President Bush Seeks Money for Border Agents, Surveillance Gear
President Bush’s $2.9 trillion budget for the fiscal year 2008 seeks a 1 percent increase for the amount of funding allocated to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), from $33.8 billion in fiscal 2007 to $34.3 billion in 2008.
Bush is requesting that the DHS’ Customs and Border Protection unit receive a 36 percent increase in funding, to $8.8 billion, with much of the additional funding paying for about 3,000 more border patrol agents and an increase in the use of surveillance technology on the U.S. southern border.
“We’ll need to put more effort to get the people who are the toughest nuts to crack,” said DHS chief Michael Chertoff, alluding to U.S. efforts to crack down on illegal immigration.
Chertoff said that Bush wants $1 billion allocated toward a project that would deploy cameras, sensors, and lights along the Arizona border with Mexico. The surveillance technology would be added to an additional 150 miles of border.
Bush’s budget would slash the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) budget from $6 billion this year to $5.2 billion in 2008, a 14 percent drop, while increasing airport security budgets by 7 percent and the Coast Guard’s budget by 3 percent.
Also, Bush would increase domestic nuclear detection funding by 17 percent.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from Bloomberg (02/05/07); Roland, Neil.