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February 13, 2007

White House Budget Would Increase Spending for Border Security and Immigration Enforcement

President Bush released his $2.9 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2008 on Monday, unleashing debate over the Administration's plans to balance the budget while preserving the President's first-term tax cuts.

While many domestic programs would face funding freezes or reductions under the White House budget proposal, The Department of Homeland Security budget would increase significantly. Immigration enforcement and border security operations would result in a substantial increase of $1 billion for border fencing and surveillance and also fund an additional 3,000 border patrol agents. The administration's proposal would increase appropriations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection by 31 percent, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services by 29 percent, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement by 7 percent.

The proposed budget also includes the first funding request for the land portion of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, with $252 million allotted for technology and staff at land ports of entry.

The Administration's budget would also bolster DHS's interior enforcement efforts, providing increased funding for a program to identify and deport undocumented immigrants in U.S. prisons, as well as continued funding for the Basic Pilot program. An additional $78 million - a 50 percent increase over FY 2007 - would go to train state and local law enforcement officers in federal immigration law and authorize them to identify and remove undocumented immigrants.

Posted by VisaLawyer at February 13, 2007 08:25 AM

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