The Justice Department would add 100 new immigration judge teams under the fiscal 2020 budget proposal unveiled by the White House March 11.
The Trump administration also proposed expanding “both physical and virtual courtroom space” for holding immigration hearings and creating a new fund for expanding immigration detention capabilities. In total, the plan calls for hiring 15,000 homeland security officers, 600 immigration court prosecuting attorneys and 50 new federal prosecutors at U.S. Attorneys’ offices. The Trump Administration plans to work with Congress to find offsets, such as fees, to fund the hiring activity.
About $2.9 billion would be committed to enforcing immigration laws, and 23 percent of that amount, or $673 million, would go to the Executive Office for Immigration Review.
The DOJ is requesting about $110 million more for EOIR than it was allocated for fiscal 2019. If EOIR hits its hiring goals under the budget proposal, it will have 659 immigration judges by the end of fiscal 2020.
The $29.2 billion budget request for the DOJ is about $700 million, or 2.3 percent, less than the fiscal 2019 funding level. Part of that decrease stems from the DOJ’s decision to request less grant money than allocated by Congress.
Focus on Security
The budget would transfer the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ regulatory and enforcement obligations to the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. The move isn’t expected to impact ATF’s staffing or dedicated funding.
This change would allow the ATF to “consolidate duplicative alcohol and tobacco enforcement mechanisms” within the Treasury bureau, the White House proposal said.
The DOJ’s National Security Division would get $110 million — about $8.6 million more than current funding — under the proposal, which includes resources “to support additional work associated with the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act.” That law, known as FIRRMA, updates how the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) reviews cross-border mergers, acquisitions and other deals.
Assistant Attorney General John Demers, during a March 7 speech in New Orleans, said the division is “very involved” with CFIUS these days, and is focused on deals that involve large data transfers. “Those are transactions that we are very interested in,” he said.