Homeland Insecurity: Biden Budget Flatlines Border Enforcement



President Joe Biden’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget calls for double-digit percentage increases in domestic spending, but there is a glaring exception: the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

In what Sen. Shelley Capito, R-West Virginia, calls “highly conspicuous thrift,” the administration intends to keep DHS funding flat at $52 billion, even as waves of illegal aliens continue to flow across the southern border with little or no resistance.

Last week, Rep. John Katko, R-New York, cited “alarming” early-retirement rates among frustrated Border Patrol personnel, and asked DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas if the new budget would fund more officers to bolster the thinning Green Line. Mayorkas responded: “It does not.”

As Border Patrol morale is driven down by feckless catch-and-release policies, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) apprehensions and deportations have plummeted in the U.S. interior. Acting ICE Director Tae Johnson stated in a February memo that “limited resources” hobbled his agency’s work. Johnson’s assertion could be read as a self-serving excuse, but no one in the administration disputed his claim.

While shortchanging critical DHS functions, Biden’s budget provides billions of dollars in payments to three countries that accounted for 40 percent of migrants arriving here in the past year (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras). Purportedly, these outlays would address the “source” of the immigration problem.

But FAIR has found that without effectively securing the U.S. border, such disbursements do nothing to slow illegal migration (though the cash does find its way into the pockets of corrupt government officials, cartels, etc.).

Andrew Arthur, of the Center for Immigration Studies, points out, hopefully, that Congress will have something to say about all this. “The budget request is just that — the administration’s request for funding. Congress holds the purse strings under our constitutional order.”

Democrats should join Republicans in recognizing the obvious need for robust security and enforcement. “If the administration is not going to control the massive migrant flow and defend the border, somebody has to,” Arthur says.

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.

FAIR blogs can now be found on our main site at https://www.fairus.org/blog