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FACT SHEET: FY 2003 Funding
In the past two years the President and Congress have nearly doubled the funding for homeland security. This increase in funds has significantly strengthened America's protections against terrorism. The Department of Homeland Security's top priority is getting this money into the system to fund the programs and buy the equipment that will make America safer. These funds will create new capabilities to protect against terrorism in the states and cities throughout our nation, at our borders and in our seaports and airports. This investment improves our ability to prevent a terrorist attack, not just prepare for one. Following are immediate priorities the Department will fund in 2003.
The Department has begun to streamline the inspection activities previously controlled by INS, the U.S. Customs Service, and the Department of Agriculture. To support this effort, in 2003 the Department will hire approximately 1,700 additional inspectors including:
The 2003 funding includes $57.2 million for 570 new Border Patrol Agents.
The funding increases will support technologies that keep out potential terrorists:
The 2003 funding includes $10 million to help fund immigration enforcement needs, including additional staff to investigate and reduce the backlog of more than 300,000 alien fugitives who have been ordered removed or deported from the United States but have failed to comply with the deportation.
The 2003 funding includes $36 million to upgrade and strengthen border infrastructure to make it more difficult to cross illegally.
The 2003 funding will support the Container Security Initiative (CSI) launched last year that establishes tough new international security standards for high-risk cargo containers before they arrive at U.S. ports. Currently, there are agreements with the top ports in the world to screen sea containers destined for our shores. Nearly 100 foreign-port-deployed customs officers are being hired and trained over the next year and a half to work with their foreign counterparts to use automated targeting techniques to identify and inspect potential high-risk shipments before they are placed on vessels destined for the United States.
The 2003 funding includes the largest increase for Coast Guard operating expenses since World War II. These new dollars will fund the hiring of 2,200 active-duty men and women, including 160 Sea Marshals for armed escort of high-interest vessels. The increase includes funding for enhanced Coast Guard presence and response, including support for 44 port security response boats, six Maritime Safety and Security Teams, and increased armed boardings, escorts and patrols. Funding in 2003 will also support the Coast Guard's Deepwater system that will help push our maritime borders farther out to sea.
Science and Technology
The Department's Science & Technology Directorate assumed programmatic responsibility of homeland security programs transferred from the Departments of Defense ($420 million), Energy ($117 million) and Agriculture ($16 million). These resources will be applied to the highest priority requirements for protecting the nation against terrorist attacks. These include:
State and Local Funding
The First Responder Initiative in 2003 is intended to help state and local governments assess their needs and apply for resources directly related to responding to terrorist incidents. While the bill passed by the Congress does not fully support the kind of broad, needs-based grant program requested by the President, the Department has made it a top priority to quickly get the money to states and localities. Part of this funding includes $745 million to help fund local first responders through the Firefighters Grant Program.
There is a much-needed $25 million for interoperability improvements, so that first responders of all types, including fire fighters, police, and emergency medical technicians, can literally communicate on the same frequencies.
$25 million will help states and localities modernize their emergency operations centers, and $20 million is allocated for CERT, the Community Emergency Response Training Program.
Emergency Preparedness and Response
The 2003 funding includes $149 million for a new Pre-Disaster Mitigation Fund, allocated to programs that prevent risks to life and property from natural or man-made disasters. Another $60 million will support the Department's Urban Search and Rescue Team, including special training for weapons of mass destruction attacks.
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