BILL SUMMARY: Homeland Security Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Bill


Bill delivers new funding to stop the flow of fentanyl and transnational crime, resources to help meet operational needs at the border, and continued support for the refugee resettlement program


Rejects extreme Republican riders


***Bill text, explanatory statement, & more available HERE***


Washington, D.C. – The Fiscal Year 2024 Homeland Security Appropriations Act provides $61.8 billion in total discretionary funding.


“This is a bipartisan compromise that will provide some important new resources to help meet increased operational needs at our border. It’s clear more must be done, and Democrats have proven time and again we are ready to address the challenges at our border, invest in making our system work more fairly, safely, and efficiently, and finally get comprehensive immigration reform done,” said Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Importantly, this bill provides new resources to stop the flow of fentanyl way up the supply chain and at our ports of entry. It also rejects extreme Republican riders which had no place in a funding bill to begin with.”


Key Points & Highlights


The bill provides new resources to stop the flow of fentanyl and strengthen efforts abroad to disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal organizations trafficking in narcotics, firearms, and people. It also provides critical investments to: support United States Coast Guard search and rescue missions, drug interdiction efforts, and national security; support U.S. businesses and grow our nation’s economy by addressing work authorization backlogs and increasing capacity at ports of entry to improve the flow of goods and people; and achieve a more humane, orderly, and secure environment along the southwest border for both noncitizens seeking asylum and our nation’s dedicated front-line law enforcement managing our borders.


Stopping the Flow of Fentanyl: The bill provides over $400 million for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to improve the detection and seizure of fentanyl and other narcotics at ports of entry with non-intrusive inspection (NII) equipment, forward operating labs, and personnel. This funding will increase the percentage of passenger vehicles scanned at ports of entry since passenger vehicles are the primary means by which fentanyl is brought into the U.S. This funding will also expand CBP’s outbound operations on the southwest border with dedicated outbound capabilities to stop the flow of currency, firearms, and other contraband resulting from the sale of fentanyl.


Disrupting and Dismantling Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs): The bill also takes the fight against fentanyl and other narcotics to the source by providing $59.1 million in new resources above fiscal year 2023 levels—which includes $10 million for the new fentanyl task forces, $12.1 million to combat transnational crime overseas, $10 million for investigative efforts, and $10 million for Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) technology expansions. It provides resources for Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to expand its work disrupting the very organizations profiting off of the loss of human life—and dismantling sophisticated smuggling networks in the process.


Supporting Orderly Processing at and Management of the Border: The bill provides resources to U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to support orderly processing and increased needs at our border. Importantly, the bill continues funding for humanitarian assistance through CBP’s Shelter and Services Program with $650 million to state and local governments and non-governmental organizations that partner with federal personnel at the border to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance. Up to an additional $2.2 billion is available to ensure that asylum seekers are processed quickly, ports and other border facilities are not overcrowded, and Border Patrol has the tools it needs to improve border security. The bill also provides $16 million for child well-being professionals, who are operating at CBP facilities to provide care for children trafficked by TCOs. Additionally, the bill provides ICE and CBP additional resources to provide medical services to individuals in custody.


Supporting U.S. Businesses and Growing the Economy: The bill provides $34 million to address the work authorization—or employment authorization document (EAD)—backlog, which is evenly split between efforts aimed at reducing the current EAD backlog and efforts to ensure that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can meet all existing adjudication timelines for incoming EAD requests moving forward. These investments will reduce the backlog and strengthen our economy by ensuring that workers who can and want to work and employers who can and want to hire don’t face unnecessary administrative processing delays.


The bill also provides resources to hire 150 additional CBP officers at our nation’s ports of entry to reduce wait times for people and goods entering the U.S. More personnel will help stop the flow of illicit and counterfeit items. Additionally, this bill continues to support efforts to combat forced labor with $20 million toward detection and seizure of goods produced with forced labor.


Supporting Refugee Resettlement: The bill provides $91.3 million for refugee resettlement—sustaining vital funding and continuing America’s long tradition of welcoming people from across the globe seeking safety from persecution and opportunities for a better life. The bill provides $10 million for the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program, which helps prepare lawful permanent residents for naturalization. This grant program promotes civic integration and assists underserved communities navigating legal immigration pathways.


Rectifying the Trump Administration’s Failed Policies: The bill provides nearly $30 million for family reunification efforts in order to bring together the thousands of children cruelly separated from their families. Additionally, the bill does not include funding for wasteful border barriers. Instead, the bill continues to support the use of existing resources, previously provided for border wall, to support environmental mitigation necessary due to the destructive impacts of border barrier construction on border communities.


Supporting the Department of Homeland Security’s Workforce: The bill provides new resources to directly support the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) most valuable asset: its workforce. This includes $11.5 million at CBP for suicide prevention and wellness efforts, as well as employee onsite clinicians and child back-up care. It provides over $32 million for the Office of Health Security, including $1.5 million for a pilot on telemental health and employee assistance. The bill also makes critical investments to support our Coast Guard service members, including by providing $25 million for the Coast Guard’s child care subsidy program—meeting the President’s budget request.


Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA): The bill provides $20.261 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund in fiscal year 2024. It also provides $3.5 billion for grants and training to state, local, Tribal, and territorial entities to help communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from both manmade and natural threats, including hurricanes, terrorist attacks, wildfires, and more. These critical investments across the country help to support the efforts of our firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and other first responders; build resiliency in our communities; increase capacity to provide alerts and warnings; and protect communities across the country. FEMA grant programs are funded as follows:

  • $468 million for the State Homeland Security Grant Program, of which $81 million is for Operation Stonegarden Grants and $13.5 million is for Tribal Security Grants;
  • $553.5 million for Urban Area Security Initiative;
  • $274.5 million for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program;
  • $94.5 million for Public Transportation Security Assistance, of which $9 million is for Amtrak and $1.8 million is for Bus Security;
  • $90 million for Port Security Grants;
  • $324 million for Assistance to Firefighters Grants;
  • $324 million for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Grants;
  • $319.5 million for Emergency Management Performance Grants;
  • $281.5 million for RiskMAP;
  • $10.8 million for Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grants;
  • $117 million for the Emergency Food and Shelter Program; and
  • $40 million for Next Generation Warning System.


United States Coast Guard (USCG): The bill includes $11.8 billion to support the Coast Guard’s mission, including search and rescue activities, drug interdiction, marine safety and environmental protection, and fisheries enforcement. It supports the Coast Guard’s ongoing surface and air operations, including the crewing and operations of new assets coming online in fiscal year 2024; and invests $1.4 billion into major capital and acquisition programs, including $1.1 billion for vessels, $69 million for aircraft, and $188 million for shore facilities, including $100 million for the Homeport Seattle project. The bill also provides $1.5 million for an independent and impartial review of the Coast Guard’s efforts to respond to and reduce sexual assaults.  


Fulfilling the Commitment for Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Pay Equity: The bill includes $1.1 billion to align TSA employee compensation with the federal workforce and expand collective bargaining rights for Transportation Security Officers, as part of an effort that was initially funded in fiscal year 2023 and implemented in July 2023. This initiative enables TSA to address recruiting and retention challenges as the agency responds to burgeoning post-pandemic travel volumes. Since its implementation, TSA attrition is down over 50% compared to this time last year.


Law Enforcement Transparency: The bill funds the DHS body-worn camera program across several agencies, including CBP, ICE, and the United States Secret Service, and video monitoring at DHS detention facilities. This funding will strengthen accountability and transparency efforts.


Detention Oversight and 287(g) Policies: The bill funds detention oversight entities such as the Office of Immigration Detention Ombudsman, Office of Inspector General, and the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties that work to continue improving accountability and transparency for immigration detention. Further, a provision in the bill is included barring ICE from continuing contracts with detention services that do not achieve certain inspection standards while requiring more frequent inspections by ICE’s Office of Professional Responsibility. Additionally, the bill includes two policy provisions that requires ICE to make information about the 287(g) program publicly available and requires ICE to terminate any 287(g) agreement if the DHS Office of Inspector General determines that such terms have been materially violated.


Rejects Extreme Republican Policies: The bill rejects harmful Republican policy riders that would have reduced funding and access to asylum processes, limited participation in the Alternatives to Detention Program, prohibited the use of the CBP One application to assist with parole processes, restricted essential diversity and inclusion initiatives, and more.