Capital Thinking: Homeland Security

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Legislative Activity

Senate to Mark Up FY 2015 DHS Appropriations

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security has announced that it will mark up the FY 2015 Homeland Security Appropriations bill on Tuesday, June 24. The Senate 302(b) spending allocation for homeland security is $45.9 billion, which is $6.7 billion more than the House’s homeland security spending allocation. Similar to the House bill, the Senate bill expected to provide increased funds for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Coast Guard has also advocated for increased drug interdiction and border patrol funding. After Congress criticized the Obama administration for repurposing Hurricane Sandy relief funds for other pressing needs, it is possible that the Senate will increase disaster response funding.

Congress Continues Focus on Unaccompanied Minor Immigrants

The House Homeland Security Committee and the House Judiciary Committee continue to hold hearings this week on the surge of unaccompanied minor immigrants, largely from Central America, crossing the southwestern border with Mexico. Because U.S. laws do not mandate deportation for minors, the influx has strained ICE detention facilities and detracted from CBP officers’ primary responsibilities as the federal government seeks family or community members who can serve as a guardian for each minor. Members of Congress – especially House Republicans – have criticized the Obama administration’s proposed solutions, such as transferring a number of the minor immigrants to military facilities, as insufficient and short-sighted. The witnesses have not yet been announced for either hearing, but could include Obama administration officials.

Upcoming Hearings

  • Monday, June 23: The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications will hold a hearing on “Mass Gathering Security” at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, New Jersey.
  • Tuesday, June 24: The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security will mark up the FY 2015 Homeland Security Appropriations bill.
  • Tuesday, June 24: The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a full committee markup of a number of bills, including the Coast Guard Authorization Act for FY 2015-2016 (S. 2444), the Aviation Security Stakeholder Participation Act (S. 1804), and the Transportation Security Acquisition Reform Act (S. 1893).
  • Tuesday, June 24: The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence will hold a hearing on “The DHS Insider Threat Program.”
  • Tuesday, June 24: The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a full committee hearing on “Unaccompanied Children Crossing the U.S. Border.”
  • Wednesday, June 25: The House Judiciary Committee will hold a full committee hearing on “Unaccompanied Immigrant Minors at the Texas Border.”
  • Wednesday, June 25: The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Emergency Management, Intergovernmental Relations and the District of Columbia will hold a hearing on “FEMA Disaster Operations.”

Topics:  Appropriation, Customs and Border Protection, DHS, ICE, Immigrants

Published In: Elections & Politics Updates, Immigration Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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