The comprehensive immigration bill under consideration in the Senate would result in $197 billion in deficit reduction in the next decade, according to an estimate that the Congressional Budget Office released June 18. Added revenue from the bill (S. 744) would total $459 billion from fiscals 2014 to 2023, largely from income and payroll taxes. Only about one-fourth of that revenue would come in during the first 5 years though.
A destructive Colorado wildfire that's consumed 14,198 acres continues to burn June 17, with firefighters reporting the Black Forest fire northeast of Colorado Springs as 65 percent contained and predicting full control by Thursday.
A June 5 DHS Office of Inspector General report (.pdf) finds the National Protection and Programs Directorate's Office of Cybersecurity and Communications has not fully met its obligations to improve the security posture of the dot-gov domain.
The Homeland Security Department needs to debunk falsehoods and conspiracy theories about it more aggressively, said Doug Pinkham, president of the Public Affairs Council, at a House hearing June 14. "You can't assume just because you're right and they're wrong that people will listen to you," he told the House Homeland Security subcommittee on oversight and management efficiency.
Floodplains subject to 100 year floods will grow nationwide by 45 percent in freshwater areas by the year 2100 and grow by up to 55 percent in seaside coastal areas, say consultants in a newly-released report prepared for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The overall national increase to floodplain areas will range between 40 and 45 percent, according to median projections, they add.
Details of the plan remain limited, but a number of skeptics have emerged. Some have questioned how different the new force will be from simply using the military itself--they could just be "soldiers in grey uniforms who lack real police training," a March report (.pdf) from the International Crisis Group said.
Nebraska's decision to forbid driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants granted deferred action by the Obama administration has drawn a legal challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union. Arizona is the only other state that denies driver's licenses to deferred action recipients.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled June 11 a $19.5 billion plan to make the city more resilient in the face of natural disasters in the wake of vulnerabilities revealed by Hurricane Sandy and likely future weaknesses caused by climate change. A 438-page report includes proposals for portable flood walls, replenishment of sand beaches and dune maintenance, wetland restoration, as well as tide gates and offshore rock breakwaters.
Cuba remains on the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism for political reasons only, and there are downsides for the United States in leaving it there, panelists said at a Center for Strategic and International Studies event June 11. Retaining Cuba on the list "feeds into and prolongs this climate of mistrust which the Obama administration claimed it wanted to overcome," said Tomás Bilbao, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Cuba Study Group.
Risks posed to critical infrastructure security and resilience by aging infrastructure and climate change will be included as factors during consideration of how to revise the National Infrastructure Protection Plan, the Homeland Security Department says.
Little research has been done on environmental and animal-rights extremists even though they have been responsible for hundreds of arsons and bombings in the United States, says a new report from the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.
The amendment, offered by Reps. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) and Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), passed the house in a mixed-party 281-146 vote. It would prevent the Federal Emergency Management Agency from using funds in the coming fiscal year to implement a provision of a reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program passed into law in 2012 set to take effect in 2014.
The House-approved fiscal 2014 Homeland Security Department spending bill includes an amendement that would prevent the department from implementing prosecutorial discretion of immigration enforcement, the policy that prioritizes the deportation of dangerous criminals and recently arrived undocumented immigrants.
The House approved June 6 a spending bill funding the Homeland Security Department for the coming fiscal year with $38.9 billion in discretionary spending. That amount totals $34.9 million less than the White House request and $617.6 million below the current year enacted level, an House Appropriations Committee statement says. The total amounts to $981 million more than DHS spending under sequestration, it adds.
The Transportation Security Administration backed away from its plan to stop screening air travelers for small pocketknives, along with toy bats, billiard cues, ski poles, hockey sticks, lacrosse sticks and up to two golf clubs.
Rising temperatures and their potential for disasters at home and instability and unrest abroad are driving government planners to integrate environmental security into homeland security planning, a new policy paper from Homeland Securty Affairs says.