How sequestration could affect DouglasBy Trisha Maldonado
Longer waits at the Douglas Port of Entry and less Border Patrol protecting the Douglas/Agua Prieta border will be seen by late April.
On March 1 President Obama signed an order making the budget cuts known as sequestration official and giving the federal government the authority to begin implementing $85 billion in across-the-board decreases.
In 2011, Congress passed a law saying that if they couldn’t agree on a plan to reduce the United States deficit by $4 trillion this also included the $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction both the Democrats and Republicans parties have already accomplished over the last few years, about $1 trillion in automatic, random and across the board budget cuts would take effect in 2013 and continue until September 2013.
“The whole design of these arbitrary cuts was to make them so unattractive and unappealing that Democrats and Republicans would actually get together and find a good compromise of sensible cuts as well as closing tax loopholes and so forth,” President Obama said in a press release. “And so this was all designed to say we can't do these bad cuts; let’s do something smarter. That was the whole point of this so-called sequestration."
These vast budget cuts will not only have an impact on protecting our borders but also on many federally funded programs across Arizona.
Arizona will lose approximately $17.7 million in funding for primary and secondary education, roughly 240 teachers and their aides may lose their jobs. In addition about 19,000 fewer students would be served and nearly 70 schools would lose funding.
Furthermore, Arizona will lose approximately $10 million in funds for about 120 teachers, aides and staff who help children with disabilities.
Around 2,310 fewer low income students in Arizona would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 330 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.
Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for an estimated 1,000 children in Arizona, reducing access to critical early education.
Arizona is also in danger of losing about $2.1 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. Arizona could also lose another $1.1 million in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
About 10,000 Arizona civilian employees for the Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $52.5 million in total.
Base operation funding would be cut by about $43 million and Air Force operations would be cut by about $6 million in Arizona.
An estimated $298,000 would be cut in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.
Funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement would be cut by $781,000. These cuts would affect around 26,360 people from getting help and skills they need to find employment.
Up to 500 children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job.
In Arizona around 2,570 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $176,000.
Arizona will lose approximately $611,000 in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events.
Arizona will also see a lose of about $1.9 million in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, the Arizona State Department of Health Services will lose about $186,000, and another $132,000 in funding for victims of domestic violence.
In addition Arizona would lose over $1 million in funds that provide meals for seniors.
The President has proposed a plan he believe will have a less effect on the American people.
This plan will avoid sequestration's harmful budget cuts and reduce the deficit in a balanced way by cutting spending, finding savings in entitlement programs and closing tax loopholes.
“I do believe that we can and must replace these cuts with a more balanced approach that asks something from everybody,” President Obama said. “Smart spending cuts; entitlement reform; tax reform that makes the tax code more fair for families and businesses without raising tax rates -- all so that we can responsibly lower the deficit without laying off workers, or forcing parents to scramble for childcare, or slashing financial aid for college students.