Would slash airport patrols, canine teams, marine response teams and more
By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
President Donald Trump may talk about keeping Americans safe, but his proposed cuts to important airport TSA (Transportation Security Administration) and U.S. Coast Guard security programs in New York present a disturbing picture, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said.
In a release on Sunday, Schumer said the Trump administration’s proposed 11 percent budget cut to the TSA and 14 percent cut to the Coast Guard “would spell real trouble for security here in New York City.”
According to reports, the White House would also slash the budget of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Schumer said the cuts would pay for a Mexico border wall, which he called impractical.
Preliminary figures obtained by the Washington Post indicate that $2.9 billion would be diverted to building the border wall, with $1.9 billion funding “immigration detention beds” and other Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) expenses. The preliminary budget also calls for 500 more Border Patrol agents and 1,000 more ICE agents and staffers.
The TSA and Coast Guard need more support, not less, Schumer said, “especially when the plan is to divert the money for a border wall we don't need, and that won't keep us any safer from would-be-terrorists.”
Trump’s budget could cripple canine detection teams that help screen passengers at airports, along with a flight deck officer program, local law enforcement patrols around airports and advanced behavior detection techniques at airports.
It would also slash the Coast Guard budget to $7.8 billion, eliminating response teams that help in the event of an attack near or on the water. The budget also cancels a contract with Huntington Ingalls Industries to build a National Security Cutter, saving roughly $500 million — but endangering security, Schumer says.
In New York City, the Coast Guard is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of the Port of New York and New Jersey, the largest operating field command in all of the United States.
The Guard conducts Port and Waterways coastal security, search and rescue, and boating safety missions. In November, the Coast Guard helped rescue 100 people off a ferry in NY Harbor; and in March, the USCG helped respond to a plane crash in the Hudson.
The Coast Guard also monitors foreign vessels near the coast of the U.S., such as the Russian Federation-flagged vessel that was patrolling international waters off the East coast in February.