The Tar Pit

Monday, February 07, 2005

Bush Budget stiffs new Border Patrol hiring

President Bush submitted his Budget Request today for FY 2006 that only hires 210 of the 2,000 new Border Patrol agents required by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which he signed just last December 17th.

From the Department of Homeland Security:

Border Patrol Staffing would increase along the southwest border and coastal areas, in part to replace some Border Patrol agents shifted to the northern border as required by the Patriot Act. An increase of 210 agents and $36.9 million is included in the budget for the Border Patrol. This increases the Border Patrol Agents to 10,949.

In a letter on December 6th, the President wrote:

I also believe the Conference took an important step in strengthening our immigration laws by, among other items, increasing the number of border patrol agents and detention beds.
PDF file here

Funny how things change so quickly for President Bush after he swears an oath.


From the Center for Security Policy today:

The United States urgently needs a national debate about how to address the security, as well as the economic and social, implications of a broken immigration system. It cannot, however, safely afford to wait to fix identified and readily correctible problems with identification, border and internal security until it has achieved consensus on the best approach to dealing with millions of aliens residing illegally in this country.

It is bad enough that the latter fixes were not included, as they should have been, when the Congress acted on other 9/11 Commission recommendations last year. Worse yet is the fact that some of the provisions that were adopted in response to those recommendations and as a sop to Mr. Sensenbrenner and his supporters - notably, providing for substantially more Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers - are not being fully funded in the new 2006 federal budget unveiled today.