Data suggest tougher border security and trends in Latin America are driving the slowdown.
The awards are one of many steps taken by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to boost staff morale.
The Department of Homeland Security strives to bring 22 agencies together as one smooth-running department.
Though both sides said they thought the arguments before the court had gone well, lawyers supporting the Obama administration seemed a bit more confident.
Several hundred supporters of the law rallied outside the court.
A Silicon Valley start-up was poised to produce a breakthrough device that could test microorganisms.
Morale and management — already problems at the department — could suffer.
At least four studies in recent years have left some wondering about how much effort is going to real fixes.
Headquarters project is already more than $1.5 billion over budget and 12 years behind schedule.