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DHS: Budget in keeping with mission

Feb. 1, 2010 at 6:44 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- The $56.3 billion budget proposed for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security includes measures protecting against terrorism and other threats, officials said.

"Our proposed budget is designed to ensure we have the resources we need to secure America," DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said. "We are committed to strong fiscal discipline, eliminating redundancy and investing our resources in what works while enhancing security across the board."

President Barack Obama's budget request for the department strengthens ongoing work across the department in its mission areas, the department said in a release.

To safeguard the nation's transportation systems, $734 million is allocated to deploy up to 1,000 new Advanced Imaging Technology screening machines at airport checkpoints and new explosive detection equipment for baggage screening. The proposal would increase the number of international flights covered by U.S. air marshals.

The document includes $89 million to buy and deploy nationwide the next-generation BioWatch sensors to detect bio-attacks and $61 million for radiation detection equipment to enhance detection at seaports, land-border crossings, and airports.

The department would get $4.6 billion to support 20,000 Border Patrol agents and complete the first segment of Customs and Border Protection's virtual border fence. More than $1.6 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement programs would go to quickly identify and remove from the United States illegal aliens who commit crimes. Immigration-related verification programs would get $137 million.

The department would receive money to protect critical information networks and to boost national preparedness and response capabilities.

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