Last week, the House Appropriations Committee approved the fiscal year 2015 spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security. Overall, the bill recommends spending $39.2 billion on DHS next year. Don't believe me? Here's the link to the actual press release stating this: http://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=384154
According to the release, "The bill provides $39.2 billion in discretionary funding for DHS. This is a decrease of $50 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level, but an increase of $887.8 million above the President’s request for these programs. The bill also includes a total of $7 billion, the same as the President’s request, in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster funding to help states and communities respond and recover from unexpected disasters."
The reason I am sharing this with you on today’s Homeland Security blog is the same as why I have been harping on border security in just about every Homeland Security blog post ….money. There is no amount of money that will circumvent this problem. As long as people understand that we spend more money blocking people from coming versus allocating resources to handle these situations on a case-by-case basis once they are on, we will continue to have issues!
Many people who cross into this country are arrested for violent crimes. This isn’t a blanket statement as much as it is statistically proven. There are real security threats associated with this problem. Then you have children crossing in search of a better life or those who have been brought over to use as sex slaves in the human trafficking arena. We need to use more common sense than actual cents to alleviate the challenges that come with maintaining border security.
he committee report includes $7.5 million for 22 mobile video surveillance systems, $10 million to make infrastructure improvements for upgraded remote video surveillance systems and $10 million for unattended ground sensors and imaging sensors, a cross border tunnel threat analysis of alternatives and a communications study. Where is the money for the resources once someone gets by the border? And they will get by the border- even with the increases!
We need to ask how we can help those seeking a better life and how we can punish those who cross illegally and then commit crimes. Our standards as to how we help or handle situations needs to be addressed. Anyone can throw money at a disaster, it doesn’t mean the dollars squash the rain.
Twyla N. Garrett