Washington, DC - President Trump’s FY 2020 Budget proposal totals $29 billion for the Department of Justice to support federal law enforcement and criminal justice priorities of our state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners. The request represents a comprehensive investment in the Justice mission and includes increases in funding for strengthening security efforts to reduce violent crime, enforce the nation’s immigration laws, combat the opioid epidemic, and continues its commitment to National Security.
“The men and women of the Department of Justice perform critical duties every day that keep the American people safe, protect civil rights, and uphold the rule of law,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “Over the past year, federal prosecutions of violent offenses, drug offenses, firearm offenses, immigration violations, and white collar crimes have all gone up while violent crime nationally has gone down. The President’s budget request increases our resources for fighting the opioid epidemic, transnational organized crime, violent crime, illegal immigration, and cybersecurity threats, and I urge our representatives in Congress to pass it into law.”
The Department of Justice’s areas of investment include:
- +$290.5 million in program enhancements and transfers to fight the opioid crisis and support law enforcement safety. Additional resources will be devoted to combatting transnational criminal organizations, known for supplying illicit substances to the United States.
- +$137.9 million to strengthen federal law enforcement’s ability to reduce violent crime.
- +$72.1 million in immigration related program enhancements to enhance border security and immigration enforcement. These investments will also improve our ability to conduct immigration hearings to help combat illegal immigration.
- +$132.0 million in program enhancements to address critical national security and cyber threats.
- $4.3 billion in discretionary and mandatory funding for federal grants to state, local, and tribal law enforcement and victims of crime, to ensure greater safety for law enforcement personnel and the people they serve. Critical programs aimed at protecting the life and safety of state and local law enforcement personnel, including the Public Safety Partnership Program and the Project Safe Neighborhood Program, demonstrate our continuing commitment to supporting state, local, and tribal law enforcement.
Drug Enforcement and the Opioid Crisis
The United States is in the midst of the deadliest drug epidemic in American history. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 70,200 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017, a 10 percent increase from the previous year. Over 47,600, or over two-thirds, of these overdose deaths were caused by heroin, fentanyl, and prescription opioids. The President declared a National Public Health Emergency in October 2017, and the Department remains committed to doing its part to protect the American people from the impact of drugs and drug-related crime nationwide.
The FY 2020 budget requests $291 million in program enhancements and transfers to combat the opioid crisis and bolster drug enforcement efforts. These resources enable the Department to target the drug trafficking organizations responsible for opioid abuse and drug-related violence in our communities. It also bolsters the capacity of Department agents to deny revenues to drug traffickers using the best cyber capabilities and technologies, enabling the Department to keep pace with these nefarious actors.
Combating Violent Crime
Protecting the American people from violent crime is a top priority for the Department of Justice. Unfortunately, in recent years, crime has been on the rise throughout the country. FBI statistics show that, in 2015 and 2016, the United States experienced the largest increases in violent crime in a quarter-century. Over those two years, violent crime increased by nearly 7 percent. Robberies, assaults, and rapes all increased, and murder increased by a shocking 20 percent.
In 2017 and 2018, the Department revitalized Federal efforts to fight violent crime, including the launch of the enhanced Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative, which brings together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime. In FY 2018, the Department prosecuted the greatest number of violent criminals in at least 25 years—since the Department began tracking “violent crime” as a category.
The FY 2020 budget requests $137.9 million in program enhancements to reduce violent crime and combat transnational criminal organizations. The Department of Justice is committed to restoring law and order by providing Federal resources where they are most needed and most effective. These resources will enable the Department to dismantle the worst criminal organizations, target the most violent offenders, and protect the public.
Enforce Immigration Laws
The FY 2020 budget strengthens the Nation’s security through stronger enforcement of the Nation’s immigration laws. The Department is requesting $72.1 million in immigration related program enhancements for FY 2020, which will enhance border security and immigration enforcement. These investments will also improve our ability to conduct immigration hearings to help combat illegal immigration to the United States by expanding capacity, improving efficiency, and removing impediments to the timely administration of justice. This budget supports the Department’s efforts, along with our partners at the Department of Homeland Security, to fix our immigration system.
National Security and Cyber
National security remains the Department’s highest priority. Threats are constantly evolving, requiring additional investments to mitigate those threats in innovative ways. Terrorists seek to sabotage critical infrastructure; organized crime syndicates seek to defraud banks and corporations; and spies seek to steal defense and intelligence secrets and intellectual property. Each threatens our nation’s economy and security.
The FY 2020 budget supports the Department in responding to those evolving threats by dedicating $132 million to provide program enhancements for areas of 1) Cyber, 2) Counterterrorism, 3) Counterintelligence, and 4) Dignitary Protection.
State, Local, and Tribal Assistance
The Justice Department is solidly committed to the President’s initiatives to reduce violent crime and address the opioid epidemic. Federal law enforcement officers constitute only 15 percent of the total number of law enforcement officers nationwide; therefore, 85 percent of the officer support relies upon strong partnership with state and local law enforcement. The Department supports its partners in state and local law enforcement, who have critical intelligence about violent crime in their communities, and whose actions are crucial in the fight against violent crime and the opioid epidemic.
The FY 2020 budget continues its commitment to state, local and tribal law enforcement by investing approximately $4.3 billion in discretionary and mandatory funding in programs to assist them. Funding has been prioritized to meet the most pressing law enforcement concerns – violent crime and opioid abuse – and to help the victims of crime.