Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano warned Tuesday that billions of dollars in looming cuts due to federal budget sequestration will undermine domestic security efforts, from the U.S.-Mexico border to local law enforcement agencies depending on federal aid, USA Today reports.
Holder says that scheduled Friday cuts are “untenable” and would require $1.6 billion in Justice Department budget reductions, the article reports. The “sequester” would curtail the department’s ability to support state and local partners, as well as having a negative impact on U.S. safety, Holder says.
He also remarked that the federal government’s “capacity to respond to crimes, investigate wrongdoing and hold criminals accountable will be reduced.”
Napolitano says that the expected budget reduction would affect “all core missions” of the department, USA Today reports. Chief among those cuts would be the loss of about 5,000 border agents, as well as long waits at U.S. airports and other ports of entry, Napolitano says.