WASHINGTON–U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Chair of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, released the following statement on the fiscal year 2022 Homeland Security bill, which provides discretionary funding of $71.7 billion.

“It's time for the Department of Homeland Security to make investments in what protects us, not what divides us. The ineffective and inhumane border policies and political vanity projects of the Trump Administration didn't make our nation safer, and it's time to turn the page to fund policies that meet the actual threats presented to this nation. That's why this bill makes historic investments in climate resiliency and cybersecurity, and it puts an emphasis on border policies that are driven by data, not politics. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in this bill and look forward to getting it across the finish line,” said Murphy.

Key Points & Highlights

Addressing Impacts of Climate Change and Improving Climate Resilience

The bill provides unprecedented resources toward addressing the impacts of climate change. This includes smarter investments within the Department, such as $76 million to support the President's request to start transitioning to a zero emission Federal fleet with new investments in electric vehicles and vehicle charging and refueling infrastructure. The bill also strengthens FEMA's Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Program with an additional $1 billion on top of the current balance of $1.6 billion, a 63 percent increase, to incorporate climate adaptation into national preparedness and community grants and projects.


Supporting the Administration’s Family Reunification Task Force (FRTF)

The bill repurposes previously appropriated funds to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), to help support the reunification of children who were traumatically separated from their parents and legal guardians at the southern border during the last Administration.


Expanding Data-Driven Decision-Making Capabilities Across the Department

The bill provides new resources to increase the Department’s ability to make data-driven decisions for the most cost-effective ways to spend billions of dollars across the homeland security enterprise. In addition to increasing independent evaluations of major acquisitions, these resources will also provide new modeling capabilities that provide visibility in how investments in one agency may impact another. Quantifying the impact of resources on operational capabilities will also help prevent an imbalance of capabilities between agencies. 

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

The bill provides $14.5 billion, $80 million below the President’s budget request, and $501 million below the fiscal year 2021 enacted level.  The bill rescinds $1.9 billion from prior year funds for border barriers and repurposes those funds to improve the security of and operations at our nation’s borders and ports of entry.  Rather than continuing to waste taxpayer dollars on border walls while ignoring proven, more effective, and less costly investments to improve border security, these funds will be refocused toward innovative and cost-effective capabilities and will also provide critical investments to support CBP employees. Rescinding and repurposing these funds makes it possible to support new investments including:

·         $415 million to fully fund pay and retirement for CBP’s 64,000+ workforce;

·         $130 million for three new multi-purpose facilities on the southwest border to improve processing of noncitizens encountered at the border while reducing the time-in-CBP custody and the operational challenges that result from surges to the border;

·         $144 million for border security technologies that serve as key workforce multipliers for front-line personnel and for deployment of body-worn cameras for Border Patrol agents;

·         $68 million for port of entry equipment to detect and seize narcotics and illicit cargo;

·         $50 million for environmental mitigation efforts resulting from border wall construction;

·         $41 million to expand training capacity for CBP personnel and to improve CBP employee services through resiliency programs and caregiver and child care services;

·         $40 million for IT modernization efforts to simplify CBP processing at facilities;

·         $15 million to obtain the services of child welfare professionals at CBP facilities;

·         $10 million to accelerate efforts to identify goods and materials produced by forced labor to prevent entry to the U.S., combatting those forces while protecting businesses; and

·         a range of other investments including life-saving search and rescue capabilities, medical support at CBP facilities, and modernizing land ports of entry.


Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

The bill provides $7.9 billion, $58 million below the President’s budget request, and $40 million below the fiscal year 2021 enacted level. Recognizing the lower overall detention numbers due to the pandemic and related-litigation, the bill cuts funding for an average daily population of detention beds by 5,500 when compared to the fiscal year 2021 enacted level and does not provide funding for the three family detention facilities. In lieu of the family detention centers, the bill provides resources for ICE to contract with service providers to provide emergency shelter and housing services for families with children. The bill would also prohibit Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) personnel and resources from engaging in civil immigration enforcement, ensuring that HSI resources are dedicated toward the disruption of transnational crime rather than arrest of asylum seeking families. Rather than subject non-violent individuals to prolonged civil detention at the cost of the American taxpayer, the bill authorizes ICE to make evidence-based, individualized assessments about a person’s threat level and to utilize continuums of custody based on such evidence-based assessments.


Coast Guard

The bill provides $13.039 billion, $168 million above the President’s budget request and $194 million above the fiscal year 2021 enacted level. When mandatory funding is excluded, the discretionary total is $11.076 billion. The bill includes increases for recruiting and diversity; tuition assistance to reach Service parity; child care; Great Lakes Icebreaking Program; environmental remediation; and fishing safety training and research. For major acquisitions, the bill includes $1.712 billion, including $924 million for vessels, $320 million for aircraft, and $374 million for construction of shore facilities. Funding in the bill supports maritime safety and security, including (but not limited to) search and rescue, drug interdiction, environmental and marine life protection, and aids to navigation. Connecticut specific appropriations include:

·         $50 million for the US Coast Guard Museum in New London

·         $6 million for Coast Guard Improvements to the City Pier in New London

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

The bill provides $2.638 billion, $504 million above the President’s budget request and $613 million above the fiscal year 2021 enacted level. A total of $1.557 billion is for cybersecurity activities, including protection of federal networks and information sharing with nonfederal partners; $207 million for infrastructure security programs, including $39.6 million for bombing prevention; and $299 million for emergency communications. These programs help to detect and mitigate the effects of cyber-attacks on Federal, State, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments and the private sector; manage risks to critical infrastructure; and ensure emergency communications for the protection of lives and property.


Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA)

The bill includes $3.517 billion for grants and training to SLTT entities, $189 million above the President’s budget request and $184 million above the fiscal year 2021 enacted level.  Grant programs are funded as follows:

·         $610 million for State Homeland Security, of which $90 million is for Operation Stonegarden, $90 million is for nonprofit security, and $15 million is for tribal security;

·         $705 million for the Urban Area Security Initiative, of which $90 million is for nonprofit security;

·         $100 million for Public Transportation Security, of which $10 million is for Amtrak and $2 million is for Bus Security;

·         $100 million for Port Security;

·         $740 million for Assistance to Firefighters and SAFER;

·         $355 million for Emergency Management Performance;

·         $275.5 million for Flood Hazard Mapping and Risk Analysis;

·         $130 million for Emergency Food and Shelter;

·         $100 million is for STORM Act revolving loan programs;

·         $12 million for Regional Catastrophic Preparedness;

·         $12 million for Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dams;

·         $294 million for training, including $53.2 million for the U.S. Fire Administration and $22 million for the Emergency Management Institute; and

·         $20 million (by transfer) for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention.


Disaster Relief

The bill provides $18.799 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) pursuant to the Budget Control Act disaster relief cap adjustment.  These funds bolster State and tribal resources to respond to and recover from major disasters and emergency declarations, such as hurricanes, wildfires, and pandemics. In addition, the bill makes up to $1 billion from the DRF available for the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Program to mitigate the effects of climate change.


United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

The bill provides $487 million, $18 million above the President’s budget request, and $359 million above the fiscal year 2021 enacted level. Of the total amount provided, $345 million is provided to support the fiscal year 2022 Refugee Admissions goal of 125,000 and to support a reduction of backlogs across the agency. Additionally, $20 million is provided to support Citizenship and Integration grants, which encourages citizenship and integration of noncitizens by helping them prepare for the citizenship exams and learn U.S. history and civics.


Immigration-Related Provisions

Due to COVID-19, agency delays, and discriminatory travel bans imposed by the previous Administration, the bill would permit previously authorized diversity, family-based, and employment-based visas from expiring (known as “visa recapture”). These changes would ensure that United States Citizens could reunify with their families and would help the economy by permitting employers access to necessary workers as the law proscribes. Additionally, the bill extends the traditional immigration extenders – Conrad 30, Religious Workers, and E-Verify – and authorizes the Secretary to raise the H-2B visa cap as proscribed.


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