The Alabama Homeland Security Department expects massive budget cuts this upcoming year due to a reduction in flow of federal dollars.

“It will be about a 40 to 50 percent cut in the state’s homeland security budget,” says John Scripture, spokesperson for the head of the Alabama Department of Homeland Security Spencer Collier (ADHS).

Accordingly, DHS expects to greatly reduce its programs and projects:

These cuts and reduction in funds for functioning programs will be a blow to the ADHS. However, the ADHS will require more funds from the state’s general fund to fulfill its newly bestowed duties. According to the Alabama’s new immigration law, the state’s homeland security department is responsible for maintaining the E-Verify system. This will require a 25 percent increase in general funding for the department to run the citizenship authentication system.

For an already cash-strapped state budget, this could pose a problem. Nevertheless, Scripture is assured the funding will be there. “Until the legislature changes its mind, we will require an increase in funding from the general fund.”

For you see, DHS had a fairly large responsibility placed upon it by the Alabama Legislature. In an effort to be sly, the Legislature converted DHS into the Human Resources/Personnel department of every small business in Alabama: all 80,000 of them. (See here and here)

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Evidently, Mitt Romney thinks the “Social Security is a Ponzi-scheme “is Perry’s weakness. He has a new handout (direct-mail?) piece that the Obama campaign will be able to photoshop pretty easily.  While Perry has softened his firm position some, I don’t see this being too powerful, within the GOP primary.  Perhaps, in a last-man-standing type strategy, Romney continues to believes that Perry and Bachmann (and Palin?) will destroy themselves and each other before the primaries.

On the other hand, Bachmann sees Perry’s Open-borders position represents the real vulnerability in the primary. She is probably right. (Bachmann cannot say too much about Social Security; she trumped Perry by calling Social Security “one of the biggest frauds ever perpetrated on the American public.“)

Immigration is certainly more toxic when considered by Tea Party sympathizers. Accordingly, a pro-Bachman PAC has just released this ad in South Carolina:

We will see how he explains this “liberal” position.

UPDATE: New CNN poll shows no impact of Perry’s statements about Social Security.