DHS Budget Priorities for FY 2017 and FY 2018

Published: March 29, 2017


The Trump Administration’s FY 2018 budget blueprint and FY 2017 budget amendment both add billions of dollars in DHS spending.

The FY 2018 preliminary budget outline, America First - A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again, sets out the Administration’s budget, policy, and management priorities in advance of its full budget release, expected in May.

The FY 2018 budget outlines a total the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) discretionary budget of $44.1 billion, a 6.8% increase over the FY 2017 annualized budget enacted under the current Continuing Resolution (CR) passed in December and which expires near the end of April. 

Other aspects of the FY 2018 DHS budget include:

  • Allocates $4.5 billion in additional funding to strengthen border security and enhance immigration systems, including:
    • $2.6 billion in high-priority tactical infrastructure and border security technology, including funding to plan, design, and construct a physical wall along the southern border
    • $314 million to recruit, hire, and train 500 new Border Patrol Agents at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and 1,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) law enforcement personnel and support staff.
    • $1.5 billion above the 2017 annualized CR level for expanded detention, transportation, and removal of illegal immigrants.
    • $15 million to begin implementation of mandatory nationwide use of the E-Verify Program.
  • Provides $1.5 billion for DHS cybersecurity activities that protect Federal networks and critical infrastructure from an attack.

Discretionary Budget, FY 2016-2018 ($B)


FY 2017 DOD Budget Amendment

In addition to the FY 2018 Budget request, the White House issued an FY 2017 Budget Amendment which requested an additional $3 billion for DHS to support his border security and immigration enforcement priorities. Details of the request include:

  • $11 million to establish a real-time data integration system to support immigration enforcement operations, benefits adjudication, policy analysis, accurate data reporting, and other border and immigration modeling analyses
  • $286 million for CBP Operations and Support, including:
    • $95 million for border surge operations
    • $65 million to build hiring capacity to recruit and onboard 5K Border Patrol agents
    • $18 million for project management, oversight, and support for the border wall
    • $43 million to enhance situational awareness at the border
    • $64 million for other technology, equipment, and infrastructure that directly contributes to effective border security operations
  • $1.4 billion for CBP Procurement, Construction, and Improvements, including:
    • $999 million for planning, design, and construction of the first installment of the border wall
    • $179 million for access roads, gates, and other tactical infrastructure
    • $200 million for border security technology deployments
  • $1.2 billion for ICE Operations and Support, including:
    • $1.15 billion for detention, transportation, and removal of illegal aliens and for alternatives to detention
    • $76 million to build hiring capacity to recruit and onboard 10 thousand ICE agents and officers
    • $5 million for homeland security investigations intelligence activities
    • $5 million to support the expansion of the Section 287 Program (Delegation of Immigration Authority to S&L gov’t)
  • $25 million for Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Operations and Support for the hiring and training of instructors to support law enforcement officer hiring and training within CBP and ICE
  • $63 million for FLETC Procurement, Construction, and Improvements for infrastructure investments, including modular dormitory and classroom buildings to support CBP and ICE officer hiring and training

Border Wall Impacts and Efforts

The Trump Administration is seeking the funding to jump-start its priority to begin building a southern border wall. The FY 2017 budget amendment requests $1.4 billion for CBP Procurement, Construction, and Improvements, including $999 million for planning, design, and construction of the wall’s first installment. The FY 2018 budget requests another $2.6 billion to support the border wall efforts, including tactical infrastructure and technology, for a total of roughly $4 billion over the next two fiscal years.

But DHS is moving forward even before Congress takes up the task of appropriating funds. CBP has issued RFPs for two wall prototype construction opportunities – one for solid concrete wall prototypes and one for prototypes that are alternatives to reinforced solid concrete walls – and has been issuing Questions and Answers (Q&A) documents as they address questions from industry as the April 4 deadline approaches for the Phase I down-select.

DHS had also announced their interest in potentially contracting for long-term strategy assistance through a Sources Sought Notice and recently announced that they had received more than 100 responses to date. Responses to that Sources Sought Notice are due by the end of March. After that, DHS has said that they will coordinate individually with any vendors that they wish to meet with one-on-one. The acquisition strategy and contract value of any resulting competition is yet to be announced, but GovWin estimates that we could see a competition and award(s) issued by mid-summer.

While these first efforts for prototypes and strategy may be funded in part by shifting funds from other DHS programs, moving ahead with much momentum will likely require specific funding and it appears that these specific funding requests may meet resistance among appropriators in Congress.