Omnibus Includes No Funding for Border Wall; But $1.1B for ‘Border Security Technologies’

By Susan Jones | May 1, 2017 | 7:00am EDT
U.S. Capitol (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

( - The omnibus spending bill posted online early on May 1 gives the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) a total of $42.4 billion in discretionary funding for the remainder of fiscal year 2017, an increase of $1.45 billion above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level.

Of that total, $11.4 billion is available for border and immigration enforcement; $6.4 billion for ICE activities; $1.8 billion for protection against cyberterrorism; $7.8 billion for aviation security; and billions more for natural disaster response and efforts to stop the smuggling of drugs and people into the U.S., according to the bill summary.

The legislation does not include initial funding for President Trump’s border wall. But it does give Trump $1.1 billion in supplemental spending for “border security technologies and existing infrastructure improvements.

Customs and Border Protection:

The bill contains $11.4 billion in discretionary appropriations for CBP – an increase of $137 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level.

“These resources ensure the nation’s borders are protected by putting boots on the ground, improving technology, and stemming the flow of illegal activities in and out of the country,” the summary said.

$772 million in supplemental spending is provided for improvements to and maintenance of existing infrastructure, technology investments, and increased Border Patrol agent hiring.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE):

The bill appropriates $6.4 billion for ICE – $550 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level.

This includes $617 million – $380 million in base funding and $237 million in supplemental funding – for additional detention beds and transportation and removal costs.

Within the $$6.4 billion total, the legislation includes:

$3.7 billion for detention and removal programs, including:

-- 39,324 detention beds, electronic monitoring, and GPS tracking alternatives to detention;

-- 129 Fugitive Operations teams and 100 new officers to enforce immigration laws; and

-- Criminal Alien Program operations, including the 287(g) program, which partners with local law enforcement to process, arrest, and book illegal immigrants into state or local detention facilities.

ICE also is getting $2.1 billion for domestic and international investigations programs, including combatting human trafficking, child exploitation, cybercrime, visa screening, and drug smuggling.

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