Management Mess

The ongoing battle between immigration agencies exemplifies the challenges that have stalled and stymied progress at the Homeland Security Department.

March 2003

Homeland Security Department opens with former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge at the helm. New units include Border and Transportation Directorate with its Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection bureaus.

June 2003

June 6: ICE Administrator Michael Garcia writes to Border and Transportation Security Directorate chief Asa Hutchinson saying the ICE budget is short $500 million and seeking a transfer of funds from CBP.

June 2003

June 11: CBP Commissioner Robert Bonner resists. Hutchinson tells Garcia and Bonner to resolve their disagreement.

Feb.-Sept. 2004

February: DHS budget office is forced to mediate ICE-CBP dispute.

March-September: Funding shortfall forces ICE to begin a hiring freeze, release criminal aliens from detention and restrict nonessential spending.

October 2004

Oct. 31: Office of Air and Marine Operations is transferred intact from ICE to Customs and Border Protection.

December 2004

December: Outside consultants hired by DHS find ICE has huge funding shortfall, while CBP has a surplus.

February 2005

Feb. 15: Judge Michael Chertoff is sworn in as the nation's second Homeland Security secretary.

March 2005

DHS asks Congress for permission to reprogram money among its agencies and programs. Congress refuses.

March 16: Chertoff announces departmentwide second stage review to recommend improvements.

May-July 2005

May: Congress gives ICE $276 million in emergency funding and orders agency to lift its hiring freeze.

July 13: ICE and CBP become stand-alone bureaus, reporting directly to Chertoff and his deputy.

October 2005

Oct. 1: ICE gets $4.4 billion for fiscal year 2006. DHS says agency problems have been resolved.

Oct. 1: CBP integrates aviation assets within AMO and the Border Patrol to form CBP Air.

January 2006

Jan. 17: CBP combines marine assets within AMO and Border Patrol, along with CBP Air, to form the new CBP Air and Marine.

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