Skip to content

Department of Homeland Security — The President’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget


FY 2017 Discretionary Funding for DHS: $40.6 billion [representing a decrease of $400 million over FY 2016 Enacted levels or a decrease of 1.0 percent].


FY 2017 Total Spending Authority: $13.941 billion [FY 2016 Enacted: $13.254 billion; 5 percent increase]. The total amount includes $1.959 billion in collected fees and fines.

Management & Administration: $1.564 billion [FY 2016 Enacted: $1.452 billion; 7 percent increase]. This funding is for leadership, management and/or business administration services.

  • This funding includes $5 million to support analysis, test and evaluation activities regarding the incorporation of body-worn camera technology in CBP law enforcement operations.
  • Investigative Operations Division (IOD): 70.097 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $63.225 million; 11 percent increase ]. IOD investigates allegations of criminal and serious, non-criminal misconduct involving CBP employees, as well as fatal or significant use of force incidents.

Securing America’s Borders: $4.588 billion [ FY 2016 Enacted: $4.476 billion; 2.5 percent increase]. This program includes most of the items from the Border Security and Control between Ports of Entry (POEs) program in FY 2016 Enacted appropriations.

  • U.S. Border Patrol (USBP): $3.625 billion [FY 2016 Enacted: $3.491 billion; 4 percent increase]. This funding level supports 21,070 border patrol agents, which is 300 agents lower than the target provided in the FY 2016 Enacted appropriation. CBP argues that the lower agent target reflects realistic hiring expectations and will allow CBP to use the available pay resources from this lower level of staffing to invest in critical mission assets by recapitalizing aging radios and vehicles.  These investments are expected to allow for better response times and improved resolution of incidents and incursions.
  • Support for Current Unaccompanied Children Levels: $217.413 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $204.869 million; 5.8 percent increase]. This funding is for the care of families and unaccompanied children (UACs) in CBP custody. CBP is requesting funding to support 75,000 UACs, which is higher than the 58,000 UACs supported under FY 2016 funds.
  • Unaccompanied Children Contingency Fund: $210.260 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $204.869; 2.6 percent increase]. This includes funding to respond to unexpected increases in the number UACs crossing the Southwest Border in FY 2017.

Securing and Expediting Trade and Travel:  [FY 2016 Enacted: $4.043 billion; 10 percent increase]. This program includes the international trade and field operations items of the Border Security at Ports of Entry (POEs) program in FY 2016 Enacted appropriations.

  • This includes $223.890 million for the Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM). The President’s Budget proposes the transfer of OBIM from the National Protection and Program Directorate (NPPD) to CBP in order to advance the production of biometric data and analysis.
  • This funding provides $52.8 million for the second increment of the Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART) investment. The project will provide DHS with the next generation of biometric capture and identification technology, including iris and facial recognition.

Integrated Operations: $751.134 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $702.299 million; 6.5 percent increase]. This program includes funding for command and control, coordination, occupational health and safety and informational and situation awareness for multiple CBP mission programs.

Office of Chief Counsel: $53.5 million [FY2016 Enacted: $48.239 million; 11 percent increase]. This includes funding for 19 attorneys hired to provide training and legal services. CBP anticipates significant increases in legal services on law enforcement matters, including immigration, as a result from the Congressionally-mandated increase in law enforcement officers.

Office of Internal Affairs: $165.223 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $165.223 million; no change in funding].

  • The Office of Internal Affairs is responsible for investigating criminal misconduct of employees. From FY 2009 through FY 2015, the Office of Internal Affairs received and documented almost 48,000 allegations of CBP employee misconduct or other reportable matters and completed 9,455 internal affairs investigations.

Border Security, Fencing, Infrastructure and Technology: $447.461 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $447.461 million; no change in funding]. This is funding for physical and technological infrastructure and surveillance on the borders.

Air and Marine: $802.298 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $802.298 million; no change in funding]. This amount includes funding for equipment and salaries for marine and aviation border security as well as for unmanned aircraft systems.

  • Air and Marine Salaries and Expenses: $300.429 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $300.429 million; no change in funding].
  • Air and Marine Operations and Maintenance: $409.969 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $409.969 million; no change in funding].
  • Air and Marine Procurement: $91.9 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $91.9 million; no change in funding].

Construction and Facilities Management: $340.128 million for construction at land ports of entry [FY 2016 Enacted: $340.128 million; no change in funding]. This includes management of 4,300 owned and leased buildings and infrastructure, 1,500 towers and 4,650 acres of land.

Related: Federal Emergency Management Agency Operation Stonegarden Grants: $55 million [Maintains FY 2016 funding level]. Operation Stonegarden provides funding to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to enhance their capabilities “to jointly secure U.S. borders and territories.”


FY 2017 Total Requested: $5.858 billion [FY 2016 Enacted: $5.779 billion; 1.37 percent increase].

  • The president’s budget requests deletion of a provision prohibiting the use of funds for a Public Advocate position within ICE.

Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO): $3.104 billion [FY 2016 Enacted: $3.218 billion; 3.54 percent decrease]. ERO carries out the apprehension, detention, and removal of removable individuals from the U.S., prioritizing recent border crossers and those with criminal convictions.

Criminal Alien Program: $347 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $317 million; 9.46 percent increase]. This item includes costs to identify, interview and initiate removal proceedings against noncitizens held in local, state and federal prisons. The request calls for 1,631 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions, a small increase from 1,606 FTEs in FY 2016.

  • The Criminal Alien Program 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.
  • The budget request includes $6.6 million for the hiring of 100 officers (50 FTE) to support DHS’s Priority Enforcement Program (PEP). The officers will rapidly respond to upcoming releases from over 3,000 jurisdictions, as well as carry out arrests in jurisdictions that do not participate in PEP.

Domestic Investigations: $1.892 billion [FY 2016 Enacted: $1.762 billion; 7.4 percent increase]. This item funds ICE’s efforts in leading interagency law enforcement task forces and operations, conducting I-9 audits and enforcement investigations and managing ICE’s national security work. The request calls for 8,020 FTEs, an increase from 7,981 FTEs in FY 2016.

  • The Office of Domestic Investigations “executes a broad investigative portfolio that involves carrying the movement of people and goods across our borders.” The office has significant statutory power to investigate a wide range of illegality, including targeting 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.
  • Program expenditures for the Office of Domestic Investigations fall into four categories: illicit trade (50 percent), illicit travel (32 percent), illicit finance (16 percent) and investigative support (2 percent).

International Investigations: $114.255 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $107.210 million; 6.6 percent increase]. The Budget Request maintains the number of FTE at 225.

  • 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: $2.179 billion [FY 2016 Enacted: $2.317 billion; 5.9 percent decrease]. The Request supports 30,913 detention beds for individuals presenting a flight risk, a risk to public safety or national security, or both.

  • The 30,913 detention beds include 29,953 adult beds funded at an average daily rate of $126.46. 27,583 of the adult beds are funded by appropriations, while 2,370 are funded by the Breached Bond Detention Fund and Immigration Inspection User Fees. The average daily rate for adult beds presents a slight increase over FY 2016 levels (average daily rate of $123.54).
  • The detention beds include 960 family beds at an average rate of $161.36 per day. The Request forecasts a significant reduction in the cost of family beds, projecting the average daily rate for family beds to fall from $342.73 to $161.36. The projected cost savings from the decrease in the daily rate is $182.7 million.

Alternatives to Detention: $125.966 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $114.275 million; 10.2 percent increase]. Alternatives to Detention programs provide additional options for individuals for whom detention is neither mandated nor appropriate. The Request would fund 248 FTEs, a small decline from 251 FTEs in FY 2016. Alternatives to Detention require more supervision than release on bond.

Legal Proceedings (Office of the Principal Legal Advisor [OPLA]): $268.4 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $239.894 million; 11.9 percent increase]. Funding for OPLA covers the cost of representing ICE in removal and other immigration court proceedings, and includes funds to hire additional attorneys in field offices. The request calls for 1,552 FTEs, an increase from 1,471 FTEs in FY 2016.

  • 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), Enforcement and Litigation, Management and General Law, and Ethics.

Fugitive Operations: $133.133 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $156.572 million; 15.0 percent decrease]. These operations identify and apprehend priority noncitizens who have absconded from immigration proceedings. The Request would fund 829 FTEs, an increase from 805 FTEs in FY 2016.

  • The National Fugitive Operations Program (NFOP) was established to locate, arrest or otherwise reduce the fugitive alien population. Fugitive Operations’ primary goal is to locate and arrest removable criminal aliens who are at large within the United States.

Transportation and Removal Program: $318.647 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $313.174 million; 1.7 percent increase]. This program provides for secure transportation of individuals in ICE custody between facilities and during removal.

Unaccompanied Children Transportation Funding: $13.153 million [New request]. The Budget Request includes $13.153 in new funding for the transportation of unaccompanied children from DHS custody to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services.

  • The Request would provide $10.2 million for Transportation and Removal Program (TRP) base funding, which would cover the transportation costs of up to 75,000 unaccompanied children. The Request includes an additional $3 million for contingency transportation funding should the number of unaccompanied children entering the United States in FY 2017 exceed previous years’ levels.

Visa Security Program: $32.496 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $32.561 million; 0.2 percent decrease]. This program is designed to prevent terrorists, criminals and other ineligible applicants from receiving visas. The Request would leave the number of FTEs unchanged at 71.

  • The Visa Security Program enhances security around visa issuance at high-risk overseas posts by identifying and investigating potential terrorist and criminal threats seeking to exploit the legal visa process.

Automation Modernization: $43.230 million. [FY 2016 Enacted: $53 million; 18.4 percent decrease]. The Request would fund the update and/or refresh ICE’s technology infrastructure, financial system, and the law enforcement case management system.

Headquarters Managed Information Technology: $161.474 million. [FY 2016 Enacted: $148.957 million; 8.4 percent decrease]. The Request would fund 349 FTEs, a slight decrease from FY 2016. The funding would provide for improvements in Identity, Credentials, and Access Management, Cloud Support, and system bandwidth.


FY 2016 Enacted: $181.144 million. [FY 2016 Enacted: $161.488 million; 12.2 percent increase]. The Office of Inspector General conducts and supervises independent audits, inspections, special reviews and investigations of DHS programs and operations. The Request would fund 873 FTEs, an increase from 796 FTEs in FY 2016.


FY 2017 Request: $21.403 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $21.8 million, 1.8 percent decrease]. The Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties advises and trains DHS leadership on civil rights and civil liberties issues, investigates civil rights and civil liberties complaints from the public and manages DHS’ equal employment opportunity programs. It is specifically involved in the oversight of ICE’s 287(g) and PEP programs by providing policy advice, investigations and training.


FY 2017 Total Spending Authority: $4.018 billion [FY 2016 Enacted: $3.610 billion; 11.3 percent increase]. These include amounts to be collected under fee accounts as well as discretionary appropriations.

Immigration Examinations Fee Account: $3.829 billion [FY 2016 Enacted: $3.431 billion; 11.6 percent increase] This spending authority would allow for an increase of 2,069 FTE over that provided in FY 2016 to 16,577 FTE. Almost all 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, Adjudication Services, and Administration.

  • Immigration Status Verification. Immigration Status Verification (ISV) includes the E-Verify and the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) programs. Because of the programs’ similarities and sharing of the Verification Information System (VIS) the President’s Budget prorates projected investment and the operation and maintenance costs between the two programs.
    • E-Verify: $119.1 million for 398 FTE [FY 2016 Enacted: $119.671 million for salaries and expenses; 0.5 percent decrease]. These discretionary appropriations fund DHS’ employment eligibility verification system which allows employers to voluntarily check the legal status of their workers.
    • Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE): $37.071 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $27.021 million; 37 percent increase]. This program assists federal, state and local agencies in determining eligibility for licenses or public benefits by verifying the applicant’s immigration status. It is funded through a combination of fees charged to users of the system and funds from the Immigration Examinations Fee Account
  • Adjudication Services: $2.657 billion [FY 2016 Enacted: 2.311 billion; 15 percent increase] USCIS is responsible for the timely and quality processing and adjudication of family-based applications and petitions, employment-based applications and petitions, asylum and refugee applications and petitions and naturalization applications -processing applications of those who wish to become U.S. citizens.
    • Asylum, Refugee and International Operations: No amount specified. [FY 2016 Enacted: $259.350 million] This program is now included under adjudication services. It extends humanitarian protection and other immigration benefits to eligible individuals. No fees are charged to provide refugee and asylum protection; these services are funded entirely from the Immigration Examinations Fee Account.
    • The budget proposal seeks an additional $334.35 million, 2,487 positions, and 1,804 FTE to implement certain aspects of executive action on immigration in FY 2017 if they are no longer enjoined by the courts.

H-1B Nonimmigrant Petitioner Fee Account: $15 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $15 million; no change in funding]. INA section 286(s) (8 U.S.C. 1356(s)) specifies that certain other supplemental fees shall be collected and deposited into the H-1B Nonimmigrant Petitioner Account. Certain employers who participate in the H‑1B program must pay $1,500 in addition to the Form I-129 base filing fee. Of the amounts deposited into the H–1B Nonimmigrant Petitioner Account, 55% of the fee revenue is provided to the Department of Labor, 40% is provided to the National Science Foundation and 5% percent is retained by USCIS.

H1-B and L Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee Account: $45 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $45 million; no change in funding]. These funds are used to prevent and detect fraud in the delivery of all immigration benefit types to ensure the integrity of the immigration system.

Citizenship and Integration Grants: $10 million. [FY 2016 Enacted: $0] These grants would promote awareness and understanding of citizenship. This is the only federal program that supports the civic integration of lawful immigrants through citizenship preparation programs. These competitive grants expand the availability of high quality citizenship preparation programs for permanent residents in communities nationwide.


FY 2016 Enacted: $6 million [FY 2016 Enacted: $6.272 million; 4 percent decrease]. The USCIS Ombudsman assists individuals and employers with cases pending before USCIS and proposes policy changes to mitigate identified problems.

Related Topics

Enforcement The Undocumented

Learn More

Read more about Legislative Bulletin — Friday, June 21, 2024

Legislative Bulletin

Legislative Bulletin — Friday, June 21, 2024

Read more about Explainer: The Biden Administration’s Announcement to Protect American Families  


Explainer: The Biden Administration’s Announcement to Protect American Families  

Read more about D-3 Waivers for the Three- and Ten-Year Bars of Dreamers


D-3 Waivers for the Three- and Ten-Year Bars of Dreamers