In President Trump’s first proposed federal budget, the Justice Department’s $27.7 billion reflects Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s priorities of being tough on crime and cracking down on illegal immigration, with millions of additional dollars going toward fighting violent crime and increasing the number of immigration judges and lawyers working on border security, the Washington Post reports. The proposal indicates that Justice officials could withhold grants or other funding for “sanctuary cities” that refuse to turn over undocumented immigrants to federal authorities, but it did not specify which programs could be affected.
The FBI will receive a 3 percent increase, of $249 million, including $61 million more to fight terrorism and combat foreign intelligence and cyberthreats, $31 million for biometric research, and $9 million for firearms-purchase background checks and violent crime data. The Justice Department is asking for $175 million more to target “the worst of the worst” criminal organizations and drug traffickers. It seeks $80 million more to hire 75 additional immigration judge teams to adjudicate removal proceedings. The department total would be a reduction of $1 billion, or 3.8 percent, from last year’s budget. The department wants to eliminate about $700 million in unspecified “outdated programs.” One of them, which federal officials have tried to eliminate for many years, reimburses state and local governments for the costs of incarcerating unauthorized immigrants. About $1 billion would be saved this year in federal prison construction spending because of the 14 percent decrease in the prison population since 2013. Today’s budget was not an item-by-item listing, so it was impossible to determine other changes in the DOJ budget that the Trump administration will seek.