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The FY 2007 budget emphasizes border security. On sea, it asks for a 4 percent funding increase to $7.1 billion for the Coast Guard. This follows an 8 percent increase in FY 2006 and represents an 87 percent rise since 2001. This year's funding includes $935 million for fleet renovations, part of a 20-year recapitalization program. In addition to ports, waterways and coastal security, the Coast Guard will take over air defense of the nation's capital.

On land, funds for border security and immigration enforcement have risen more than 90 percent since 2001. The FY 2007 budget calls increases of 6 percent to $6.6 billion for Customs and Border Protection and 22 percent to $4.4 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The new budget boosts Border Patrol funding by 29 percent to more than $3 billion. This will fund 1,500 new agents and new technology to detect illegal crossings and smuggling. Another $2.1 billion will go to detention facilities and faster processing so DHS can hold and deport aliens in 15 days rather than release them on a promise to appear in court. Because businesses from farms to hotels rely on foreign workers, DHS will also introduce a temporary worker program to give aliens a legal way to work here.

DHS also plans to complete its five-year, $560 million initiative to slash immigration application delays to six months. It will also put aside $399 million for US-VISIT, which screens travelers from other countries. This year, the program will begin asking for all 10 fingerprints and integrate its fingerprint database with that of the FBI.

Funding for the TSA is slated to rise 6 percent to $6.2 billion, including $3.7 billion for passenger and baggage screening. The agency has about 45,000 federal screeners and operates 10,000 screening devices. It plans to invest $100 million in new air cargo systems, $690 million in baggage units and more than $80 million for passenger firearms and explosives detectors and other new technologies. TSA expects to recover 70 percent of its costs by doubling the airport security fee to $5 per one-way trip.

DHS's definition of borders also extends to cyberspace. In 2003, it created the National Cyber Security Division (NCSD), which will receive $93 million in FY 2007. NCSD analyzes malicious code, reviews software vulnerabilities, analyzes threats to utility and industrial control systems and conducts national cyber readiness exercises.

The priorities of DHS's 22 agencies have proven a treasure chest for private enterprise. Unlike the military, where mega-contractors are the rule, DHS buys from a broad range of firms. Security firms that sell technology, such as sensors, airport baggage screening equipment, explosive detectors, fingerprint and biometric devices, smart cards and surveillance systems, have done well. Companies that provide computers, database and networking services and other information-sharing technology have also prospered.

DHS's priority has also benefited small research firms. Its R&D budget, $1.4 billion in FY 2006 and at least $1.1 billion in FY 2007, focuses on nuclear, radiological and biological detectors and countermeasures. "The emphasis is on development rather than pure research," says Koizumi. "DHS wants to get working technology into the hands of responders." Other agencies, such as the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health, do more basic research.

 

Treasure Chest | Priorities | WMDs | Borders | Preparedness | Critics

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