National Immigration Forum

Practical Solutions for Immigrants and America

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Administration releases more details on budget

May 19, 2009 - Posted by Maurice Belanger

On May 7th, the Administration released more details about its Fiscal Year 2010 budget request to Congress.


 


In a press release from the Department of Homeland Security, five budget priorities for the Department were listed, two of them having to do with immigration.  Within those priorities, some of the requests being made include:


 




  • Additional resources to carry out the Department’s Southwest border security initiative targeted at drug, cash, and weapon smuggling associated with Mexican drug cartels.  The budget requests an additional five Coast Guard cutters and two patrol planes, 44 Border Patrol agents, 65 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers, 349 ICE agents, analysts and investigators, 68 pilots, and 20 marine personnel.



  • $112 million to strengthen employment eligibility verification systems (a 12% increase);



  • 80 new ICE Secure Communities personnel to target and crack down on criminal aliens.




The budget also “designates” $139 million to expedite the application process for new legal immigrants.


 


Some additional details are provided in testimony of DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano before Congressional appropriations committees.  In the testimony, Secretary Napolitano explains that the additional request for E-Verify is “primarily for monitoring and compliance activities, as well as IT-related business initiatives to improve system use.”  E-Verify’s growth “will increase the need for monitoring and compliance activities to protect employees from discriminatory practices, safeguard privacy information, and enhance program efficacy.”


 


There is also $10 million requested for USCIS for immigrant integration.  This will allow “USCIS and the Office of Citizenship to work across the Federal Government and with state and local governments, U.S. businesses, non-profits, academia, and faith-based organizations to support effective integration efforts across the country. USCIS will provide grants to community-based organizations for citizenship preparation programs; facilitate English language learning through improved web resources; build volunteer capacity by developing a training certification framework for volunteers and, promote citizenship with integration messages at the workplace, among federal agencies, and the general public.”


 


ICE has published a Fact Sheet about its budget request.  Among the additional new budget initiatives mentioned in this fact sheet are:




  • $12.4 million for a Detention Facilities Inspection Group to “expand the number and scope of independent inspections on ICE detention facilities.”



  • $11.6 million for state and local law enforcement support to allow for permanent staff for the Office of State and Local Coordination to oversee outreach activities for the ICE ACCESS program.



  • $22 million for Detention and Removal Operations modernization.



  • $20.4 million to address deficiencies in the Division of Immigration Health Services infrastructure, and to begin design and development of an electronic health records system for detainees.



The Department of Education is making a request for $75 million for its English Literacy/Civics Education State Grants program, a $7.1 million increase.  This money helps “States and communities provide limited English proficient adults with expanded access to high-quality English literacy programs linked to civics education.”


 

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