Despite Biden Admin. Resistance, Bill Security Increases Border Security, Immigration Enforcement Funding 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today supported final passage of a homeland security funding measure that will help address public safety and disaster mitigation activities in Mississippi, while investing more resources for border security and immigration enforcement.

Hyde-Smith, serving on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, worked to support provisions within the final FY2024 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill to shift the Biden administration’s focus on “border management” to stronger border security.  The measure, which was approved as part of a six-bill package, now heads to the President to be signed into law.

“I am just as frustrated as anyone by the hardheaded reluctance of President Biden and his allies in Congress to acknowledge that the border is in crisis.  This bill could have been stronger if it had not been met with such forceful resistance by Democrats to spur the Biden administration into action,” Hyde-Smith said.  “I am committed to working to see that the increased funding we’ve agreed on is used to strengthen border security and immigration enforcement.”

“I’m pleased that this agreement honors my request to increase helicopter procurement for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, because the President’s budget vastly underfunded what’s needed to replace old aircraft.  I’m even more pleased these aircraft are produced in Mississippi,” the Senator said.  “Among other things, we’re also providing help for more of our Mississippi communities to build saferooms.” 

Funding is increased for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), providing for more than 2,100 more Border Patrol agents, added border surveillance technology, and increased removal operations resources.  It also has $2.5 billion to combat the transnational criminal organizations engaged in fentanyl trafficking, child exploitation, and human smuggling. 

Important to Mississippi, the final agreement makes available $20.3 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund.  For the U.S. Coast Guard, it funds offshore patrol cutters and icebreakers, in addition to a pay raise for Coast Guard military personnel.

Some of items of interest to Mississippi in the final FY2024 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill include:

  • $29.1 million for Light Enforcement Helicopters (Watch Hyde-Smith take on Homeland Secretary Mayorkas on helicopter budget request.)
  • $10 million for Long-Endurance Uncrewed Surface Vehicles
  • $5.06 million for the Mississippi College-Hinds County Safe Room project
  • $4 million for the Purple Creek Flood Mitigation and Restoration project
  • $2.2 million for the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s Enhancing Electrical and Fire Infrastructure Resiliency project
  • $1.02 million for the Yazoo City Community Safehouse project
  • $750,000 for the Greene County Emergency Operations Annex

Overall, the FY2024 Homeland Security Appropriations Bill adheres to the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023 which capped discretionary funding and made other reforms to reduce the budget deficit by roughly $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years.