On July 28th, the House passed the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Border Security (H.R. 5875) to increase security and reduce violence along the Southwest Border. Due to Mexican drug cartels, there has been a significant increase in violence, drug smuggling and weapons smuggling along the border. This bill provides a total of $701 million offset by $201 million in rescissions.
The House passed this urgently-needed package of supplemental funding for border security when it passed the FY 2010 Supplemental bill back on July 1st. Unfortunately, before the Senate sent the Supplemental back to the House on July 22, the Senate Republicans insisted on the removal of the border security funding (as well as other domestic funding) from the bill.
The bill includes a total of $500 million for efforts of the Department of Homeland Security to strengthen border security along the Southwest Border and $201 million for efforts of the Department of Justice to crack down on violence and crime at the Southwest Border.
Within the $500 million total for DHS programs, the bill provides $208.4 million for 1,200 additional Border Patrol agents deployed between the ports of entry along the Southwest Border. Since 2006, the New Direction Congress has increased the number of Border Patrol agents at the Southwest Border by 6,000, or by more than 50 percent. With passage of this bill, the increase will be an additional 7,200 agents, or an increase of 65 percent.
Some of the other highlights in the $500 million for Department of Homeland Security funding include:
- $136 million to maintain current Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer staffing levels and add 500 additional CBP officers at ports of entry along the Southwest Border.
- $50 million for Operation Stonegarden grants to support local law enforcement activities on the Southwest Border.
- $32 million to procure two additional CBP unmanned aircraft systems.
- $30 million for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activities directed at reducingthe threat of narcotics smuggling and associated violence.
Some of the highlights in the $201 million for Department of Justice funding include:
- $39 million for the continued expansion of ATF's Project Gunrunner, which targets firearms trafficking across the Southwest Border, and to increase ATF's capacity to complete firearms trace requests related to border cases.
- $38 million for the U.S. Marshals Service to provide security support for defendants referred by CBP and ICE, as well as for an expansion of the Marshals presence in Mexico.
- $36 million for investigations, intelligence, surveillance and other operational needs of the Drug Enforcement Administration to target and pursue major drug trafficking organizations along the border.
- $27 million for detention and incarceration space to address the increase in the prisoner population resulting from new DHS and DOJ investigative activity.
- $25 million for FBI investigative, intelligence, tactical and forensic responses to gangs, violent crime and public corruption in the border region.