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Homeland Security would hire 1,600 agents

  |   April 10, 2013 at 3:11 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 10 (UPI) -- The U.S. Homeland Security Department's $39 billion budget maintains a commitment to functions such as border and cybersecurity, the White House said.

The amount provided to the Homeland Security Department in President Obama's 2014 budget unveiled Wednesday is about $625 million less than the 2012 enacted level, the White House said.

The budget document said the department would save about $1.3 billion through reducing administrative costs and streamlining professional services.

Among other things, the Homeland Security budget would:

-- Provide $221 million for 1,600 new Customs and Border Protection officers and equipment that will mean faster processing and inspection of passengers and cargo at ports of entry.

-- Invest $714 million in a state-of-the-art lab to develop countermeasures for diseases originating in large animals that can be transmitted to humans.

-- Allocate $44 million in new funding to support expansion of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative Five to develop a comprehensive, coordinated system that fosters information-sharing across government agencies while protecting privacy and civil liberties.

-- Eliminate duplicative, stand-alone Federal Emergency Management Agency grant programs, consolidating them into a new grant program.

-- Focuses immigration detention resources on priority aliens such as criminals, repeat immigration law violators, recent border entrants and immigration fugitives while expanding resources for electronic monitoring and supervision.

-- Provide $114 million for support and expansion of the e-Verify system.

-- Provide $494 million to fund research and development in cybersecurity, explosives detection and chemical/biological response systems.

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