House, President George W. Bush

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
February 2, 2004

DHS Announces FY 2005 Budget

The Department of Homeland Security's budget exhibits the Administration's continuing commitment to secure the homeland by requesting total new resources for FY 2005 of $40.2 billion. This is an increase of 10 percent above the comparable FY 2004 resource level. The budget substantially increases funding for DHS from 2003 -- the year that the Department was created -- and continues the dramatic growth for agencies that are now a part of DHS. The President's budget as a whole clearly demonstrates the continuing priority placed on Homeland Security in requesting new government-wide discretionary resources for FY 2005 of $30 billion. This is an increase of 9.7 percent above the comparable FY 2004 resource level. The budget for the Department of Homeland Security builds upon the significant investments to date that improve our safeguards against terrorism, while also sustaining the many important departmental activities not directly related to our fight against terrorism. The DHS budget number includes sources of funding such as discretionary and mandatory appropriations, offsetting collections from user fees, and trust funds

The key themes of the budget are as follows:

Strengthening Border and Port Security

$411 million in new funding to maintain and enhance border security activities, including the expansion of pre-screening cargo containers in high-risk areas and the detection of individuals attempting to illegally enter the United States. Additional funding for the U.S. Coast Guard (8 percent increase) will upgrade port security efforts and implement the Maritime Transportation Security Act. Key enhancements in the FY 2005 budget include:

  • The Container Security Initiative (CSI), which focuses on pre-screening cargo before it reaches our shores. This budget includes an increase of $25 million over the current program funding of $101 million to continue both Phase I and II, as well as to begin the final phase of CSI.
  • The United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program's (US -VISIT) first phase is deployed at 115 airports and 14 seaports. US VISIT expedites the arrival and departure of legitimate travelers, while making it more difficult for those intending to do us harm to enter our nation. The budget provides $340 million in 2005, an increase of $12 million over the FY 2004 funding to continue expansion of the US VISIT system.

    [ ... ]

    Enhancing Immigration Security and Enforcement

    A requested appropriated funding increase of $186 million would fund improvements in immigration enforcement both domestically and overseas, including a doubling of current worksite enforcement efforts and a $108 million increase for the detention and removal of illegal aliens. Overall, the ICE budget increases by almost 10% over FY 2004. To enhance immigration security and enforcement, the budget includes:

    • Detention and Removal. An increase of $108 million in FY 2005 will expand ongoing fugitive apprehension efforts and the removal from the United States of jailed offenders, support additional detention and removal capacity.
    • Immigration Enforcement appropriated funding will be increased by $78 million for detecting and locating individuals in the United States who are in violation of immigration laws, or who are engaging in immigration-related fraud and will improve visa security by working cooperatively with U.S. consular offices to review visa applications.

    Reducing the Immigration Backlog

    The budget includes $160 million in total resources to continue progress toward a six-month processing for all immigration applications, while maintaining security and continuing the President's multi-year $500 million initiative to reduce the backlog of applications. Over the last year, CIS has continued the focus on quality improvements and expanded national security checks, such as performing background name checks on all applications before approval.

    [ ... ]

    [ End ]

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