President Trump campaigned on a promise to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants and build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. And now, through his Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget request, as well as his request for supplemental funds for the current fiscal year, the President has identified how he intends to fund those projects.
The budget proposals, released on March 15, would add over $40 billion to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) budget for FY 2017, and would increase DHS’s funding by another 6.8 percent for the FY 2018. Among the priorities identified in the budget increase is the border wall, to which $4.1 billion dollars would be dedicated across 2017 and 2018 fiscal years.
President Trump’s budget proposals represent a softening of his stance on the border wall, which he originally maintained would be entirely paid for by Mexico. Nonetheless, the President’s requests may be insufficient in light of DHS’s report that the wall could cost as much as $21.6 billion, and President Trump’s own statement that the wall would cost at least $12 billion.
Other proposed measures include:
For FY 20176,
- $1.2 billion to increase detention bed space from 34,000 to 45,700, and $350 million to hire additional staff in those facilities.
- $11 million to “establish a real-time data integration system that would support immigration enforcement operations, benefits adjudication, policy analysis, accurate data reporting, and for other border and immigration modeling analyses.”
- $286 million for Customs and Border Patrol Operations and Support.
For FY 2018,
- $1.5 billion increase in funding for the detention, transportation, and removal of noncitizens.
- $314 million to recruit, hire, and train 500 new Border Patrol Agents, as well as 1,000 new ICE agents and support staff.
- $171 million for additional detention space for federal detainees, including “criminal aliens.”
- An $80 million (or 19 percent) increase in EOIR funding allowing the agency to hire 75 new immigration judges.
- $15 million to implement mandatory nationwide use of the E-verify Program, which forces businesses to determine the legal status of new workers.
- Adding 60 additional border enforcement prosecutors and 40 deputy U.S. marshals for the “apprehension, transportation, and prosecution of criminal aliens.”
- Hiring 20 new attorneys to litigate eminent domain suits and claim the land necessary for completion of the border wall.