timation and changes from the initial budget request to final appropriations?

•   What are the major sources of reestimates or changes? Do these mainly arise from uncertainties inherent in the budgeting process, from technical problems such as inadequate information or inappropriate bases for developing and justifying amounts, or from institutional factors affecting coordination and communication?

•   Is there evidence to suggest that the split of responsibilities for immigration enforcement after 2003 (with establishment of the Department of Homeland Security [DHS]) is associated with the pattern of reestimates or changes from the initial request to subsequent use or actual obligation of appropriated funds?


DOJ Structure and Responsibilities

At the start of the administration of George W. Bush, the immigration enforcement functions of the federal government were largely housed in DOJ, with roles for multiple agencies. Coordination of the department’s activity was traditionally handled at the senior levels in the department, by either the associate or deputy attorney general. A Detention Planning Committee, for example, chaired by the deputy attorney general, met regularly during this period. The creation of the Office of the Federal Detention Trustee (OFDT) in September 2001 was aimed in part at performing this type of coordination, particularly for the bed space and other needs for people detained by federal authorities for immigration as well as other federal offenses.

The DOJ’s internal coordinating process faded away as OFDT ramped up its activities. Then, less than 2 years later, the major reorganization of the domestic law enforcement functions of the federal government resulted in the creation of DHS. DOJ was then left with only certain pieces of the federal immigration enforcement function—those relating to civil legal proceedings, criminal prosecutions, detention, and long-term incarceration. Hence, since the creation of DHS in March 2003, DOJ has had responsibility for managing the resource needs of the “downstream” immigration enforcement agencies. At a headquarters level, coordination of the resource needs of these DOJ immigration enforcement components both in the department and with DHS agencies has most often been on an ad hoc basis, and at times it has been close to nonexistent.

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