The President’s Fiscal Year 2015 Budget: Department of Homeland Security

March 11, 2014

FY 2015 Total DHS Request: $ 38.175 billion [FY 2014 Enacted: $39.225 billion – a decrease of $1.049 billion or 2.7 percent]

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

FY 2015 Request: $5.359 billion [FY 2014 Enacted: $5.614 billion – a decrease of $255 million or 4.5 percent] (This includes 20,585 positions, and 19,019 full-time equivalents (FTEs) in FY 2015).

  • Not less than $1.6 billion of the total amount shall be available to identify individuals convicted of a crime who may be deportable, and to remove them if judged deportable.
  • FY 2014 enactment continues and modifies an FY 2013 provision prohibiting the use of funds for an ICE Public Advocate position. The FY 2015 request proposes to delete the section of the budget barring funds for the Public Advocate position and any successor position. In late 2013, House Republicans introduced the Immigration Compliance Enforcement (ICE) Act (R.3732), which would prohibit the use of federal funds for any position within ICE with similar functions as the Public Advocate position. In March 2014, the House Judiciary Committee advanced that legislation.

Criminal Alien Program: $322.407 million [FY 2014 enacted: $294.155 millionan 8.9 percent increase] to identify, interview, and initiate removal proceedings against noncitizens held in local, state and federal prisons. (This includes 1,534 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) positions – a small increase from 1,495 FTEs in FY 2014.)

  • CAP screens all intakes at more than 4,300 federal, state and local prisons and jails, using a risk-based approach to prioritize jails and prisons with the highest populations of foreign-born nationals.
  • More than 1,688 CAP officers [representing 1,495 FTEs] monitor facilities to identify individuals for removal processing and prioritization, and respond to more than 1.25 million biographic and biometric immigration alien queries forwarded by the Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC). LESC responds to immigration status determination requests from law enforcement agencies. CAP and Secure Communities are closely aligned.

Transfer of Secure Communities/Comprehensive Identification and Removal of Criminal Aliens (CIRCA) into CAP: $26.021 million [FY 2014 enacted level of Secure Communities/CIRCA was $25.264 million]

  • The FY 2015 request would transfer funding and the infrastructure components of Secure Communities/CIRCA into CAP. Having requested $26.021 million for the transfer, the FY 2015 request zeroes out funding for Secure Communities/CIRCA and provides for 0 standalone positions and 0 FTEs for that program. The $26.021 million requested for the transfer represents a 3.0 percent increase from the $25.264 million provided to fund Secure Communities/CAP in the FY 2014 enactment.
  • The request seeks the transfer of Secure Communities/CIRCA funds to CAP in light of the completion of nationwide deployment of interoperability.
  • 287(g): $24.3 million sustaining the FY 2014 enacted level. The FY 2015 requested funding for 287(g) is included in the funds allotted to CAP.
    • The FY2015 request provides that “not less than $5,400,000 shall be used to facilitate agreements consistent with” section 287(g).

Executive Office for Immigration Review: up to $4 million may be transferred to Department of Justice, EOIR, to increase efficiencies in immigration court processes.

  • Under FY 2014 enactment, $ 4 million of EOIR funding is derived by transfer from fee collections.

Domestic Investigations: $1.645 billion [FY 2014 enacted level: $1.672 billion a decrease of 16.5 percent] for leading interagency law enforcement task forces and operations, conducting I-9 audits and enforcement investigations and managing ICE’s national security work. (This represents 8,333 positions comprising 7,775 FTE, which is unchanged from FY 2014.)

  • Mission statement: “The Office of Domestic Investigations’ mission is to defend the Nation by enforcing trade and immigration laws through investigations that target people, money and materials that support terrorists and other criminal activities.”
  • The Office of Domestic Investigations provides contractual support for the following: wiretap and surveillance services, field operations, undercover operations, investigations of national security threats, investigations of visa overstays and travel related to investigations.
  • The Office of Domestic Investigations contains four programs: National Security Investigations; Financial, Narcotics & Special Operations Investigations; Transnational Crime and Public Safety Investigations; and Investigative Services. Program expenditures fall into four categories: illicit trade (49%), illicit travel (34%), illicit finance (15%) and investigative support (2%).
  • Cost savings include a decrease of $12.2 million for reduced IT contracts and $72.2 million for termination of one-time costs associated with enhancements and non-recurring costs in FY 2014.
  • The Overstay Analysis Unit (OAU) is one of the units within National Security Investigations. The OAU identifies visa overstays through research and analysis of individuals suspected of overstaying their visas in violation of the terms of their admission.

International Investigations: $101.228 million [FY 2014 enacted: $99.741 million, an increase of 1.5 percent] (This represents 302 positions comprising 243 FTEs, which is unchanged from the FY 2014 enacted levels).

  • Mission statement: “The Office of International Affairs (OIA) includes offices in 49 countries. International Investigations represents the international assets of all ICE programs and collaborates with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other DHS components. OIA liaises with foreign governments and international partners to facilitate the enforcement of U.S. customs and immigration laws beyond our borders in an effort to interdict criminals and prevent or disrupt criminal activity.”

Custody Operations: $1.792 billion, to support 30,539 detention beds. [FY 2014 enacted: $1.994 billion, including funding for 34,000 detention beds.] The FY 2015 budget request represents a decrease of $202 million, or 10.1 percent, $155.3 million of which comes from reducing detention beds. The FY 2015 budget request includes 5,391 positions, comprising 5,095 FTE, which is unchanged from FY 2014 levels.

  • Reduction of $155.3 million from reducing detention beds from 34,000 to 30,539. The reduction in detention beds represents a cost-effective accommodation of mandatory and non-mandatory priority detainees, with emphasis on detaining violent criminals, felons and repeat offenders. ICE would take advantage of lower-cost alternatives to detention programs for low-risk, non-mandatory detainees.
  • Decrease of $18.3 million by aligning staffing levels at the Service Processing Centers with nationwide detention levels. Includes six Service Processing Centers owned by ICE and seven Contract Detention Facilities utilized (but not owned) by ICE to house detainees.
  • Also includes funding for bed space obtained by ICE through Inter-Governmental Service Agreements (IGSAs) – agreements with state and local governments – and Intra-Government Agreements (IGAs) – intra-government agreements with the U.S. Marshall Service. In FY 2013 there were approximately 239 IGSAs and IGAs in 46 states.
  • Provides $45 million of Custody Operations funding to be used for a Multi-Year Bed Funding Pilot Program. The program would allow ICE to shift to five-year contracts with an additional five-year renewal option, rather than the current one-year base period (renewable under four one-year options). Expanding the time horizon for bed funding would allow ICE to incentivize contractors to provide better rates.
  • DHS may propose to reprogram funds necessary to ensure the detention of aliens prioritized for removal.
  • No funds may be used to continue any contract for detention if the two most recent performance evaluations are less than “adequate” or the equivalent median score in any subsequent evaluation system.
  • Provides for various detention reforms, including implementation of the revised detention standards (the 2011 Performance-Based National Detention Standards (PBNDS 2011), improvements in Risk Classification Assessment, developing new detention facilities, and reducing long-distance detainee transfers, so detainees can remain closer to their families and attorneys.

Alternatives to Detention: $94.106 million [FY 2014 enacted: $91.444 million – a $2.662 million or 2.9 percent increase] ATD programs provide alternate detention options for individuals where detention is neither mandated nor appropriate. Program participation is expanded while working with EOIR to prioritize individuals in alternatives programs. Only low-risk individuals will be enrolled in ATD programs. (This includes 191 positions, comprising 170 FTEs, which is unchanged from FY 2014.)

  • This reduction in detention beds is requested as a program change that would lead to $183.1 million in cost savings.
  • ATD applies after individualized case review where a particular individual is found to be low-risk, but requires more supervision than release on bond.

Legal Proceedings (Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA)): $214.731 million [FY 2014 enacted: $205.584 million – an increase of 4.4 percent] to represent ICE in removal and other immigration court proceedings. (This represents 1,218 FTE positions, an increase of 36 FTEs from FY 2014.)

  • OPLA provides legal advice, support and training to all ICE components. It is the largest legal program in DHS and the exclusive legal representative for the U.S. government in exclusion, deportation and removal proceedings before EOIR.
  • OPLA includes the Field Legal Operations (FLO), the Homeland Security Investigations Law Division (HSILD), the Enforcement and Removal Operations Law Division (EROLD), the Immigration Law & Practice Division (ILPD), and the District Court Litigation Division (DCLD). Contained within HSILD are the National Security Law Section (NSLS), the Human Rights Law Section (HRLS) and the Criminal Law Section (CLS). Contained within EROLD are the Enforcement Law Section (ELS) and the Detention and Removal Law Section (DRLS).
  • The FY 2015 budget request will support over 900 attorneys to litigate and process immigration and customs cases, including 38 Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys.

Fugitive Operations: $131.591 million [FY 2014 enacted: $128.802 million – an increase of 2.2 percent] to identify and apprehend priority noncitizens who have absconded from immigration proceedings.

  • The FY 2015 request includes a program change accounting for an increase of $1.83 million. The change would allow ICE to undertake 589 additional immigration enforcement priority or highest-threat cases from its fugitive backlog list.
  • Includes funding for 129 Fugitive Operations Teams.

Office of Intelligence: $77.045 million [FY 2014 enacted: $74.298 million – an increase of 3.7 percent] to manage ICE’s intelligence operations and analyze information for ICE’s executive management (This includes 468 positions comprising 368 FTEs, which is unchanged FY 2014 levels.)

Transportation and Removal Program: $229.109 million [FY 2014 enacted: $276.925 million – a decrease of 17.3 percent] to provide for secure transportation of individuals in ICE custody between facilities and during removal. (This includes 40 FTE positions, unchanged from FY 2014 levels.)

  • The FY 2015 request includes a reduction of $29.5 million for reduced transportation requirements arising from the proposed program change reducing the number of detention beds.

Visa Security Program: $31.854 million [FY 2014 enacted: $31.541 million – an increase of 1.0 percent] to prevent terrorists, criminals, and other ineligible applicants from receiving visas. (This includes 76 positions, comprising 61 FTEs, which is unchanged from FY 2012 levels.)

  • The Visa Security Program enhances visa issuance at high-risk overseas posts, by identifying and investigating potential terrorist and criminal threats seeking to exploit the legal visa process.
  • Manages 20 ICE attaché offices in 16 countries.

Automation Modernization: $26 million [FY 2014 enacted: $34.900 million – a decrease of 25.5 percent] to facilitate information sharing across DHS, ICE and other partner organizations; improve case management; and better enable investigative and intelligence operations.

Program Change Requests and Efficiencies: The FY 2015 request proposes several program changes that would affect appropriations, some of which have already been discussed above. The request also proposes additional efficiencies and reductions that would yield cost savings.

  • FOIA Analyst Enhancement: $964,000 to provide ICE with 12 additional full-time personnel (amounting to 6 FTEs) to help process Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests in FY 2015.
  • CBP to ICE Detainee Transfer: $2.5 million to allow ICE to expedite the transfer to ICE custody of CBP apprehended and detained individuals in high volume areas, including the Southwest border.
  • Detention Reform Outreach: $1.42 million for training and outreach relating to the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA), the Performance Based National Detention Standards (PBNDS), the use of segregation and other Administration initiatives related to detention reform.
  • Fugitive Operations Increase: $1.83 million to allow ICE to remove 589 additional immigration enforcement priority cases (high-threat cases and/or cases from the fugitive backlog list).
  • Criminal History Information Sharing Program: $600,000 to allow ICE to expand its Criminal History Information System and share information with foreign partners in the Caribbean and Central America.
  • Efficiencies in Detention and Alternatives to Detention: Savings of $183.1 million. As discussed above, the request would cut the required number of detention beds and shift low-risk, non-violent individuals to cheaper alternatives to detention.
  • Detention Bed and Healthcare Savings: Savings of $18.3 million. As referenced above, in reducing the required number of detention beds, ICE would be able to achieve significant cost savings by bringing contract guard staffing levels at Service Processing Centers in line with national standards.
  • Administrative Savings and Service wide Reductions: Savings of $20 million. The request identifies several opportunities to find efficiencies in information technology (IT) spending, allowing for ICE to achieve significant savings by eliminating several existing IT contracts. 

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

FY 2015 Total Request: $13.096 billion [FY 2014 Enacted: $12.377 billion – a 5.5 percent increase]

  • The need to enhance CBP’s Remote Video Surveillance System and Mobile Video Surveillance Systems were cited as major increases. This would upgrade current surveillance technology at the northern and southern borders and “may include electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) cameras, ground surveillance radars (GSR), laser range finders, laser illuminators, global positioning systems (GPS), and command, control, communication systems.”

Border Security and Control between Ports of Entry: $3.938 billion [FY 2014 Enacted: $3.730 billion – a 5.6 percent increase]

  • $56.608 million for training between ports of entry [FY 2014 Enacted: $55.558 million – a 1.9 percent decrease]
  • Maintains the record number of border patrol agents at 21,370.
  • CBP anticipates finishing a congressional mandated Manpower Requirement Determination (MRD) process that collects and analyzes the human capital needed to perform US Border Patrol missions. The MRD process will establish a methodology to develop human capital requirements that is verifiable, repeatable and defensible.
  • The Border Patrol is developing performance goals to frame its unique contribution to comprehensive border security. These new measures are not intended to be the sole measures to assess border security. Rather, they will be included in a suite of measures that already exist or are in development that, when combined, will provide a comprehensive picture of the state of border security.

Border Security Inspections and Trade Facilitation at Ports of Entry: $3.204 billion [FY 2014 Enacted: $3.216 billion – a .3 percent decrease]

  • $33.906 million for training at ports of entry [FY 2014 Enacted: $40.703 million – a 16.7 percent decrease]
  • Increases the number of CBP officers to a record 25,775. This includes 2,000 additional officers funded through FY 2014 appropriations and an additional 2,000 from proposed fee increases. According to DHS, this increase is projected to add nearly 66,000 new jobs and $4 billion to the Gross Domestic Product, while helping to reduce wait times and expediting the flow of trade and tourism.

Border Security, Fencing, Infrastructure and Technology: $362.446 million for physical and technological infrastructure and surveillance on the borders. [FY 2014 Enacted: $351.454 million – a 3.1 percent increase]

  • $35.6 million for The Tethered Aerostat Radar System (TARS or blimps) program with eight TARS sites: Six sites are located on the Southwest border, one site is in Florida, and one site is in Puerto Rico. This program was transferred from the Department of Defense to DHS in FY2014.
  • $26.589 million for Integrated Fixed Towers (IFTS) [FY2014 enacted: $86.816 million a 69% decrease]

Air and Marine: $708.685 million including equipment and salaries for marine and aviation border security, including unmanned aircraft systems. [FY 2014 Enacted: $805.068 million – a 12 percent decrease]

  • $293.016 million for salaries and expenses of Air and Marine Officers [FY 2014 Enacted: $818 – a 2.2 percent increase]
  • $362.669 million for Air and Marine operations and maintenance [FY 2014 Enacted: $391.918 million – a 7.5 percent decrease]
  • $53.000 million for Air and Marine procurement [FY 2014 Enacted: $126.250 million – a 59 percent decrease]
  • Mission critical assets include 213 aircraft (including fixed wing, rotary helicopters, and unmanned aircraft systems), approximately 305 marine vessels, fixed and mobile surveillance equipment and ground vehicles.
  • Will maintain approximately the same level of flight hours from FY 2013 of 73,474 hours. This is a 17,000 hour reduction from the current fiscal year.

Construction and Facilities Management: $482.205 million for construction at land Ports of Entry [FY 2014 Enacted: $456.278 million – a 5.7 percent increase].

Related: Federal Emergency Management Agency Operation Stonegarden Grants: $0 (FY 2014 Enacted: $55 million – elimination of program) provides funding to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to enhance their capabilities “to jointly secure U.S. borders and territories.”

Citizenship and Immigration Services

FY 2013 Total Budget Authority: $3.260 billion [FY 2014 Enacted: $3.219 billion – an increase of 1.3 percent] (appropriates $134.755 million of which 124.755 million is for E-verify and $10,000 for Citizenship and Integration).

E-Verify: $124.775 million [FY 2014 Enacted: $113.889 million – an increase of 9.5 percent] appropriated funds for maintenance and improvements to the employment eligibility verification system (E-Verify). For fiscal year 2015, priorities include improvements to E-Verify Self Check and VIS Modernization initiative. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has begun phasing in the enhanced employer enrollment process and account maintenance initiative for E-Verify as part of the VIS Moderations Initiative. In addition, it allocates $4.5 million to identify and implement the Final Non-Confirmation (FNC) appeals process, which will allow the government to review errors in the system.

Citizenship Integration Grant Program: $10 million [FY 2014 Enacted: $2.5 million in appropriations, a 300 percent increase]. DHS requests for the 10 million to be provided through a discretionary Salaries and Expenses Account appropriated money rather than from fee fund. In FY 2014 Congress appropriated $2.5 million and permitted an additional $7.5 million to be used from the fee account.

FY 2013 Immigration Examinations Fee Account: $3.072 billion [FY 2014 Enacted: $3.049 billion – an increase of 1.0 percent].

  • The bulk of USCIS funding comes from the Immigration Examinations Fee Account, into which are deposited the fees collected by applicants for immigration benefits. Funds are used to operate USCIS District Offices, Service Centers, Asylum/Refugee Operations, Records, Business Transformation, Information and Customer Services, and Administration. The below funding for USCIS levels are funded through the Immigration Examinations Fee Account.  

Asylum and Refugee Services: $238.755 million [FY 2014 Enacted: $236.494 million – a 0.9 percent increase] these services are funded entirely from the Immigration Examinations Fee Account.

Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE): $ 30.259 million [FY 2014 Enacted: $29.937 million – a 1.2 percent increase] to assist federal, state and local benefit-granting agencies with determining eligibility for benefits by verifying immigration status.

Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman: $6.4 million [FY 2014 Enacted: $5.2 million – 23 percent increase]. This includes 35 FTE positions to assist individuals and employers with cases pending before USCIS and to propose policy changes to mitigate identified problems.

U.S. Citizenship Foundation: $3 million. The initiative, funded from premium processing fee collections, will provide start-up funding to establish the U.S. Citizenship Foundation. The Foundation will function as a charitable and nonprofit entity authorized to accept private donations to support its mission to expand instruction and training on citizenship rights and responsibilities, support a multi-sector approach to immigrant civic integration in the United States and promote the importance of U.S. citizenship.

U – Visa: USCIS requests insertion of a provision to raise the statutory cap for visa petitions under 8U.S.C §1184(p)(2)(A) from 10,000 to 20,000, for FY 2015. The U nonimmigrant status (U visa) is set aside for victims of certain crimes who have suffered mental or physical abuse and are helpful to law enforcement or government officials in the investigation or prosecution of criminal activity. Over the last few years the current cap has been reached before the end of the fiscal year creating a backlog.

Fraud Prevention and Detection Account: $41 million [FY 2014: $41 million – no change]. This funding is supported by projected fee receipts in FY 2015. It includes a $94 thousand increase in Asylum, Refugee and International Operations, to support activities related to fraud verification activities of the Overseas Verification Program, which is designed to confirm events and statements, and authenticate documents that originate in foreign locations.

Related: U.S. Department of Education English Literacy and Civics Education Grants: $71 million [FY 2014 Enacted: $70.8 million – a increase of .3 percent]. This amount is a set-aside from the larger amount granted to states for Adult Education, to pay for integrated English literacy and civics education services to immigrants and other limited-English-proficient populations.

Office of the Inspector General

FY 2015 Request: $145.457 million (FY 2014 Enacted: $139.437 million – a 4.3 percent increase) with 725 FTE positions to conduct audits, inspections, special reviews and investigations of DHS programs and operations.

  • Office of Inspections: 39 FTE positions.
  • Office of Audits: 164 FTE positions.
  • Office of Investigations: 263 FTE positions.
  • Office of Emergency Management Oversight: 92 FTE positions.

Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

FY 2015 Total Request: $22.003 million [FY 2014 Enacted: $21.500 million – an increase of 2.3 percent) with 97 FTE positions to advise and train DHS leadership on civil rights and civil liberties issues, investigate civil rights and civil liberties complaints from the public and manage DHS’s equal employment opportunity programs.

  • CRCL is specifically involved in the oversight of ICE’s 287(g) and Secure Communities programs by providing policy advice, investigations and training.