Re-Setting Department of Homeland Security Priorities
In 2014, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had a total budget authority of $60.4 billion—which grew to $66.8 billion in 2016. This budget funds a diverse set of agencies that are responsible for a wide range of issues: counterterrorism, transportation security, immigration and border control, cybersecurity, and disaster response. Yet, DHS management of these issues is highly flawed, both in the finer details of its operations and in its broader priorities. Such failure has provoked a small chorus of critics to question the value of DHS as a whole, and whether the U.S. would be better served without it. Serious changes across all of its policy areas, a realignment of its priorities, and reform of the way DHS headquarters operates are imperative to fixing DHS. Heritage Foundation homeland security expert David Inserra details reforms to each major component of DHS with accompanying budget changes.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) needs substantial reform and improvement in order to fulfill its important roles in the areas of security, emergency preparedness and response, and enforcement of immigration laws. This will require changes in nearly every part of DHS, as well as a better prioritization of resources within each of the components and between the components. This executive summary provides key policy recommendations and corresponding budgetary changes for Congress to consider as it moves through the budgetary process.
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