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DHS shutdown plan: 30k furloughed, 85% remaining to work without pay

While a fractious Congress battled over last-minute funding for Homeland Security, the agency released a contingency plan showing just what parts of the agency would be shuttered in the event that Congress fails to pass a funding bill. 

In the 46-page document Homeland Security said it would furlough around 30,000 people, or 15 percent of the agency who were deemed "non-essential" The remaining 85 percent of employees would continue to work, but would do so without pay. 

Those who would be furloughed include staff at Homeland Security's headquarters, workers at research departments, the agencies inspector general's office, intelligence analysis, and almost the entire workforce at the main law enforcement training center in New Mexico. 

Additionally, 100-300 students at training facilities could be sent home as soon as possible. 

With nearly 60,000 employees, Customs and Border Protection would lose about 10 percent of its total force during a shutdown, or just under 6,300 people. That includes Border Patrol agents and others working in border enforcement.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement would lose 3,700 employees, or nearly 20 percent of its total workforce. 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency could lose nearly 31 percent of its workforce, including those working on analysis for floods and some employees responsible for emergency response. 

The agency responsible for much of the president's deferred action program, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, would lose less than three percent of its total workforce, while the Secret Service would lose more than 8 percent, and Transportation and Security Administration just under six percent. 

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With just over 48,000 employees, the U.S. Coast Guard could lose nearly 13 percent of its workforce, or more than 6,000 people. 

The relatively small National Protection and Programs Directorate, which includes protection for federally-owned and leased buildings, and cybersecurity programs would be hammered by a shutdown, losing almost 43 percent of its total workforce, or more than 1,300 people. 

And, an office responsible for intelligence gathering for DHS would lose 52 percent of its workforce, or 413 people. 

The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, New Mexico would be effectively shuttered, losing nearly 94 percent of its 1,039 personnel during a shutdown. 

The last time that DHS was forced to shutdown during a similar funding fight in 2013, the agency furloughed 31,295 employees, according to the Congressional Research Service.

This week, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has pressed repeatedly on the need to fully fund the agency through September in a serious of "availabilities" to the press. 

On Monday, Johnson said the continuing resolution limited the agency’s abilities to protect the United States. "It’s like trying to drive cross-country with no more than five gallons of gas in the tank," he said. 

On Thursday, the DHS press office sent out statements by four groups representing firemen and police officers to fully-fund the agency.  

This included a statement from the International Association of Fire Chiefs that said the lack of funding for the FEMA would affect the local fire and emergency services departments. 

"Short-term funding creates uncertainties and delays in FEMA’s ability to perform its function. It needlessly delays grant application periods for fire departments and forces strategic initiatives to be postponed," the statement read. 

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"Providing for the safety and security of our citizens is a threshold responsibility of government,” said Chuck Canterbury, national president of the Fraternal Order of Police. "The political brinkmanship in the House and the Senate puts lives at risk – not just the uniformed officers or the men and women in law enforcement, but the public at large." 

In late January, Johnson had began pressing for funding, arguing that without a funding bill, his agency "cannot do the things that Congress wants me to do." 

"I cannot print money and I cannot appropriate money. I need a partner in Congress," he said. 

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Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

In the event that a funding bill does not pass through Congress, U.S. Customs and Border Protection could lose about 10 percent of its total force during a shutdown, or just under 6,300 people.