The Jersey City/Newark region is slated to lose up to five million dollars in U.S. Department of Homeland Security funding just two months after a mass shooting claimed four innocent lives, according to a budget figures released by the DHS on Friday.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Today’s DHS programs must improve our readiness in preventing, preparing for, protecting against, and responding to today’s evolving threats. Our four priority areas, based on DHSâ€™s assessment of recent attacks and other events and trend analysis from a variety of public and private sector sources, will help ensure the Departmentâ€™s resources are applied most effectively,” DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said in a statement.
“Importantly, we have also included recommendations from governors and mayors, as well as national security experts and emergency management associations, in order to enhance our security posture going forward.”
New Jersey funding from the Urban Area Security Initiative, which falls under the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will be between $15.24 million and $19.05 in 2020, down from $20.05 million in 2019.
Wolf and the DHS did not a provide a specific explanation of why which states gained or lost funding, he indicated this year’s budget “continues to focus on the nationâ€™s highest risk areas and national priorities.”
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9), a staunch critic of President Donald Trump (R), was highly critical of the announcement and vowed to fight for more funding in the future.
â€œ … It has been less than two months since Jersey City â€“ one of the very areas this change would negatively impact â€“ was attacked by domestic terrorists. At a time of rising domestic extremism, now is not the moment to shortchange our communities. Incredibly, these funding restrictions hit New Jersey harder than neighboring regions,” Pascrell said in a statement.
“One more time, the Trump administration has seemingly put a bullseye target right on the Garden Stateâ€™s back. I am going to work with my colleagues to make sure New Jersey doesnâ€™t get the short end of the stick in protecting our neighbors.â€
Additionally, Mayor Steven Fulop and New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal hit Trump on Twitter, with the mayor calling for an effort to oust Trump in November and the AG demanding a more detailed explanation in light of “the worst anti-Semitic attack in our state’s history.”
“The takeaway here is we just need to continue working as hard as possible to make sure November is a change election,” Fulop wrote.
“Two months ago, NJ experienced the worst anti-Semitic attack in our state’s history. A hero cop was assassinated.I sat shiva with the family members of the victims,” Grewal tweeted.
“@realDonaldTrump should explain to their faces why he’s cutting our region’s security funds.”
Trump’s administration has joined a court challenge against Grewal’s Immigrant Trust Initiative, a policy that aimed to build trust between migrant families and the law enforcement communities despite the efforts of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.