The Trump administration has proposed massive budget cuts to the Coast Guard, TSA, and FEMA in an attempt to route funds to its ambitious immigration crackdown, but some experts are saying the plan is misguided and will have "devastating" consequences in the fight for border security, Politico reports. The White House then proposed a 20 percent tax on imports from the key USA ally; the proposal was met with swift criticism as the two countries conduct some $1.6 billion a day in cross-border trade.
LoBiondo's went on to say, "According to the service, from 2002 to 2011 Coast Guard interdictions and subsequent intel resulted in the extradition of almost 75 percent of all Columbian drug kingpins, including a Honduran drug lord who led law enforcement to the second capture of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman". A recent Department of Homeland Security estimate for the barrier - which would actually be a series of fences and walls - came in at $21.6 billion.
And, critics note, the construction of a border wall and hiring of additional border agents will likely increase the need for guarding ports and coastlines.
The irony was not lost on Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., who supported Trump's candidacy and chairs the House subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.
The Coast Guard's role is less obvious to most citizens but is also a key cog in the national security machine.
It's worth emphasizing that these cuts have been proposed, not made.
Also today, Senator Hassan pressed Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary nominee Elaine Duke on the impact that these proposed cuts to the Coast Guard would have on national security and drug interdiction efforts.
The proposal would eliminate TSA training programs, and funding for armed patrols of airports, train stations and other transportation hubs. The highly-trained "observers" are able to single out people who "appear to behave oddly".
Officials with FEMA noted that the cuts will undermine a long-promoted and refined national response system requiring local communities to follow "the same emergency response strategies", and will result in an "unsophisticated response to national emergencies".
"It is a mockery of national security, it kind of epitomizes everything that's wrong with the Trump approach to national defense and makes our nation less safe in the name of national security", said Sen. These savings would boost the DHS budget for border security.
He closed his inauguration speech by vowing, "together, we will make America strong again".
Look, it's painfully obvious that being prepared for disasters, natural or manmade, like preventing terror attacks by air and sea, are unimportant to Trump. If the USA secures the southern border, where will the drug traffic go?
But what happened to Mexico paying for the wall?