With a $39.5 billion budget request in front of Congress, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) touts its worthiness and claims Americans are safer than ever before.
The new budget proposal is a whopping 0.5 percent lower than last year’s budget.
“Ten years after the September 11th attacks, America is stronger and more secure today, thanks to the strong support of Congress; the tremendous work of the men and women of DHS and our local, state and federal partners across the homeland security enterprise,” said Secretary Janet Napolitano. “The Department’s FY 2013 budget request preserves core frontline priorities by cutting costs, sharing resources across components, and streamlining operations wherever possible.”
Some notable changes in the new budget will redirect about $850 million from administrative and mission support areas, curbing employees (through attrition) limit overtime, rely on information technology, cut professional services, and concentrate on frontline operations.
DHS said the changes came after a department-wide efficiency review, which began in 2009, as well as other cost-saving initiatives. As a result, DHS identified $3 billion in cost savings that will be shifted to mission-critical operations.
Secretary Napolitano highlighted FY 2013 priorities as; preventing terrorism through enhanced security using a layered detection process; securing and managing U.S. borders by slowing the flow of illegal aliens, weapons and illicit drugs; enforcing and administering current immigration laws (something illegal immigration activists continue to argue the Obama Administration is promoting back-door amnesty).
While DHS claims to be implementing a nationwide implementation of Secure Communities, large and small city governments continue to block the Secure Communities initiative by refusing to allow law enforcement to run arrested criminals through ICE data bases that could determine their legal, as well as, their criminal status.
“The budget also focuses on monitoring and compliance, promoting adherence to worksite-related laws through criminal prosecutions of egregious employers, Form I-9 inspections, and expansion of E-Verify,” according to DHS.
While DHS may be touting its successes, American citizens feel their liberties are being trampled on a daily basis. It's been 10 years since 9/11 and striking a balance in homeland security continues to draw scrutiny.
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