Published on Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Administration mulling TSA cuts to pay for the border wall
The Trump Administration reportedly wants to make 'nonsensical' budget cuts to the Transportation Security Administration and the US Coastguard to beef up immigration.
In a classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul, the Office of Management and Budget has requested a cut in the Coastguard's budget of 14% and 11% from the TSA, according to documents seen by Politico.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency would also see a budget cut of 11% to pay for a crackdown on illegal immigration.
The Department of Homeland Security would get a 6% increase to fund more border agents and immigration officers as well as the construction of the infamous US-Mexico wall but at the cost of airport and railway security, Politico reports.
Homeland security experts say both the TSA and the US Coastguard are the last line of defense in protecting the nation.
Former deputy homeland security secretary and TSA administrator James Loy told Politico the plan is flawed.
"It is ignorant of what constitutes national security. They simply don't understand the equation."
He says cutting the Coastguard budget will leave maritime borders even more vulnerable to illegal immigration and perhaps terrorism.
Retired Coast Guard commander Stephen Flynn agreed.
"As you harden the land border you open up the maritime border. It makes no sense. You are going to have this balloon effect."
The plan would also see an increase in the TSA security fee from 2018.
A recent report suggested the border wall would cost about $21.6 billion and take at least three years to build.