NEWS: DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY NEWS
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   NEWS: DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY NEWS
Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 24, 2019

McAleenan: Through Innovation, Partnership and Prevention, DHS is Confronting the Opioid Epidemic and Halting Illicit Substances at the Source
WASHINGTON - Since President Donald J. Trump announced the Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand on March 19, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has embarked on an aggressive inter-agency operation to implement the president's initiative and to stem the flow of opioids into U.S. communities.

"Through innovation, partnership and prevention, the men and women of DHS are working to curtail the flow of illicit substances at the source and at the border—before they reach our communities." said DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan. "Our Department will continue to improve its efforts to interdict illicit drugs at or before they reach our borders, and remains committed to working with federal, state and local partners and relevant stakeholders to disrupt and dismantle the production and movement of these substances devastating American families and poisoning our communities. By mobilizing the entire administration to address this crisis, President Trump is galvanizing all of our resources to combat this deadly epidemic."

DHS currently leads U.S. Government efforts to interdict illicit opioids and their analogues at or before reaching U.S. borders. In fact, DHS is seizing and blocking more fentanyl shipments than ever before. In Fiscal Year 2018 (FY 18), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) together seized almost 5,000 lbs. of fentanyl combined—or more than 1.2 billion lethal doses and enough to kill every American by overdose four times.

In FY 18, ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) seized over 1 million lbs. of illegal narcotics, including 2,737 lbs. of fentanyl and 7,103 lbs. of heroin, and has made over 11,400 narcotics-related criminal arrests over the same time period—of which over 720 were for fentanyl-related offenses.

During the first six months of Fiscal Year 2019 (FY 19), ICE HSI fentanyl seizures totaled 1,340 lb

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 21, 2019

Acting Secretary McAleenan Statement on Sri Lanka Attacks
On April 21, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan released the following statement in response to the reported terror attacks in Sri Lanka:

"On behalf of the men and women of DHS, I want to express condolences and sympathies for those affected by the Easter Sunday attack on multiple hotels and places of worship in Sri Lanka.  

"DHS stands resolutely with persons of every faith who look to worship in safety and peace. We will continue our work with partners around the world to ensure that all are able to worship without fear.

"As the Department has made clear regarding attacks on members of multiple faiths: religious liberty for all is a hallmark of this country and attacks on peaceful people in their places of worship are abhorrent and must not be allowed.

"At this time we are not aware of any current, credible or active threat domestically. Regardless, the Department is doing all it can to protect the homeland from potential violent extremists.

"We will continue to monitor the situation as the response to this tragedy unfolds and investigations continue."

Keywords: countering terrorism, countering violent extremism
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 19, 2019

Readout from Acting Secretary McAleenan's Trip to McAllen


WASHINGTON - Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan travelled to McAllen, Texas on Tuesday and Wednesday to assess the strategic and operational challenges faced by law enforcement and local communities as they work to confront the ongoing humanitarian and security crisis at the U.S. Southern Border.

The Acting Secretary joined the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) Tuesday for a midnight shift tour of the U.S.-Mexico border - including key crossing points and staging areas central to human smuggling - in order to assess the strategic and operational challenges faced by law enforcement operations in the region. McAleenan expressed appreciation for agents' unwavering dedication in the face of record migration flows and emphasized the necessity of remaining steadfast in executing DHS' mission.

Currently, DHS facilities along the Southwest Border are at peak capacity, while officers and agents lack the resources to adequately administer humanitarian services to migrants.

On Wednesday, Acting Secretary McAleenan toured the Humanitarian Respite Center operated by Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley (CCRGV), a local nongovernmental organization providing services to migrants once they are released from custody, followed by meetings with the members of the Center's leadership. There, McAleenan discussed CCRGV's needs related to the care of migrants in the area and expressed appreciation for the organization's continued dedication to the vulnerable and migrant populations. McAleenan then hosted a roundtable with local mayors, stressing the need to work together to achieve security at the border while providing critical services to migrants.

"We recognize the strain that this humanitarian crisis has placed on service providers and communities such as yours along the border - it affects the

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 19, 2019

Acting Secretary McAleenan Announces Establishment of DHS Office for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention
On April 19, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan released the following statement on the establishment of the new DHS Office for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention:

"I am pleased to announce the establishment of the DHS Office for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention. DHS remains committed to preventing all forms of terrorism, including both international and domestic, as well as preventing acts of targeted violence such as racially motivated violence. This new office supports the direction the President outlined in the National Strategy for Counterterrorism and will enable DHS to more effectively coordinate our resources and capabilities to better serve the needs of states and local communities. By expanding the aperture of terrorism prevention to include targeted violence, DHS can help communities better protect themselves against a broader range of current and emerging threats. This new office will focus on moving beyond ‘whole of government' efforts to ‘whole of society' and give prominence to the needs and leadership of states and local communities."

The Office for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention widens the scope of previous Departmental efforts to ensure that all forms of violence, regardless of the ideological motivation, are being addressed. The Office will leverage, coordinate, and build upon the broad range of prevention activities that are currently implemented across DHS, including grants, community awareness and law enforcement awareness briefings, threat assessments, information sharing, and reporting of tips and leads.

Keywords: countering terrorism, countering violent extremism,

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 16, 2019

Acting Secretary McAleenan: Nonpartisan Committee Report Recommendations Essential to Securing Our Border, Safety and Welfare of Migrant Children
WASHINGTON - Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan today released the following statement on the Homeland Security Advisory Committee's report on CBP Families and Children Care:

"Today, a panel of experts under the DHS Homeland Security Advisory Committee - a nonpartisan federal advisory committee - issued a report on the current humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border. The 'Emergency Interim Report on CBP Families and Children Care' made a series of important findings and recommendations to address the crisis that will form key elements of the Department's response in the coming weeks.

"The unprecedented surge in unaccompanied children and family unit migration is overwhelming our ability to provide humanitarian aid within our immigration system. The reasonable changes proposed by this nonpartisan panel, could dramatically reduce migration of family units from Central America, help eliminate dangerous and illegal border crossings, as well as improve the care of children who are brought on this harrowing journey. These recommendations are essential to secure our border and for the safety and welfare of children living in Central America and elsewhere who will continue to make this dangerous trek north.

"I want to thank the Committee for their diligent and rapid work in producing this report. This emergency report should help inform decision makers throughout the government, and I look forward to discussing the findings with Congress in order to find a common path forward."

Background:The recommendations included in the report are emergency legislative recommendations; emergency regulatory changes; establishing temporary regional processing centers for all family units; co-locate necessary personnel to facilitate rapid adjudication of asylum claims of family units within the regional processing centers; propose and negotiate a North American Family Protection Initiative (NAFPI) that includes the e

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 15, 2019

Acting Secretary McAleenan Statement on the Designation of CBP Chief Operating Officer John Sanders to Serve as Senior Official Performing the Functions and Duties of the Commissioner of CBP
On April 15, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan announced his designation of John P. Sanders, U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Chief Operating Officer, as the senior official performing the functions and duties of the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Acting Secretary McAleenan stated, "John Sanders has proven instrumental to advancing CBP's mission and organizational priorities across the agency. In addition to bringing greater focus on the agency's operational requirements, he has provided strategic direction and oversight to critical enterprise services and operations support functions across the agency. With John Sanders' leadership, CBP will continue to excel, remain ever vigilant, and accomplish the mission with steadfast resolve."

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Keywords: Customs and Border Protection, leadership
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 12, 2019

DHS Announces Funding Opportunity for Fiscal Year 2019 Preparedness Grants
On April 12, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Deputy Secretary David P. Pekoske announced the release of Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Notices of Funding Opportunity for eight DHS preparedness grant programs totaling more than $1.7 billion. The grant programs provide funding to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, as well as transportation authorities, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector, to improve the nation's readiness in preventing, protecting against, responding to, recovering from and mitigating terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies. The grants reflect the Department's focus on funding for programs that address our nation's immediate security needs and ensure public safety in our communities.

"The administration remains committed to strengthening the security and resilience of our state and local communities," Pekoske said. "The DHS grant programs are flexible by design and will be used to help address evolving threats. They will go toward building and sustaining capabilities across all levels of government and the whole community to maximize preparedness."

The FY 2019 grant guidance will continue to focus on the nation's highest risk areas, including urban areas that face the most significant threats. For FY 2019, the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) will enhance regional preparedness and capabilities by funding 31 high-threat, high-density urban areas. This represents Congressional intent to limit FY 2019 UASI funding to those Urban Areas that represent up to 85 percent of the nationwide risk, as stated in the Explanatory Statement accompanying the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2019 (Pub. L. No. 116-6).

Consistent with previous grant guidance, dedicated funding is provided for law enforcement and terrorism prevention throughout the country to prepare for, prevent and respond to pre-operational activity and o

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 11, 2019

Acting Secretary McAleenan Statement on the Designation of Administrator Pekoske to Serve as Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Secretary
On April 11, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan designated David P. Pekoske, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator, senior official performing the duties of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Deputy Secretary. Patricia Cogswell, TSA's Acting Deputy Administrator, will oversee day-to-day operations at TSA and continue to focus on TSA's mission and priorities.

Acting Secretary McAleenan stated, "Administrator Pekoske brings a wealth of experience and leadership to the Department, previously serving as a senior leader within two DHS agencies: the United States Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration. Additionally, he has tackled impressive challenges over the course of his career, ranging from acquisition and procurement reform as the Coast Guard's Vice Commandant to securing America's traveling public as TSA's Administrator. I look forward to working with him to meet the homeland security challenges facing our nation."

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Keywords: leadership
Topics: Homeland Security Careers

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 10, 2019

Message from Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan
As I assume the role of Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, I look forward to working to support the men and women of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as they carry out the critical missions that keep our country safe. I'd also like to extend my sincere thanks to Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for her service to the country as the sixth Secretary of Homeland Security, and for her tireless work on behalf of the people and organizations of DHS. She deserves our enduring respect and appreciation for her leadership, and I'm personally grateful for it.

In many roles in my career at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, I've had the opportunity to work with virtually every component of DHS, and have witnessed the extraordinary commitment and steadfast resolve of the men and women across this Department. While we face many challenges, including a growing crisis on our southern border, I know that, working together, we can overcome them. I've also learned that the true strength of DHS is our people, and during my time as Acting Secretary, I pledge to be an aggressive advocate for you. 

I look forward to working alongside you to accomplish the vast mission of securing our homeland with honor, integrity and vigilance. Let's power on. The American people are counting on us.

Kevin K. McAleenan
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security

With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.

Keywords: Acting Secretary McAleenan, leadership
Topics: Homeland Security Enterprise

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 10, 2019

Farewell Message from Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen
As you know, I submitted my resignation to the President earlier this week. Today is my final day at the Department. For nearly two years, I've had the honor to work alongside a talented, dedicated workforce. You serve with professionalism, respect, and determination in fulfilling DHS' important missions. The commitment you make day in and out - securing the land air and sea domains, preventing terrorism, administrating immigration laws, ensuring disaster resilience, safeguarding our cybersecurity landscape and infrastructure, and so much more - is awe inspiring.

Your work is vital to making every American safer, and as I leave you, know that I'll always admire what you've done to defend our way of life. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan will now lead DHS as your Acting Secretary. Kevin has led the Department's largest component for two years and his qualifications and experience will be instrumental in overseeing the crisis at our nation's borders. I have full confidence in Kevin's ability to carry out the DHS mission of safeguarding the American people, our homeland, and our values. Please join me in welcoming Kevin as the Acting Secretary.

To each of you I am eternally grateful for your service and could not be prouder to have served alongside you. Thank you for your devotion and sacrifice. God bless each of you and your families, and God bless this great country.

Keywords: Secretary Nielsen
Topics: Homeland Security Enterprise

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 10, 2019

Message from Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen on the Resignation of ICE Acting Director Ronald D. Vitiello
For over three decades, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Acting Director Ronald Vitiello has protected our homeland with courage and conviction. Ron's knowledge and expertise as a seasoned law enforcement professional has been invaluable to DHS, and he has left a legacy of excellence as our Department has expanded and refined our efforts to curb illegal immigration and secure our borders.
 
Ron's career with the Department began in 1985 as a U.S. Border Patrol agent. Prior to leading ICE, he served U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in a variety of leadership roles, culminating in being named the Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol and later that same year, named CBP's Acting Deputy Commissioner.
 
During his tenure leading ICE, Ron has been an unwavering advocate for the dedicated men and women who enforce our immigration laws and protect our nation from the illegal entry of drugs, human trafficking, transnational criminals, counterfeit goods, and so much more. On behalf of DHS I want to thank Ron for his service and dedication, and I wish him the very best in this next chapter of his career.

Keywords: ICE
Topics: Homeland Security Enterprise

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 09, 2019

Message from Secretary Nielsen on Acting Deputy Secretary Grady
Today, Claire M. Grady, Acting Deputy Secretary offered the President her resignation effective tomorrow. For the last two years, Claire has served this Department with excellence and distinction. She has been an invaluable asset to DHS - a steady force and a knowledgeable voice.

In addition to serving as the Department's Deputy for the last year, she served as the Under Secretary for Management overseeing all aspects of the Department's management programs, including financial, human capital, information technology, procurement, physical security and asset management. Claire has led the men and women of DHS who support our operational personnel by providing the overarching business management structure for the Department, while eliminating redundancies and reducing costs. Her sound leadership and effective oversight have impacted every DHS office and employee and made us stronger as a Department.

Clair has led a remarkable career in public service - 28 years at the Departments of Homeland Security and Defense - that is coming to a close.  I am thankful for Claire's expertise, dedication and friendship and am filled with gratitude for her exemplary service to DHS and to our country. I wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

Warmest regards,

 

Kirstjen M. Nielsen
Secretary of Homeland Security

With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.

Keywords: deputy secretary, leadership
Topics: Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 08, 2019

Readout from Acting Deputy Secretary Grady's Trip to G-7 Interior Ministers' Meeting
WASHINGTON - Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Claire Grady represented the United States at the G-7 Interior Ministers' Meetings in Paris, France last week, where she met with counterparts from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the European Union (EU) for discussions on a range of issues including combatting irregular migration patterns, counterterrorism efforts, managing foreign terrorist fighters, and fighting environmental crime.

Specifically, the meetings focused on combatting the smuggling of migrants and trafficking networks who profit from the plight of families and children seeking to enter the U.S., as well as managing present dangers and ever-evolving future threats from terrorists. Ministers held a comprehensive discussion on ways to address the use of the internet by terrorists and violent extremists, and included participating officials representing Twitter, Facebook, Google and Microsoft. The final session focused on managing the threat environment with regard to foreign terrorist fighters and their relatives.

Deputy Secretary Grady also held bilateral meetings with her counterparts from France, Canada, and Italy.

# # #

Keywords: counterterrorism, deputy secretary, immigration
Topics: Preventing Terrorism

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 07, 2019

Message from Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen
To the brave and dedicated men and women of DHS, I submitted my resignation to the President this evening. I am eternally grateful and proud of what you do each and every day to protect our homeland. Each of you are why I came back to serve my country. Our missions as a Department are vast and have never been more vital. You are in the arena—keep up the good fight. Thank you for your sacrifices and those of your families.

God bless you, and God bless our great country.

Best Regards,

 

Kirstjen M. Nielsen
Secretary of Homeland Security

With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.

# # #

Keywords: Secretary Nielsen
Topics: Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 07, 2019

Secretary Nielsen, President Trump Assess Humanitarian and Security Emergency Response in Calexico
WASHINGTON - Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen traveled on Friday to Calexico, California as part of a multi-state tour to oversee the Department-wide action to confront the humanitarian and security emergency at the U.S. border with Mexico. 

Secretary Nielsen, federal and local law enforcement, and members of Congress joined President Trump at the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) Calexico Station to discuss the bold action being taken by DHS to address the dramatic influx of unaccompanied children and families, while pursuing longer-lasting solutions by pressuring Congress to fix the legal loopholes perpetuating the crisis. Later in the day, President Trump and Secretary Nielsen toured a newly built portion of the border wall. 

Throughout her tour, Secretary Nielsen reiterated calls to Congress for help in strengthening immigration laws, Nielsen said. 

"No matter what we do, it's clear that the only way to truly fix this crisis is with legislation. Outdated laws and misguided court decisions have created an illegal fast-pass into America. These loopholes are the main cause of today's emergency…they are enormous ‘pull' factors to the United States…and closing them is the only surefire way out of this emergency," the Secretary said in Calexico.

"Thank you Mr. President for everything you do to support our frontline operators - who are working 24/7 to safeguard our nation. We are truly grateful for your leadership and commitment to the men and women of DHS." she added.

Secretary Nielsen first arrived at the Southwest Border on Wednesday to personally oversee implementation of DHS disaster response measures, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) emergency surge operations and expanded initiatives to require aliens to wait in Mexico for the duration of their immigration proceedings.

In El Paso, the Secretary toured the Paso Del Norte Port of Entry an

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 04, 2019

TSA reminds Travelers of REAL ID Identification Requirements
Transportation Security Administration
Public Affairs
571-227-2829
tsamedia@tsa.dhs.gov



WASHINGTON - The Transportation Security Administration is reminding travelers that beginning October 1, 2020, every traveler must present a REAL ID-compliant driver's license, or another acceptable form of identification, to fly within the United States. TSA has launched a public awareness campaign about the upcoming identification changes to ensure that every traveler is prepared for the airport security checkpoint process when the REAL ID Act goes into full enforcement.

"TSA is doing everything we can to prepare our partners and the traveling public for the REAL ID deadline next year," said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. "The security requirements of the REAL ID Act will dramatically enhance and improve commercial aviation security."

Travelers will begin seeing new signs at airports nationwide in the coming weeks to remind people that REAL ID-compliant licenses or other acceptable forms of ID, such as a valid passport, federal government PIV card or U.S. military ID, will be mandatory for air travel beginning on October 1, 2020. Critically important, on October 1, 2020, individuals who are unable to verify their identity will not be permitted to enter the TSA checkpoint and will not be allowed to fly.

REAL ID-compliant licenses are generally marked by a star on the top of the card. Travelers who are not sure if their ID is compliant should check with their state driver's license agency.

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act complies with the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that the federal government "set standards for the issuance of sources of identification,

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 03, 2019

Secretary Nielsen to Travel to Southern Border to Oversee Responses to Humanitarian and Security Emergency
WASHINGTON - Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen will travel to the U.S.-Mexico border this week where DHS agents and officers are coping with record migration flows. The Secretary will meet with frontline operators to assess the crisis, the Department's response, and efforts to surge federal government resources to the area to restore order.  She will also review the implementation of measures announced earlier this week to reassign port-of-entry personnel to support the humanitarian response and to provide the relief needed for agents to resume their security missions, including the impact this personnel reallocation has had on trade and travel. Secretary Nielsen will highlight the urgent need for lasting solutions to the emergency by urging Congress to fix the legal loopholes fueling migration flows.

On Wednesday, April 3, the Secretary will travel to El Paso, Texas where she will visit the El Paso Del Norte Port of Entry and the El Paso Border Patrol Station, as well as receive a briefing at the El Paso Station's Satellite Processing Facility. El Paso's U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Sector (CBP) and facility is currently over capacity by 280% with more than 3,400 in custody.

Secretary Nielsen will then travel to Yuma, Arizona on Thursday to meet with DHS leaders from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for a roundtable meeting with local law enforcement officials, local

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 02, 2019

Secretary Nielsen Convenes Border Crisis Meeting, Taps Manuel Padilla to Coordinate Interagency Border Emergency Cell
On April 2, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen convened a DHS-wide meeting on the humanitarian and security crisis at the southern border. The Secretary received updates on the latest apprehension numbers, capacity challenges, and the Department's operational response.

"I want to be clear with the American people: there is an unprecedented emergency at the southern border, and DHS is leading a true government-wide emergency response," said Nielsen. "We are using every tool at our disposal, redeploying personnel and resources, and calling on all federal agencies to assist, where possible. While only legislation can fix this crisis in the long term, we cannot wait for Congress to act. It is our duty to secure the homeland, enforce our immigration laws, and uphold our humanitarian obligations. So we are devoting everything we can to that end."

Secretary Nielsen announced her decision to temporarily re-assign Manuel "Manny" Padilla as the lead official to coordinate DHS and interagency support to the border crisis response effort. Manny is a 30-year veteran of the U.S. Border Patrol, serving most recently as Chief of the Rio Grande Sector. In September 2018 he was appointed by President Trump as Director of the Department's Joint Task Force - West. Effectively immediately, Manny will lead an Interagency Border Emergency Cell to improve information sharing and coordinate interagency support to CBP and ICE efforts to bring the situation under control.

"Manny brings deep on-the-ground experience and an operator's understanding of the challenges we face in responding to the current crisis," said Nielsen. "I have asked him to lead day-to-day efforts to ensure our frontline agencies have what they need to confront this situation head on. Manny's team will utilize the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) as the hub for interagency coordination."

Earli

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 01, 2019

Secretary Nielsen Orders CBP to Surge More Personnel to Southern Border, Increase Number of Aliens Returned to Mexico
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Today, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen issued a memorandum to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan outlining new steps the agency must take to combat the growing security and humanitarian crisis at the southern border.

"The crisis at our border is worsening, and DHS will do everything in its power to end it," said Secretary Nielsen. "We will not stand idly by while Congress fails to act yet again, so all options are on the table. We will immediately redeploy hundreds of CBP personnel to the border to respond to this emergency. We will urgently pursue additional reinforcements from within DHS and the interagency. And we will require those seeking to enter the United States to wait in Mexico until an immigration court as reviewed their claims."

The Secretary ordered Commissioner McAleenan to undertake emergency surge operations and immediately increase its temporary reassignment of personnel and resources from across the agency to address the influx of migrants.  According to the directive, the CBP Office of Field Operations shall accelerate its planned reallocation of up to 750 officers to Border Patrol Sectors that are affected by the emergency. Moreover, CBP is directed to explore raising that target, is authorized to exceed it, and shall notify the Secretary if reassignments are planned to exceed 2,000 personnel.

Secretary Nielsen further directed CBP to immediately expand the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), a DHS initiative to return aliens to Mexico to wait during the pendency of their U.S. immigration proceedings. The Secretary directed CBP to return hundreds of additional migrants per day above current rates to Mexico, consistent with U.S. law and humanitarian obligations.  This increase in returns shall include individuals apprehended or encountered at or between POEs. Moreover, the agency is directed to plan for an expansion of MPP beyond the locations in which it cu

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 01, 2019

Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen in Europe for Bilateral Security Meetings, Representing U.S. at Gathering of G7 Interior Ministers
WASHINGTON- Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen will travel to Europe this week to meet with senior officials from the governments of the United Kingdom and Sweden prior to participating in the G7 Interior Ministers' Meeting in Paris, France. She is set to raise urgent matters with foreign partners on emerging threats, including cybersecurity and risks to U.S. networks, the evolving terrorist threat, and foreign adversary interference in the U.S. homeland—and how we can work with allies to thwart these dangers.

On Monday, April 1 and Tuesday, April 2, the Secretary will meet with the U.S. ambassador and country team at the Embassy in London. Nielsen will later hold a bilateral meeting with UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid to advance transatlantic collaboration against an array of security threats. While in London, she will also confer with top UK counterterrorism and cybersecurity officials on sensitive matters and efforts to stay ahead of common enemies.

On Wednesday, April 3, Secretary Nielsen will meet with the Minister of Home Affairs Mikael Damberg in Sweden, where the pair plan to discuss actionable ways to enhance bilateral information sharing and joint security activities, especially related to blocking foreign interference by nation-state adversaries. Nielsen will also meet with officials at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm.

On Thursday, April 4 and Friday, April 5, Secretary Nielsen will be in Paris to participate in the third annual G7 Interior Ministers' meetings. The Secretary will meet with her security counterparts from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the European Union (EU). The Secretary will raise issues that require immediate attention, including the challenge posed by illegal immigration, terrorist threats to the United States and its allies, and how to confront new developments on the digital battlefield. Nielsen plans to hold bilateral meetings with her counterparts from France, Germany, Canada,

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 29, 2019

Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Statement on Border Emergency
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen made the following statement today on the situation at the U.S. southern border and how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responding:

"Today I report to the American people that we face a cascading crisis at our southern border.  The system is in freefall.  DHS is doing everything possible to respond to a growing humanitarian catastrophe while also securing our borders, but we have reached peak capacity and are now forced to pull from other missions to respond to the emergency."

"Let me be clear:  the volume of ‘vulnerable populations' arriving is without precedent.  This makes it far more difficult to care for them and to prioritize individuals legitimately fleeing persecution.  In the past, the majority of migration flows were single adults who could move through our immigration system quickly and be returned to their home countries if they had no legal right to stay.  Now we are seeing a flood of families and unaccompanied children, who—because of outdated laws and misguided court decisions—cannot receive efficient adjudication and, in most cases, will never be removed from the United States even if they are here unlawfully.  The result is a massive ‘pull factor' to our country."

"My gravest concern is for children.  They are arriving sicker than ever before and are exploited along the treacherous trek.  Smugglers and traffickers know that our laws make it easier to enter and stay if you show up as a family.  So they are using children as a ‘free ticket' into America, and have in some cases even used kids multiple times—recycling them—to help more aliens get into the United States.  Our border stations were not designed to hold young people for extended periods, yet this influx has forced thousands of them into facilities that are getting crowded and overwhelmed.  This goes well beyond politics.  We must come together to find a way to tackle the crisis and reduce

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 28, 2019

Secretary Nielsen Signs Historic Regional Compact with Central America to Stem Irregular Migration at the Source, Confront U.S. Border Crisis
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen traveled to Tegucigalpa, Honduras where she met with security ministers representing the countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The multilateral discussions mark the continuation of a multi-year diplomatic process and the signing of a historic Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) on border security cooperation in Central America.

Together with Guatemalan Minister of Government Enrique Degenhart, Honduran Security Minister Julian Pacheco, and Salvadoran Minister of Justice and Public Security Mauricio Landaverde, Secretary Nielsen expressed her gratitude for the continued collaboration and partnership of the Central American nations as they work to stemthe flood of irregular migration and develop regional approach to addressing the ongoing humanitarian and security emergency at our Southern Border

"America shares common cause with the countries of Central America in confronting these challenges," said Secretary Nielsen.  "We all want to enforce our laws, ensure a safe and orderly migrant flow, protect our communities, facilitate legal trade and travel, support vulnerable populations, interdict dangerous and illicit drug flow, and secure our borders."

"I look forward to implementing this historic agreement and working with my Northern Triangle counterparts to help secure all of our nations and to end the humanitarian and security crisis we face," said Nielsen. "Together we will prevail."

The MOC - the first ever multilateral compact on border security - aims to better synchronize cooperation between the countries in order to bolster border security, prevent the formation of new migrant caravans, and address the root causes of the migration crisis through better synchronized efforts to include the following:

Human trafficking and smuggling;Combating transnational criminal organizations and gangs;Expanding Information and

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 27, 2019

Secretary Nielsen Statement on Executive Order to Protect the U.S. from Electromagnetic Pulse Attacks
On March 26, President Donald J. Trump signed the Executive Order on Coordinating National Resilience to Electromagnetic Pulses, the first-ever comprehensive whole-of-government policy to build resilience and protect against electromagnetic pulses, or EMPs, which are temporary electromagnetic signals that can disrupt, degrade, and damage technology and critical infrastructure systems across large areas.

"EMPs pose a potential threat to our nation's critical infrastructure, and this executive order will advance our national goal of increased resilience across all infrastructure sectors. DHS remains committed to working with our interagency partners to ensure a more resilient, prepared America by reducing the risk of  EMP events. DHS is grateful for the president's leadership on this critical issue and continued commitment to protecting our country and keeping Americans safe," said Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen.

The executive order outlines DHS' lead role in implementing the following activities: 

Provide timely information on credible EMP threats and events to stakeholders;Take a risk-informed approach to understand and enhance resilience to the effects of EMP across all critical infrastructure sectors, including coordinating the identification of national critical functions and prioritization of associated critical infrastructure at greatest risk to the effects of EMP;Coordinate response to and recovery from the effects of EMP on critical infrastructure;Consider EMP scenarios as a factor in preparedness exercises;Conduct R&D to better understand and more effectively model the effects of EMP on national critical functions, and then develop technologies and guidelines to protect this critical infrastructure;Maintain survivable means to provide necessary emergency information to the public during and after an EMP event; andDevelop quadrennial EMP risk asses

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 26, 2019

Secretary Nielsen Meets with Mexican Officials on Border Emergency, Travels to Honduras to Meet with Northern Triangle Governments to Address Crisis at Source
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen met with senior officials from the Government of Mexico Tuesday, March 26 to discuss border security and immigration, and she will travel to Honduras to participate in multilateral meetings with regional partners to discuss the common cause America shares with the countries of Central America in confronting migration flows and promoting security and prosperity. There she plans to sign a first-of-its-kind regional accord meant to address the migration crisis.

The Secretary traveled to Miami, Florida on Tuesday for a bilateral meeting with Mexican Secretary of the Interior Olga Sanchez Cordero and senior Mexican government officials. They discussed ways the U.S. and Mexico can work together to address irregular migration and the record levels of illegal entries at the U.S. Southern Border, where last month DHS apprehended more than 75,000 individuals—a 12-year high. They also discussed combating human trafficking and smuggling, security cooperation, and U.S. plans to bolster the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), a DHS initiative to return migrants to Mexico and provide humanitarian protections while they await U.S. immigration processing.

On Wednesday, March 27 the Secretary will be in Tegucigalpa, Honduras to participate in a multilateral meeting at the Ministry of Security with Northern Triangle officials representing the governments of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. The meeting will mark the continuation of a multi-year diplomatic pr

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 21, 2019

Readout from Secretary Nielsen's Trip to Texas
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen traveled to Austin, Texas, where she delivered remarks at the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Midyear meeting between heads of state police agencies, police chief associations, and midsize agencies.

During her remarks, the Secretary reaffirmed the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) commitment to supporting, enabling, and empowering our law enforcement partners, issuing a call to deepen collaboration between DHS and the IACP to combat emerging threats and create resilient communities. The Secretary thanked the men and women of the IACP for their hard work and vigilance, stressing the importance of working together in the common commitment to apprehend, detain, and bring to justice criminals who threaten the safety of American citizens.

In McAllen, Texas, Secretary Nielsen met with over two-dozen sheriffs for a roundtable discussion on the importance of secure borders and immigration enforcement to the safety of their communities; specifically—their mutual collaboration through the 287(g) program.

The program, one of U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement's (ICE) top partnership initiatives, allows a state or local law enforcement entity to enter into a partnership with ICE—under a joint Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)—in order to receive delegated authority for immigration enforcement within their jurisdiction's program to remove criminals and gang members who proliferate crime, gang violence, drugs, and other illicit materials. Secretary Nielsen touched on current operational challenges, outlined strategic objectives, and highlighted the important role our law enforcement partners play in support of the 287(g) program.

In Fiscal Year 2018, our 287(g) partners had over 25,000 encounters with known or suspected criminal illegal aliens. This resulted in over 7,000 criminal and immigration violator removals in Fiscal Year 2018.

"It should

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 18, 2019

President's Fiscal Year 2020 Budget
WASHINGTON - Today, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the details of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Budget request to Congress for DHS and its component agencies and offices. The DHS request includes $51.7 billion in discretionary funding and an additional $19.4 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF). The Budget request provides critical resources to help our frontline personnel do their jobs to secure the homeland against all threats and hazards, and it ensures DHS is able to defend Americans against emerging dangers.

"The American people and our law enforcement personnel rightfully demand effective border security as supported by the White House budget—building the wall and giving the men and women of DHS the support, tools, and resources they need to safeguard our territory," said Secretary Nielsen. "This year's request also delivers landmark investments to protect America and our way of life—including by combating terrorism and homeland threats, defending our nation's networks and critical infrastructure, facilitating and securing legal trade and travel, and so much more."


To address the unprecedented humanitarian and security crisis at the Southwest Border, the FY 2020 budget requests $5.0 billion for the construction of approximately 200 miles of a new border wall system and over $232 million to equip our law enforcement personnel with the latest in surveillance technology. Further, over $80 million is requested to provide migrant care including medical services, general consumables and transportation. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) funding request includes 54,000 beds to address immigration enforcement. DHS continues to support its law enforcement men and women in uniform by requesting over 1,000 combined Border Patrol Agents and Customs and Border Protection Officers, and over 1,660 ICE law enforcement and

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 18, 2019

A New DHS for a New Age
On March 18, Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen delivered the 2019 State of Homeland Security Address, hosted by the Auburn University McCray Institute for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security and George Washington University.

The Secretary offered her assessment of the ever-evolving security landscape, operational challenges, and a look forward at the Department's forthcoming strategic plan to protect Americans, our values, and our way of life.  McCray Institute Director Frank J. Cilluffo moderated a question-and-answer session with the Secretary following the remarks. In particular, she highlighted the Departments major success over the past year.

"Life is changing faster than at any point in human history. And as a nation, we face a choice: shape the world around us, or get shaped by it. We cannot hide from the future. If we do, history will judge us harshly," said Secretary Nielsen. "That is why today it is my duty to report that—although the overall security of our homeland is strong—the threats we face are graver than at any time since 9/11."

The Secretary also highlighted the steps DHS is taking to identify and adapt to emerging threats through sustained partnership, innovation, and perseverance.

"There is no room in this great nation for violent groups who intimidate or coerce Americans because of their race, religion, sex or creed," said Secretary Nielsen.

"We have worked with social media companies to crack down on terrorist propaganda online. And we have ramped up soft-target security nationwide, with a particular focus on protecting schools, large events, major gatherings, and places of worship. As I noted earlier, we need a ‘Whole of Society' approach to turn the tide, which is why in 2019, DHS will host the first-ever National Summit on Terrorism Prevention. This two-day event will bring togeth

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 15, 2019

Secretary Nielsen Statement on New Zealand Mosque Shootings
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement in response the shootings in New Zealand:

"In the wake of the attack on the two mosques in New Zealand, I want to express condolences and sympathies for those affected by the attacks, and reassure those in this country that the Department of Homeland Security is doing all it can to protect the homeland from violent extremists.

"While we are not aware of any current, credible or active threat domestically, nor of any current information regarding obvious ties between the perpetrators in New Zealand and anyone in the US— the Department is cognizant of the potential concerns members of Muslim-American communities may have as they gather at today's congregational prayers. 

"Communities with concerns should contact their local law enforcement agency, whom we are committed to supporting as they protect local mosques and reassure local community members.

"Additionally, please access and share with others who may be interested a list of useful resources, as well as fact sheets on the Department's Hometown Security program and Security Assistance for Public Gatherings.

"Religious liberty is a hallmark of this country. Attacks on peaceful people in their place of worship are abhorrent and will not be tolerated. The Department strongly stands with those of all faiths as they seek to worship in peace and we will continue to work with stakeholders to protect the ability of all to worship freely and without fear.

"We will continue to monitor the situation as the response to this tragedy unfolds and investigations continue. T

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 14, 2019

Readout from Secretary Nielsen's Trip to the Advanced Training Center with Vice President Mike Pence
On March 13, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen accompanied Vice President Mike Pence to visit U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Advanced Training Center (ATC) in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. During the visit they toured the facility and observed a use of force simulation, mat room training for the Less Lethal Instructor Recertification Training Program, and a border wall presentation.

The ATC opened in August 2005 and is comprised of approximately 224 acres in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. ATC offers a total of 54 residential and exported courses in the areas of emergency preparedness, firearms, less-lethal devices and tactics, leadership, intelligence and targeting, and course and instructor development.

"The work done here is important in preparing our frontline defenders. The Advanced Training Center provides the men and women who have been called to serve with critical training to safeguard our nation," said Secretary Nielsen. "Training is essential to mission success. And that's why I'm so proud of the ATC—and the other DHS training facilities—because they are preparing our operators every day to overcome challenges in order to get the job done."

The tour concluded with Vice President Pence and Secretary Nielsen speaking with current students attending training including frontline agents and officers and those there to attend leadership training.

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Keywords: Border Protections
Topics: Border Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 08, 2019

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen Announcement on Temporary Protected Status for South Sudan
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen has announced her determination that an extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for South Sudan is warranted pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act. After carefully reviewing conditions in South Sudan with interagency partners, Secretary Nielsen determined the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that support South Sudan's current designation for TPS continue to exist. Therefore, pursuant to the statute, she has extended South Sudan's TPS designation for 18 months.

Current beneficiaries under South Sudan's TPS designation will be eligible to re-register for an extension of their status for 18 months, through November 2, 2020. Prior to the conclusion of the 18-month extension, the Secretary will review conditions in South Sudan to determine whether the TPS designation should be extended again or terminated.

The decision to extend TPS for South Sudan was made after a review of the conditions upon which the country's designation is based. Following careful consideration of available information, including recommendations received as part of an interagency consultation process, the Secretary determined that the conditions supporting South Sudan's designation for TPS continue to exist. Thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be extended.

There are 84 South Sudan TPS beneficiaries. This 18-month extension of South Sudan's designation for TPS permits current beneficiaries under South Sudan's TPS designation to re-register for TPS and remain in the United States with work authorization through November 2, 2020. To be eligible for TPS under South Sudan's current designation, along with meeting the other eligibility requirements, individuals must have continuously resided in the United States since January 25, 2016, and have been continuously physically present in the United States since May 3, 2016.

Further det

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 06, 2019

Humanitarian and Security Crisis at Southern Border Reaches 'Breaking Point'
Illegal Immigration Hits 12-Year High; More than 76,000 Migrants Cross in February The U.S. Border Patrol is currently encountering illegal immigration at the highest rates since 2007, according to new data. In fact, in February more than double the level of migrants crossed the border without authorization compared to the same period last year, approaching the largest numbers seen in any February in the last 12 years, The New York Times reported.

"The truth is that the politics and policies of open borders have failed the American people. Our broken system endures, and the ongoing humanitarian and security crisis at our Southwest Border leaves many minors and families at extreme risk of being exploited by traffickers, human smugglers, gangs, and other nefarious actors seeking to profit at their expense," said Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen. "Activist courts, congressional inaction, and criminals intent on breaking our laws stand in the way of confronting illegal and uncontrolled migration threatening our safety and security. What was a crisis, is now a full-fledged emergency."

"This cannot be a partisan issue," Nielsen continued. "Every DHS Secretary since the Department's inception has sounded the alarm about our unsecured border and its consequences. The American people and our law enforcement personnel rightfully demand effective border security: building the wall, strengthening our laws, and giving the men and women serving on the front lines the tools and resources they need to keep Americans safe. To that end, this Department pledges our unwavering resolve to confronting present and ever-evolving future threats to our national security at our Southwest Border."



Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 27, 2019

Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Trip Readout from Napa and San Francisco, CA
On Tuesday, February 26, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen traveled to Napa, California to participate in meetings with tech companies and foreign partners focused on combating terrorist use of the internet. During her engagements, Secretary Nielsen announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is overhauling its approach to terrorism prevention and called for a shift from a "whole-of-government" to a "whole-of-society" approach. She also announced that this year, DHS will convene a National Summit on Terrorism Prevention to bring together nonprofit organizations, community leaders and groups, state and local officials, law enforcement, and digital innovators to forge new partnerships to fight back against terrorist radicalization in our communities.

The Secretary met with His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan, who assembled a wide array of thought-leaders to confront the challenge of online terror recruitment, and discussed America's close partnerships with Jordan on counterterrorism, cybersecurity, border security, and more.  

On Wednesday, February 27, Secretary Nielsen traveled to San Francisco for a roundtable discussion with industry leaders regarding emerging technologies and evolving threats in order to explore how public-private partnerships can help keep America safe. After the roundtable, Secretary Nielsen received a briefing on the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP). Through SVIP, DHS is leveraging new technology and startup company innovations to secure the homeland.

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Keywords: counterterrorism
Topics: Cybersecurity,

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 22, 2019

Declaración Conjunta Detalla Camino Claro Dirigido Hacia un Acuerdo Histórico en el Triángulo Norte
In English

El 20 de febrero de 2019, la Secretaria de Seguridad Nacional Kirstjen M. Nielsen y los ministros de seguridad del Triángulo Norte en San Salvador, El Salvador formalizaron el desarrollo de un "acuerdo regional" y un plan de acción dirigido a resolver la crisis humanitaria y de seguridad en curso por la migración irregular y la formación de caravanas de inmigrantes.

Al unir estas iniciativas con los esfuerzos existentes, la Declaración Conjunta busca enfrentar las "causas fundamentales" de la migración irregular para así desafiar los retos desde su origen, delineando un camino claro hacia un Memorándum de Cooperación formal y primero en su clase- o "acuerdo regional" - entre los ministros de seguridad de Estados Unidos y el Triángulo Norte. La Secretaria Nielsen propuso este "acuerdo" el verano pasado y espera que también incluya la participación de México.  El acuerdo final abarcaría cuatro áreas específicas de colaboración:

Combatir la Trata de Personas y el Contrabando HumanoContrarrestar el Crimen Organizado y las PandillasExpandir el Compartir de Información e InteligenciaReforzar la Seguridad FronterizaEscuche las Observaciones Finales de la Secretaria Nielsen durante la 4ta Reunión de los Ministros de Seguridad del Triángulo Norte

Declaración ConjuntaEl Departamento de Seguridad Nacional de los Estados Unidos de América, el Ministerio de Justicia y Seguridad Pública de la República de El Salvador, el Ministerio de Gobernación de la República de Guatemala y la Secretaría de Seguridad de la República de Honduras (en lo sucesivo, los "Participantes") poseen una fuerte asociación fundamentada en un compromiso conjunto para lograr una América Central estable y mejorar la seguridad y l

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 22, 2019

Joint Statement Outlines Clear Path Toward Historic Northern Triangle Compact
en español

On February 20, 2019, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen and Northern Triangle security ministers in San Salvador, El Salvador formalized the development of a "regional compact" and action plan aimed at addressing the ongoing humanitarian and security crisis of irregular migration and the formation of migrant caravans.

By pairing new initiatives with existing efforts, the Joint Statement seeks to address the "root causes" of irregular migration in order to address the challenges at their source, outlining a clear path toward a formal and first-of-its-kind Memorandum of Cooperation—or "regional compact"—between U.S. and Northern Triangle security ministries.  Secretary Nielsen called for such a "compact" last summer and hopes it will also include participation from Mexico. The final compact would cover four distinct areas of collaboration:

Combatting Human Trafficking and Migrant SmugglingCountering Organized Crime and GangsExpanding Information and Intelligence SharingStrengthening Border SecurityWatch Secretary Nielsen's Closing Remarks at the 4th Northern Triangle Security Ministers Meeting

Joint StatementThe Department of Homeland Security of the United States of America, the Ministry of Justice and Public Security of the Republic of El Salvador, the Ministry of Government of the Republic of Guatemala, and the Secretariat of Security of the Republic of Honduras (hereafter referred to as the "Participants") have a strong partnership, rooted in a joint commitment to achieve a stable Central America and to enhance the safety and security of our countries.

With the intent of strengthening the Participants' well-established relationship and restating their

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 21, 2019

Secretary Nielsen Announces Historic Steps with Northern Triangle Security Ministers to Confront Irregular Migration, Caravans
On February 20, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen met Northern Triangle security ministers in San Salvador, El Salvador to discuss the development of a "regional compact" and action plan aimed at addressing the ongoing humanitarian and security crisis of irregular migration and the formation of migrant caravans.

"Today, we have declared a historic commitment - our mutual intention to crack down on smugglers and traffickers who are profiting from human misery. And we have declared our resolve to bring order where there is chaos…to bring justice to criminals and gangs…and to share information to secure our borders, our people, and our way of life," said Secretary Nielsen. "Criminals show little regard for the welfare of the vulnerable people they exploit. Enough is enough.  We cannot allow children to be used as pawns or women to be sexually assaulted or migrants to become victims of violence on the terrible journey north. We must put an end to this crisis and help vulnerable migrants closer to their point of origin," she added. "I thank my foreign counterparts for their determination to increase cooperation with the United States on stopping the formation and movement of caravans and the networks that facilitate them."

By pairing new initiatives with existing efforts, the Joint Statement seeks to address the "root causes" of irregular migration in order to address the challenges at their source. Specifically, Secretary Nielsen and her Northern Triangle counterpart ministers agreed to a roadmap for action that will result in better information sharing, law enforcement cooperation, and public messaging to deal with the ongoing crisis.

The Joint Statement signed today outlines a clear path toward a formal and first-of-its-kind Memorandum of Cooperation—or "regional compact"—between U.S. and Northern Triangle security ministries.  Secretary Nielsen called for such a "compact" last summer a

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 15, 2019

Secretary Nielsen Statement on FY19 Homeland Security Funding Bill and National Emergency Declaration
On February 15, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released a statement on the signing of the legislation that funds the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and on the President's declaration of a national emergency:

"The legislation passed by both chambers of Congress and signed today by the President gives the Department of Homeland Security critical funding to protect the homeland, including some resources to secure our borders and enforce our nation's immigration laws. It increases the DHS overall budget by $1.7 billion, including $1.375 billion to build new border barriers where our frontline personnel need it most, and contains no restrictions on total barrier mileage. The legislation also includes $415 million in humanitarian assistance to address the serious crisis at our southern border, 4,754 additional beds for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain illegal aliens humanely and keep our citizens safe, and $570 million for specialized screening equipment at our Ports of Entry to detect illegal drugs and human smuggling. Moreover, the bill provides additional resources to combat child exploitation, human trafficking, transnational criminal organizations, and other cross-border criminal activity.

"Finally, the bill funds the Coast Guard's Polar Security Cutter, increases important funding for the newly created Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and provides funding for 200 computed tomography machines that will help our dedicated TSA employees keep our skies safe.

"But the legislation doesn't provide everything we need, and it gets nowhere close to completely solving the serious humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border.  Time and again, Congress has failed to fully fund DHS to confront this situation and to handle the influx of aliens, drugs, and other illicit traffic into our country. That is why I strongly support the President's decision to un

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 15, 2019

Secretary Nielsen Statement on the Nomination of Chad Wolf
On February 15, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement on President Trump's intent to nominate Chad F. Wolf to be the Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy and Plans at the Department of Homeland Security:

"I want to congratulate Chad on his nomination to be the Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy, and Plans. Chad has tirelessly and exceptionally served DHS for the last two years in various positions, including most recently as Chief of Staff for the Department. While Chad's shoes will be tough to fill, I am confident he will bring the same work ethic, knowledge and skillset to the Office of Strategy, Policy and Plans. I look forward to continuing our work together in his new role and to a swift confirmation process."

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Keywords: staffing
Topics: Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 14, 2019

RAND Releases Report Commissioned by DHS on Building an Effective and Practical National Approach to Terrorism Prevention
On February 14, the Homeland Security Operational Analysis Center (HSOAC), operated for the Department of Homeland Security by the RAND Corporation, released a new report on how to build an effective and practical national approach to terrorism prevention. The report, commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security, examines past terrorism prevention efforts and makes recommendations for future programs.

"As threats from terrorism evolve, our understanding of prevention also has to evolve," said Assistant Secretary for Threat Prevention and Security Elizabeth Neumann. "In addition to the DHS internal review of prevention efforts, the Department asked the RAND Corporation for a third party assessment. I am pleased to share with the American people the highlights of their findings and to discuss steps we are taking as a Department to further enhance the security of our homeland."

The report highlights various areas of terrorism prevention, including:

Successful community education efforts by DHS;Countering terrorist narratives through public-private partnerships;Robust systems inside government for suspicious-activity reporting, and the need for a uniform mechanism for making interventions for referral by the public;How spending on terrorism prevention in the U.S. compares with some of our partners;The role of state, local, nongovernmental and private organizations in leading prevention efforts, with support from the federal government; and,The importance of addressing domestic as well as international terrorism in prevention programs.Assistant Secretary Neumann today announced the release of the report at an event hosted by The Heritage Foundation, click here to watch her remarks. The full report is available

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 13, 2019

Secretary Nielsen Statement on Administrator Long
On February 13, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement on FEMA Administrator Brock Long's announced resignation:

"Over the last two years, Administrator Long has admirably led the men and women of FEMA during very difficult, historic and complex times. Under Brock's leadership, FEMA has successfully supported State and Territory-led efforts to respond and recover from 6 major hurricanes, 5 historic wildfires and dozens of other serious emergencies.  I appreciate his tireless dedication to FEMA and his commitment to fostering a culture of preparedness across the nation.

"Deputy Administrator Pete Gaynor will become Acting Administrator upon Brock's departure. Rest assured, FEMA is prepared to continue to lead current recovery efforts, to respond to new disasters, and to get ready for this year's hurricane season."

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Keywords: FEMA
Topics: Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 13, 2019

Written testimony of CISA Director Christopher Krebs for a House Committee on Homeland Security hearing titled "Defending Our Democracy: Building Partnerships to Protect America's Elections"
310 Cannon House Office Building

Chairman Thompson, Ranking Member Rogers, and members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify regarding the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) progress in reducing and mitigating risks to our Nation's election infrastructure. DHS has worked to establish trust-based partnerships with state and local officials who administer our elections, and I look forward to sharing with you an update on our work during the 2018 midterm election cycle.

Leading up to the 2018 midterms, DHS worked hand in hand with federal partners, state and local election officials, and private sector vendors to provide them with information and capabilities to enable them to better defend their infrastructure. This partnership led to a successful model that we aim to continue and improve upon in the 2020 election cycle.

Since 2016, DHS's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has led a voluntary partnership of Federal Government and election officials who regularly share cybersecurity risk information. CISA has engaged directly with election officials—coordinating requests for assistance, risk mitigation, information sharing, and incident response. To ensure a coordinated approach, CISA convened stakeholders from across the Federal Government through the Election Task Force.

The Department and the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) have convened federal government and election officials regularly to share cybersecurity risk information and to determine an effective means of assistance. Since 2016, the Election Infrastructure Subsector (EIS) Government Coordinating Council (GCC) has worked to establish goals and objectives, to develop plans for the EIS partnership, and to lay the groundwork for developing an EIS Sector-Specific Plan. Participation in the council is entirely voluntary and does not change the fundamental role of state and local jurisdictions in overseeing elections.

DHS a

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 08, 2019

DHS Issues Waiver to Expedite Secondary Fence Replacement Project in San Diego
WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a waiver to ensure the expeditious construction and replacement of approximately 12.5 miles of secondary wall near the international border in the state of California. The waiver was published in the Federal Register on February 7, 2019.

This waiver is pursuant to authority granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security by Congress. Congress has provided the Secretary of Homeland Security with a number of authorities necessary to carry out DHS's border security mission. One of these authorities is found in section 102 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, as amended ("IIRIRA").  Section 102(a) of IIRIRA provides that the Secretary of Homeland Security shall take such actions as may be necessary to install additional physical walls and roads near the United States border to deter illegal crossings in areas of high illegal entry into the United States. In section 102(b) of IIRIRA, Congress has called for the installation of additional fencing, walls, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors on the southwest border. Finally, in section 102(c) of IIRIRA, Congress granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to waive all legal requirements that the Secretary, in Secretary's sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure the expeditious construction of the walls and roads authorized by section 102 of IIRIRA.

The approximately 14-mile bollard style wall project in San Diego that was awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on December 20, 2018, will include an area that begins near the eastern end of Border Field State Park and extends east to where the existing primary pedestrian fence ends.

Tactical infrastructure, when combined with the appropriate technology and personnel, significantly reduces the amount of illegal border entries and enhances the Border Patrol's ability to secure the border. San Diego Sector was the

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 07, 2019

Readout from Secretary Nielsen's Trip with Vice President Mike Pence
On February 6, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen accompanied Vice President Mike Pence to Norfolk, Virginia to visit the Joint Task Force - East (JTF-E). During their visit they received a briefing from Joint Task Force East (JTF-E) and the Department's other Joint Task Forces, toured Coast Guard Cutter Bear, and spoke with DHS employees.

JTF-E leads the coordination of integrated operations and investigations by leveraging DHS component, interagency, and partner nation capabilities to increase border security, reduce terrorism risk, and degrade Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) while also facilitating the flow of lawful travel and commerce to and from the United States.

JTF-E is a geographically focused, multi-component task force with a Joint Operating Area (JOA) covering 10.3 million square miles of land and sea, as well as over 3,000 miles of U.S. coastline (including the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast of the United States), Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"Whether you serve in the Coast Guard, CBP, ICE, TSA, or elsewhere in the DHS family, you are part of one team. And you are on the frontlines of securing our homeland and defending our way of life," said Secretary Nielsen. "I cannot tell you how proud I am to serve alongside you."

Following the JTF-E briefing, Vice President Pence and Secretary Nielsen toured Cutter Bear which sits in the port of Portsmouth, VA. Cutter Bear will soon depart for a counter-narcotics patrol in the Eastern Pacific. 

The trip concluded with Secretary Nielsen and the Vice President Pence speaking with frontline defenders from across multiple DHS agencies.

Keywords: CBP, ICE,

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 05, 2019

Secretary Nielsen Statement on the State of the Union
WASHINGTON -Tonight, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement on the State of the Union:

"Border security is not, and should not be, a partisan issue. President Trump clearly laid out the need for new Federal funding and serious reforms to our outdated laws in order to fully secure our southern border. Make no mistake, there is a humanitarian and security crisis at our border that will continue to worsen if Congress fails to act. We have all seen the horrors of human smuggling, drug trafficking, and the violence carried out by cartels and other transnational criminal organizations. DHS frontline personnel have made it clear what they need from Congress to end the crisis and fully secure the border. It is time Congress recognizes the facts on the ground and takes this problem seriously."

# # #

Keywords: Border Security, immigration enforcement, state of the union
Topics: Border Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 05, 2019

Secretary Nielsen Statement on New Migrant 'Caravan'
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement on the new migrant ‘caravan' that arrived at the Southern Border of the United States:

"Approximately 2,000 aliens have arrived in northern Mexico as part of a 'caravan' seeking to cross our Southern Border into Texas. Illegal entry will not be tolerated, and we stand ready to prevent it. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been working with the Departments of State, Defense and Justice to ensure all possible resources are available to address this lawless caravan. DHS will take all steps to ensure the safety and security of law enforcement personnel on the frontlines. Such caravans are the result of Congress's inexcusable failure to fully fund a needed physical barrier and unwillingness to fix outdated laws that act as an enormous magnet for illegal aliens. This crisis won't be solved until we have comprehensive border security. Until then, DHS will do everything in its power - with the assistance of federal and state partners - to hold smugglers and traffickers accountable, enforce our laws, and keep American communities safe."

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Keywords: Border Security
Topics: Border Security, Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 05, 2019

Acting Attorney General and Secretary of Homeland Security Submit Joint Report on Impact of Foreign Interference on Election and Political/Campaign Infrastructure in 2018 Elections
Acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen submitted a joint report to President Donald J. Trump on February 4, 2019 evaluating the impact of any foreign interference on election infrastructure or the infrastructure of political organizations, including campaigns and candidates in the 2018-midterm elections.

The classified report was prepared pursuant to section 1(b) of Executive Order 13848, Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Influence in a United States Election, which the President issued on September 12, 2018. 

Throughout the 2018 midterm election cycle, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security worked closely with federal, state, local, and private sector partners, including all 50 states and more than 1400 local jurisdictions, to support efforts to secure election infrastructure and limit risk posed by foreign interference.  Efforts to safeguard the 2020 elections are already underway. 

Although the specific conclusions within the joint report must remain classified, the Departments have concluded there is no evidence to date that any identified activities of a foreign government or foreign agent had a material impact on the integrity or security of election infrastructure or political/campaign infrastructure used in the 2018 midterm elections for the United States Congress. This finding was informed by a report prepared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) pursuant to the same Executive Order and is consistent with what was indicated by the U.S. government after the 2018 elections.   

While the report remains classified, its findings will help drive future efforts to protect election and political/campaign infrastructure from foreign interference.

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Keywords:

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 01, 2019

DHS Combats Human Trafficking And Seizes Counterfeit Merchandise During the Super Bowl
As Super Bowl 53 approaches, 25 elements of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), with nearly 600 personnel, have been working to support State, local, and private sector security officials ensure a safe and secure event. At the same time, the Department, through Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), is on the ground in Atlanta working to combat criminal organizations' attempts to exploit the event.

"We will not allow criminals to profit from the suffering of the most vulnerable among us," said Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen. "Homeland Security Investigations will continue to work diligently to stop human trafficking that can surge around large events."

ICE HSI has seen first-hand the negative impact of human trafficking following the mass movement of people in the metro Atlanta area for Super Bowl 53. This form of modern-day slavery targets and exploits millions of men, women, and children across the country every year.  This week alone, ICE HSI has made 40 arrests associated with its anti-human trafficking operation and rescued four victims in the Atlanta area. DHS is committed to eradicating human trafficking and encourages all Americans to recognize the signs of trafficking and join the fight to end this heinous crime.

The Super Bowl also results in an increase in the sale of counterfeit goods such as tickets, hats, and jerseys. Purchasing counterfeit goods can not only ruin the Super Bowl fan experience, it can also jeopardize the health and safety of consumers, burden the U.S. economy, and ultimately fund criminal organizations. In the past week, ICE HSI has seized over 6,000 counterfeit sports items estimated to be worth over $250,000.

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Keywords:

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 31, 2019

DHS Announces Implementation of Visa Sanctions on Ghana
Ghana has Failed to Accept Removed Nationals 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced, in coordination with the Department of State, the implementation of visa sanctions on Ghana due to lack of cooperation in accepting their nationals ordered removed from the United States.

Pursuant to her authority under Section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen notified Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the Government of Ghana has denied or unreasonably delayed accepting their nationals ordered removed from the United States. As a result, Secretary of State Pompeo has ordered consular officers in Ghana to implement visa restrictions on certain categories of visa applicants. Without an appropriate response from Ghana, the scope of these sanctions may be expanded to a wider population. The sanctions will remain in place until the Secretary of Homeland Security notifies Secretary Pompeo that cooperation on removals has improved to an acceptable level.

"Ghana has failed to live up to its obligations under international law to accept the return of its nationals ordered removed from the United States," said Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. "The United States routinely cooperates with foreign governments in documenting and accepting U.S. citizens when asked, as appropriate, as do the majority of countries in the world, but Ghana has failed to do so in this case.  We hope the Ghanaian government will work with us to reconcile these deficiencies quickly."

Keywords: State
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 31, 2019

DHS Secures Super Bowl 53
On January 30, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen met with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) personnel, local law enforcement officials, and the National Football League (NFL) security team in Atlanta to discuss joint efforts to ensure a safe and secure Super Bowl 53.

"This weekend, thousands of football fans from around the country will travel to watch the New England Patriots face-off against the L.A. Rams in Super Bowl 53 in Atlanta. At DHS, we are proud to support the City of Atlanta in their planning and preparations for Super Bowl 53," said Secretary Nielsen. "Protecting an event of this magnitude is no small task.  Twenty-five DHS entities with nearly 600 personnel are working hand-in-hand with the NFL and local law enforcement to ensure this weekend remains safe and secure."


(DHS Official Photo/Tim Godbee)
 

The Department has been engaged with planning efforts for Super Bowl 53 since 2017 through our locally-based Federal Coordination Team. Our federal interagency partners are also supporting Super Bowl security with an additional 500 personnel.

Our primary job is to support and enable our partners in State and local law enforcement and the private sector as they protect the Super Bowl. We help by providing intelligence, conducting physical and cyber assessments at Super Bowl-related venues, providing capacity such as canine teams and air assets, and making sure that everyone is prepared if an incident happens through planning and exercising.
 

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Keywords: department of homeland security,

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 29, 2019

Readout from Secretary Nielsen's Trip to San Diego
On January 29, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen traveled to San Diego to meet with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees and to conduct an operational tour of the San Ysidro Port of Entry to assess implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).

Secretary Nielsen met with employees from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to thank them for their continued professionalism and dedication to the mission.

"I'm continually impressed with the daily success stories I hear from the exceptional men and women of ICE," said Secretary Nielsen.

Following her remarks to employees, Secretary Nielsen went on an operational tour of the San Ysidro Port of Entry and saw firsthand the implementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols. The MPP are designed to help ensure migrants are protected according to U.S. and international obligations while also addressing the security and humanitarian crisis at our Southern Border.

MPP, which was announced in December, will require certain migrants to await the processing of their immigration claims in Mexico.

The Secretary explained, "The MPP will enable DHS to take a huge step forward in bringing order to chaotic migration flows, restoring the rule of law and the integrity of the United States immigration system, and allowing DHS to focus resources on providing relief to individuals fleeing persecution while at the same time holding those accountable who make false asylum claims."

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Keywords: ICE
Topics: Border Security,

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 24, 2019

MIGRANT PROTECTION PROTOCOLS




The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) are a U.S. Government action whereby certain foreign individuals entering or seeking admission to the U.S. from Mexico - illegally or without proper documentation - may be returned to Mexico and wait outside of the U.S. for the duration of their immigration proceedings, where Mexico will provide them with all appropriate humanitarian protections for the duration of their stay. 



The U.S. is facing a security and humanitarian crisis on the Southern border. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is using all appropriate resources and authorities to address the crisis and execute our missions to secure the borders, enforce immigration and customs laws, facilitate legal trade and travel, counter traffickers, smugglers and transnational criminal organizations, and interdict drugs and illegal contraband.  

MPP will help restore a safe and orderly immigration process, decrease the number of those taking advantage of the immigration system, and the ability of smugglers and traffickers to prey on vulnerable populations, and reduce threats to life, national security, and public safety, while ensuring that vulnerable populations receive the protections they need.

Historically, illegal aliens to the U.S. were predominantly single adult males from Mexico who wer

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 24, 2019

CBP Releases Apprehension Data
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, United States Customs and Border Protection released new information regarding the number of family units apprehended along the southwest border and the demographics of large groups apprehended in recent months by the United States Border Patrol (USBP). As of today, USBP has seen a surge in Family Unit Aliens compared to the same time from last fiscal year by 280%.  Fiscal Year 2018 was a record year and this year will surpass that if the current trend continues without any legislative fixes.  Overall apprehensions between the POE's are up 81%.



Over the past few months (FY19 to date), USBP has seen a dramatic increase in the number of large groups of 100 illegal aliens or more being apprehended along the southern border. In the El Paso, Rio Grande Valley, Tucson, and Yuma Sectors over the last four months, smugglers and traffickers have delivered 53 large groups, totaling 8,797 illegal aliens.

 

Of the 8,797 apprehended in large groups, 7,757 are from Guatemala, and comprised mostly of family units (FMUA) and unaccompanied children (UAC). That means 96.1% are members of family units (84.6%) or unaccompanied children (11.5%) and 99.6% are from the Northern Triangle countries: Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.



So far this fiscal year, USBP has also seen an increase in the numbers of apprehended individuals requiring medical attention.

USBP transported 2,224 subjects (5.3% of all southwest border arrests for the same period) to local hospitals since December 22, 2018.
 USBP has spent a total of 19,299 hours providing various levels of support to these hospital visits. This includes transportation to and from, and over watch for each person/family at the hospital. This means there are less agents performing border security duties.
 
On January 15, 2019, USBP arrested a group of 247 illegal aliens, of which 50 individuals requi

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 09, 2019

DHS RELEASES SOUTHWEST BORDER ENFORCEMENT STATISTICS
Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the number of enforcement actions at the southwest border for the month of December.  Due to the lapse in funding, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is unable to publish the enforcement actions for December on its website.

Total Enforcement Actions (individuals apprehended in between the ports of entry and deemed inadmissible at the ports of entry) for the month of December in Fiscal Year 2019 was 60,782. December marks the third consecutive month of enforcement actions surpassing 60,000.

The United States Border Patrol apprehended 50,753 individuals (83.5% of all enforcement actions) between the ports of entry on the southern border. The total number of individuals deemed inadmissible for entry at the ports of entry was 10,029.



The total number of family unit aliens (FMUA) apprehended in between the ports of entry and deemed inadmissible at the ports of entry: 31,901

In Fiscal Year 2017, CBP averaged 13,210 family units and unaccompanied alien children each month - in Fiscal Year 2019 CBP is now averaging 31,188 a month. That is a 136% increase.The total number of FMUAs apprehended in between the ports of entry was 27,518. December was a record-breaking month for FMUAs apprehended at the border.FMUA apprehensions through December total 75,794 - higher than 5 out of the last 7 years FY totals - exceeding all but FY16 and FY18, but currently tracking 253% higher than FY16 and 280% higher than FY18 for the same time frames.Of FMUA apprehensions in December, 95% are from Northern Triangle. 96% for the first quarter.For the first quarter, 77% of family units are from Guatemala and Honduras alone.This month marks the third time FMUA apprehensions exceeded Single Adult apprehensions.Apprehensions from Guatemala exceeded Mexico for the third consecutive month (only happened four times) and Hond

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 07, 2019

MYTH/FACT: Known and Suspected Terrorists/Special Interest Aliens
In recent days, the terms "Special Interests Aliens" (SIAs) and "Known and Suspected Terrorists" (KSTs) have become more frequently used as part of discussions about the federal budget and border security.  These terms are not synonymous nor interchangeable, but are two separate terms that are commonly used in the national security community to describe different types of potential threats.  These are generally well understood terms that are, unfortunately, being misunderstood or mischaracterized as part of the current shutdown debate.



There are thousands of individuals on the terrorist watchlist that traveled through our Hemisphere last year alone, and we work very hard to keep these individuals from traveling on illicit pathways to our country.
 We work with foreign partners to block many of these individuals and prevent them from entering the United States. But effective border security is our last line of defense.
 The threat is real. The number of terror-watchlisted individuals encountered at our Southern Border has increased over the last two years. The exact number is sensitive and details about these cases are extremely sensitive. But I am sure all Americans would agree that even one terrorist reaching our borders is one too many.
 Overall, we stop on average 10 individuals on the terrorist watchlist per day from traveling to or entering the United States—and more than 3,700 in Fiscal Year 2017. Most of these individuals are trying to enter the U.S. by air, but we must also be focused on stopping those who try to get in by land.
 Additionally, Last year at our Southern Border, DHS encountered more than 3,000 "special interest aliens"—individuals with suspicious travel patterns who may pose a national security risk—not to mention the many criminals, smugglers, traffickers, and other threat actors who try to exploit our borders.

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 01, 2019

CBP Issues Statement on Illegal Border Crossings in San Diego Sector
The following is based on initial operational reporting. Last night, an approximately 150 migrants attempted to illegally enter the United States by climbing over and crawling under border fence in San Diego Sector. Due to CBP's increased presence, a first group of 45 turned back towards Mexico. Shortly thereafter, migrants began throwing rocks over the fence at the CBP agents and officers. Several teenagers, wrapped in heavy jackets, blankets and rubber mats were put over the concertina wire. Border Patrol agents witnessed members of the group attempt to lift toddler sized children up and over the concertina wire and having difficulty accomplishing the task in a safe manner. Agents were not in a position to safely assist the children due to the large number of rocks being thrown at them.

To address the rock throwers assaulting agents and risking the safety of migrants attempting to cross who were already on the U.S. side, both smoke and minimal countermeasures were deployed. Agents deployed smoke, pepper spray and CS gas to a position upwind of the rock throwers and south of the border fence.  The deployments were not directed at the migrants attempting entry on the U.S. side or at the fence line.  The rock throwers were located south of the fence, in an elevated position both above the border fence area and the incursion attempt.

These countermeasures successfully suppressed the rock throwers causing them to flee the area. Most of the migrants attempting the incursion, to include those with children, returned to Mexico via a hole under the fence and by climbing over the fence.  No agents witnessed any of the migrants at the fence line, including children, experiencing effects of the chemical agents, which were targeted at the rock throwers further away.  Twenty-five apprehensions, including two teenage migrants, were made.  Under CBP use of force policy, this incident will be reviewed by CBP's Office of Professional Responsibility.

 

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 31, 2018

CBP Commissioner: Continued Humanitarian Crisis - Increase in Medical Emergencies on the Southern Border
Today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is releasing data regarding the very high number of referrals being made for medical care of arriving migrants by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to medical providers along the Southwest Border. 

CBP is releasing this information to provide greater context to the ongoing border security and humanitarian crisis on our border.  The dramatic increases in both families and unaccompanied children crossing our border over the last three months have resulted in larger numbers of young children coming into CBP custody.  Over the past three months, CBP has apprehended or deemed inadmissible for entry over 2,000 arrivals today, and 65% in December were comprised of families and children.

These increases, combined with the stress of the journey, crowded conveyances, and flu season have resulting in significant requirements for referrals to medical providers. A referral to a medical provider is made based on a determination by a Border Patrol Agent or CBP Officer, and/or a medical professional on staff at a CBP facility.

Please note that the below numbers are based on operational reporting and is subject to change on a daily or hourly basis. As of December 22 through December 30, 2018:

The United States Border Patrol has referred 451 cases to a medical provider. Of those, 259 were children. 129 children are under the age of five. 88 are between the ages of six and fourteen, and 42 between the ages of 15 to 17.17 individuals including six children are currently hospitalized with illnesses.On average, the Border Patrol is referring approximately 50 cases a day to medical providers. December 26, 2018, Border Patrol referred 82 cases to a medical provider.The following statement is attributable to Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan, U.S. Customs and Border Protection:

"We are facing an unprecedented crisis on the southern border that is putting the most

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 26, 2018

Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Statement on Passing of Eight Year Old Guatemalan Child
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen today released the following statement on the eight year-old Guatemalan national who passed away shortly before midnight on December 24 at Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo, New Mexico:

"In the evening hours of December 24th, a child who had been apprehended with his father by the Border Patrol attempting to illegally enter the United States, died at an El Paso hospital after being taken for emergency treatment for the second time in less than 12 hours.  This tragedy, the death of a child in government custody is deeply concerning and heartbreaking. In the last 24 hours, I have a directed a series of additional actions to care for those who enter our custody.

"In recent months, we have seen a dramatic increase at the border of families and unaccompanied children crossing our border illegally.  In the last two months alone, the Border Patrol has apprehended 139,817 illegal aliens on the Southwest Border as compared to 74,946 during the same time frame of FY 2018.  This is an increase of 86%.  In just two months into this fiscal year we have seen 68,510 family units and 13,981 unaccompanied children.  This is a dramatic change from historical trends and has only become starker in December. 

"This changing dynamic is the direct result of obvious draw factors: an immigration system that rewards parents for sending their children across the border alone, a system that prevents parents who bring their children on a dangerous and illegal journey from facing consequences for their actions, an asylum process that is not able to quickly help those who qualify for asylum, a system that encourages fraudulent claims, and a system that encourages bad actors to coach aliens into making frivolous claims. The bottom line is that 9 out 10 asylum claims are rejected by a federal immigration judge.

"Our system has been pushed to a breaking point by those who seek

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 26, 2018

Department of Homeland Security Issues Travel Advisory to the Republic of the Philippines
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced the determination that aviation security at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL), which serves as a last-point-of-departure airport for flights to the United States, does not maintain and carry out effective security consistent with the security standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).  This determination was based on assessments by a team of security experts from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). 

In view of this finding and effective immediately, airlines issuing tickets for travel between the United States and MNL are directed to notify passengers in writing of this determination. The Secretary has also directed this advisory be displayed prominently at all U.S. airports that provide regularly scheduled service to MNL and that it be published in the Federal Register, pursuant to sections 114 and 44907 of Title 49 of the United States Code.

In coordination with the Department of State and the Department of Transportation, TSA representatives have been working with the Philippine government to assist airport and transportation authorities in bringing MNL up to international security standards. TSA will continue to work with the Philippines and assist its aviation authorities with correcting the security deficiencies at the airport. In addition, TSA will continue to assess security measures at the airport and take appropriate actions as warranted. 

Under section 44907 of Title 49 of the United States Code, DHS is charged with the responsibility of assessing security at foreign airports with direct service to the United States to ensure they meet international standards as set by ICAO. 

Keywords: TSA
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 25, 2018

CBP Shares Additional Information about Recent Passing of Guatemalan Child
An eight year-old Guatemalan national, previously apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, died shortly before midnight on December 24 at Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo, New Mexico.  CBP released an initial statement, which can be found here.  Consistent with CBP's commitment to accountability and transparency, CBP is releasing a timeline reflecting a current understanding of key events that occurred prior to the child's passing.  These updates are based on initial operational reporting.

The following statement is attributable to Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan, Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection:

"This is a tragic loss. On behalf of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, our deepest sympathies go out to the family.

Deaths in CBP custody are extraordinarily rare.  In light of recent events, the Commissioner has directed the following actions:
 

U.S. Border Patrol is conducting secondary medical checks upon all children in CBP care and custody, including children arriving as part of Family Units (FMUA) and Unaccompanied Children (UACs), with a focus on children under 10 years old;
 U.S. Border Patrol is engaging U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement regarding available surge options for transportation to Family Residential Centers and/or supervised release.  CBP is also reviewing all available custody options to relieve capacity issues in Border Patrol stations and checkpoints in El Paso Sector, including any options identified by NGOs and/or local partners for temporary housing that can safely accommodate those in our custody;
 CBP is considering options for surge medical assistance from interagency partners, including receiving support the U.S. Coast Guard, and potentially requesting further aid from the Depar

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 25, 2018

Guatemalan national passes away at Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo, New Mexico
An eight year-old Guatemalan national previously apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection was died shortly after midnight on December 25 at Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center in Alamogordo, New Mexico.

According to initial reporting, while in CBP custody earlier on December 24, a U.S. Border Patrol agent noticed that the child showed signs of potential illness.  The father and his son were promptly transferred to the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center.  The child was initially diagnosed by hospital staff with a common cold, and when evaluated for release, hospital staff found a fever.  The child was held for an additional 90 minutes for observation and then released from the hospital mid-afternoon on December 24 with prescriptions for amoxicillin and Ibuprofen.

The evening of December 24, the child exhibited nausea and vomiting and was transferred back to the Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center for evaluation and treatment.  The child passed shortly after midnight on December 25.

The official cause of the child's death is not known.  Consistent with CBP policy, CBP's Office of Professional Responsibility will conduct a review.  The Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General has been notified.  The Guatemalan government has been notified and is currently engaging the father and any family members in Guatemala. CBP has also made the appropriate Congressional notifications consistent with CBP's Interim Procedures on Notification of a Death in Custody.  CBP will release more details as available and appropriate, and will ensure an independent and thorough review of the circumstances.

DHS has continued to see a dramatic increase in unaccompanied children and family units arriving at our borders illegally or without authorization.

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 20, 2018

Joint Statement by Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen
Since at least 2014, Chinese cyber actors associated with the Chinese Ministry of State Security have hacked multiple U.S. and global managed service and cloud providers. These Chinese actors used this access to compromise the networks of the providers' clients, including global companies located in at least 12 countries.

The United States is concerned that this activity violates the 2015 U.S.-China cyber commitments made by President Xi Jinping to refrain from conducting or knowingly supporting "cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information, with the intent of providing competitive advantages to companies or commercial sectors."  China has also made this commitment with G20 and APEC members as well as in other bilateral statements.

Stability in cyberspace cannot be achieved if countries engage in irresponsible behavior that undermines the national security and economic prosperity of other countries. These actions by Chinese actors to target intellectual property and sensitive business information present a very real threat to the economic competitiveness of companies in the United States and around the globe. We will continue to hold malicious actors accountable for their behavior, and today the United States is taking several actions to demonstrate our resolve. We strongly urge China to abide by its commitment to act responsibly in cyberspace and reiterate that the United States will take appropriate measures to defend our interests.

Keywords: Cybersecurity
Topics: Cybersecurity

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 20, 2018

Secretary Nielsen Announces Historic Action to Confront Illegal Immigration
Announces Migration Protection Protocols WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen announced historic action to confront the illegal immigration crisis facing the United States.  Effective immediately, the United States will begin the process of invoking Section 235(b)(2)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.  Under the Migration Protection Protocols (MPP), individuals arriving in or entering the United States from Mexico—illegally or without proper documentation—may be returned to Mexico for the duration of their immigration proceedings.

"Today we are announcing historic measures to bring the illegal immigration crisis under control," said Secretary Nielsen.  "We will confront this crisis head on, uphold the rule of law, and strengthen our humanitarian commitments.  Aliens trying to game the system to get into our country illegally will no longer be able to disappear into the United States, where many skip their court dates.  Instead, they will wait for an immigration court decision while they are in Mexico.  ‘Catch and release' will be replaced with ‘catch and return.'  In doing so, we will reduce illegal migration by removing one of the key incentives that encourages people from taking the dangerous journey to the United States in the first place.  This will also allow us to focus more attention on those who are actually fleeing persecution.

"Let me be clear:  we will undertake these steps consistent with all domestic and international legal obligations, including our humanitarian commitments.  We have notified the Mexican government of our intended actions.  In response, Mexico has made an independent determination that they will commit to implement essential measures on their side of the border.  We expect affected migrants will receive humanitarian visas to stay on Mexican soil, the ability to apply for work, and other protections while they await a U.S. legal determination."



Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 20, 2018

Written testimony of DHS Secretary Nielsen for a House Committee on the Judiciary hearing titled "Oversight of the Department of Homeland Security"
2141 Rayburn House Office Building

Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Nadler, and distinguished Members of the Committee:

It is a privilege to appear before you today to discuss the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) critical missions. Before I proceed, let me first extend my gratitude to you, Mr. Chairman, on behalf of a grateful nation for your service to this Committee and to the country. I wish you well in your retirement from Congress.

The men and women of DHS are exceptional and dedicated professionals who are on watch 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Their mission is to protect Americans from threats by land, sea, air, and in cyberspace, while also promoting our nation's economic prosperity. They work tirelessly to strengthen the safety and security of our nation from persistent and emerging dangers, including terrorists, transnational criminal organizations, rogue nation-states, and natural disasters.

On October 10, I testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs regarding threats to our country and our work to thwart them. I encourage you to review that testimony, and I look forward to taking questions on how we are addressing the full spectrum of dangers to the homeland. Today, I want to focus in particular on the crisis at our borders and how DHS is responding to it.

The President has made it one of his highest priorities to secure our nation's borders and enforce our immigration laws, and as Secretary, I have worked hard to execute those missions. These are among the most fundamental responsibilities of a sovereign nation, and they are part of the solemn duty of my Department. I am proud to say that the men and women of DHS have made extraordinary progress to uphold those obligations and provide the safety and security the American people rightfully expect.

Let me begin by briefly outlining a few of the successes achieved by the DHS team to advance the President's homeland

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 18, 2018

Senate Votes to Authorize the DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement today after the U.S. Senate passed the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 2018 (H.R. 7213).  The House unanimously passed this bill earlier this week.  This legislation permanently establishes the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Office within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), granting it needed authorities to protect the American people against evolving WMD threats.

"I applaud today's congressional action, which will provide DHS with the authorities needed to guard against biological and chemical threats, and which will build on our already broad authorities to protect against radiological and nuclear dangers.  The United States faces rising danger from terrorist groups and rogue nation states which could use weapons of mass destruction to harm Americans.  There is no question that such an attack could have a devastating effect on our country.  This legislation will keep us a step ahead of our enemies, and I am grateful Congress has voted to send it to President Trump's desk.  I look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to deploy these new authorities.

"This has been a milestone year.  DHS has worked closely with Congress to ensure we can effectively combat emerging and persistent threats.  Among other measures, we have established the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to defend our nation on the digital battlefield.  We have secured authorities to counter the threat of nefarious drones.  And now we have a law that will allow us to better protect Americans from chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons.  There are other areas where we continue to seek Congressional assistance, but I am grateful for the bipartisan support that has provided us with authorities we need to secure our great nation."

Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen established the DHS Countering Weapons of Ma

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 18, 2018

Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Statement on the Federal Commission on School Safety Comprehensive Resource Guide
"I am proud of the work of the Federal Commission on School Safety, which today offers a bold vision of secure and violence-free schools. This report provides actionable recommendations for communities, schools, and students to protect themselves and prevent acts of violence. The Department of Homeland Security is committed to the security of all Americans and will continue to work with our partners toward ending school violence."

View the Federal Commission on School Safety Report here.

Keywords: schools
Topics: Academic Engagement, Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 13, 2018

Readout of Secretary Nielsen's Trip to Jordan and Egypt
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen traveled to Aqaba, Jordan and Cairo, Egypt to meet with international partners to discuss collaborative efforts to combat emerging transnational threats. The trip was highly successful in reaching agreement on increased training opportunities, information sharing and a general consensus on joint efforts to confront and combat terrorism and transnational smuggling and trafficking.

While in Jordan, Secretary Nielsen participated in the Aqaba Process, during which she met with Jordanian government officials to discuss the importance of a collaborative approach to problems that threaten the safety and stability of our countries, including the spread of terrorism and evolving cyber threats. 

The Aqaba Process is a multi-national forum led by His Majesty King Abdullah II to enhance global coordination in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.  This session of the Aqaba Process, which included heads of state, government officials and law enforcement officials from throughout the region as well as from Europe and Africa, focused on combatting terrorism in East Africa and developing approaches to countering emerging security challenges.

"As always, King Abdullah II has shown great leadership in hosting the Aqaba Process and bringing together leaders committed to combating terrorism," "The focus on threats in East Africa, and steps taken to confront them, continues to shine a spotlight on an area of the world where the United States and other allies remain committed to making more secure."

Secretary Nielsen next travelled to Egypt, where she met with senior Egyptian officials on a range of security-related issues focused on terrorism financing, cyber security, border and maritime security, customs modernization, aviation security and law enforcement intelligence sharing.

She met with the Minister of Finance Dr. Mohamed Maait to discuss the necessary s

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 12, 2018

DHS Blue Lightning Initiative Hosts Stakeholder Summit
On November 27, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Blue Campaign hosted a Blue Lightning Initiative (BLI) Stakeholder Summit in Washington, DC, to further its effort to combat human trafficking in the aviation industry. The BLI is an element of the Blue Campaign, led by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and DHS Component Agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The Summit attracted stakeholders from across the United States including air carriers, port authorities, industry associations, and law enforcement agencies. The Summit included remarks from senior DHS and DOT officials, highlighting the federal government's role in combatting human trafficking, and a panel of subject-matter experts who shared industry best practices and protocols. DHS recognizes the importance of engaging its industry partners in the fight to end modern day slavery. DHS would like to thank the 23 existing BLI partners, who have contributed to the success of the initiative.

BLI trains airline personnel to identify potential traffickers and human trafficking victims, and to report their suspicions to federal law enforcement. To date, more than 100,000 aviation industry personnel have been trained through the BLI, and actionable tips continue to be reported to law enforcement.

Click here to learn more about BLI. For airlines and aviation industry organizations looking to learn more about partnering with BLI to train their employees on human trafficking and reporting options, email

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 12, 2018

Walls Work
.

DHS is committed to building wall and building wall quickly. We are not replacing short, outdated and ineffective wall with similar wall.  Instead, under this President we are building a wall that is 30-feet high.

Prior to President Trump taking office, we have never built wall that high.

Once funding was provided, DHS began construction of border wall exceptionally quickly, in some locations in as little as nine months from funding to building- a process that commonly takes two years or more in other parts of Government. By the end of FY 2019, DHS expects to have construction completed or underway for more than 120 miles in the areas it's most needed by the U.S. Border Patrol. The pace of construction has picked up as initial limiting factors like land acquisition and funding have been addressed.

Before


After


The El Centro Sector built approximately two miles of 30' steel bollard wall west of the Calexico West Port of Entry. The contract was awarded in November 2017, construction started in February 2018 and was completed in October 2018.

In FY 2017 Congress provided DHS $292 million to build 40 miles of steel bollard wall in

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 07, 2018

DHS Blue Campaign Announces Partnership with United Airlines
On December 7, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a new industry partnership between the DHS Blue Campaign - the unified voice for DHS's efforts to combat human trafficking - and United Airlines.

"The Department of Homeland Security's Blue Campaign is excited about its partnership with United Airlines. United has a robust human trafficking awareness training program and will be a leader in the airline industry's efforts to combat human trafficking. Together, the Blue Campaign and United Airlines will share their resources and begin an endeavor to identify and alleviate the terrible toll of human trafficking," said Trent Frazier, Executive Director of DHS Campaigns.

Through this partnership, the Blue Campaign will co-brand its awareness materials with United Airlines. These materials will further support United Airlines employee training, which empowers them to recognize indicators of human trafficking and report suspected cases. The Blue Campaign will also facilitate other types of outreach to educate United Airlines' employees, including its crew members, about human trafficking. 

"At United, safety is our top priority," said Steve Morrissey, United's vice president, regulatory and policy. "Partnering with the Department of Homeland Security and combining our collective resources further underscores our commitment to safety and strengthens our determination to recognize and report instances of human trafficking."

The Blue Campaign leverages its partnerships with state and local governments, the private sector, and others, to protect the basic right of freedom and to bring those who exploit human lives to justice. As with other public-facing industries, the Blue Campaign looks forward to collaborating with United Airlines to combat human trafficking.

For more information about the Blue Campaign, click here.

# # #

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 03, 2018

Statement on Secretary Nielsen's Meeting with Mexican Foreign Secretary-Designate Marcelo Ebrard
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Press Secretary Tyler Q. Houlton released the following statement on U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen's meeting with Mexican Foreign Secretary-Designate Marcelo Ebrard.

"Today in Washington, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen met with Mexican Foreign Secretary-Designate Marcelo Ebrard to discuss a variety of issues of shared concern and new opportunities. This conversation covered several joint interest areas in order to define common vision and showing leadership together throughout the region. This was the first official visit in the United States for Secretary-Designate Ebrard."

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Keywords: International partnerships
Topics: International Engagement

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 25, 2018

Secretary Nielsen Statement On San Ysidro Port Of Entry Closure
"This morning, CBP was forced to close the San Ysidro Port of Entry to ensure public safety in response to large numbers of migrants seeking to enter the U.S. illegally. After being prevented from entering the Port of Entry, some of these migrants attempted to breach legacy fence infrastructure along the border and sought to harm CBP personnel by throwing projectiles at them. As I have continually stated, DHS will not tolerate this type of lawlessness and will not hesitate to shut down ports of entry for security and public safety reasons. We will also seek to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law anyone who destroys federal property, endangers our frontline operators, or violates our nation's sovereignty. CBP, along with other DHS law enforcement, federal law enforcement, the U.S. military and state and local law enforcement, will continue to have a robust presence along the Southwest Border and at our ports of entry to prevent illegal entry or violence. We continue to stay in close contact with Mexican authorities and we remain committed to resolving this situation safely in concert with our Mexican partners."

Keywords: immigration enforcement, Port of Entry, southwest border
Topics: Border Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement,

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 14, 2018

Written testimony of NPPD for a House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Protection and House Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats & Capabilities hearing regarding Interagency Cyber Cooperation
2118 Rayburn House Office Building

Chairman Ratcliffe, Chairman Stefanik, Ranking Member Richmond, Ranking Member Langevin, and members of the Committees, thank you for today's opportunity to testify regarding the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) ongoing and collaborative efforts to strengthen the cybersecurity of our Nation's critical infrastructure. Safeguarding and securing cyberspace is a core homeland security mission, and DHS's National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) leads the Nation's efforts to ensure the security and resilience of our cyber and physical infrastructure.

NPPD is responsible for assisting agencies with the protection of civilian Federal Government networks and coordinating with other Federal agencies, as well as state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, and the private sector to defend our Nation's critical infrastructure from malicious cyber activity. We work to enhance cyber threat information sharing across the globe in order to help critical infrastructure entities and government agencies protect their cyber systems and quickly recover should such an attack occur. By bringing together all levels of government, the private sector, international partners, and the public, DHS protects against cybersecurity risks, improves our whole-of-government incident response capabilities, enhances information sharing of best practices and cyber threats, and strengthens resilience of our Nation's critical infrastructure.

Threat Assessment Cybersecurity threats remain one of the most significant strategic risks for the United States, threatening our national security, economic prosperity, and public health and safety. We have seen advanced persistent threat actors, including cyber criminals, nation states and their proxies, increase the frequency and sophistication of malicious cyber activity. Our adversaries have been developing and using advanced cyber capabilities in attempts to undermine crit

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 13, 2018

Congress Passes Legislation Standing Up Cybersecurity Agency in DHS
On November 13, the United States House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass legislation creating the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  The CISA Act (H.R. 3359), which passed the Senate in October and now heads to the President's desk to be signed into law, would reorganize DHS' National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) into a new agency and prioritize its mission as the Federal leader for cyber and physical infrastructure security.

"Today's vote is a significant step to stand up a federal government cybersecurity agency," said Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen. "The cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving, and we need to ensure we're properly positioned to defend America's infrastructure from threats digital and physical.  It was time to reorganize and operationalize NPPD into the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.  I thank Chairman Michael McCaul and Ranking Member Bennie Thompson for recognizing our critical role and both starting and completing this transformation in the House of Representatives.  I also thank Chairman Ron Johnson and Ranking Member Claire McCaskill for their tireless support of the CISA Act in the Senate."

"I also want to thank all the hardworking men and women of NPPD for carrying out our important cybersecurity mission each day within DHS. CISA will help bring the recognition this team deserves and will empower the team to more effectively execute its vital mission."

"The CISA Act passing Congress represents real progress in the national effort to improve our collective efforts in cybersecurity," said NPPD Under Secretary Christopher Krebs. "Elevating the cybersecurity mission within the Department of Homeland Security, streamlining our operations, and giving NPPD a name that reflects what it actually does will help better secure the nation's critical infrastructure and cyber platforms.  The changes w

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 09, 2018

Joint EU-U.S. statement following the EU-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting
On 9 November 2018, the EU-U.S. Ministerial Meeting on Justice and Home Affairs took place in Washington DC. The United States of America hosted the meeting and was represented by the U.S. Acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker and Secretary for Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen.

The European Union was represented by the Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, as well as by the Austrian Federal Minister for the Interior Herbert Kickl, the Austrian Federal Minister for Constitutional Affairs, Reforms, Deregulation and Justice Josef Moser, the Romanian Minister of the Interior Carmen Daniela Dan and the Romanian Secretary of State for Justice Sebastian Costea on behalf of the current and incoming Presidencies of the Council of the European Union.

The United States and the European Union reaffirmed their commitment to jointly address common challenges in the areas of justice and home affairs and praised the excellent level of exchanges and operational cooperation, for the benefit of the security of citizens on both sides of the Atlantic.

The United States and the European Union underlined the importance of effective information sharing for their shared efforts to combat terrorism, focusing on battlefield information, Passenger Name Records (PNR) and aviation security. Participants emphasized the importance of PNR information sharing as a tool for the prevention of terrorist travel and agreed to prepare for a  joint evaluation in 2019, in compliance with the provisions of the EU-US PNR Agreement. The United States and the European Union recognized the need to enhance their efforts to address the challenge of terrorists' use of the internet to direct and inspire attacks, while respecting individual rights, including freedom of speech. Both sides shared information on their respective initiatives, including efforts to better engage and partner with service providers.

The United States and the Europe

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 09, 2018

DHS Myth vs. Fact: Asylum Proclamation and Rule
Our system is currently overwhelmed by unchecked mass immigration, particularly at our Southwest border



Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act states plainly: "Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate."Section 215(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act similarly states: "Unless otherwise ordered by the President, it shall be unlawful for any alien to depart from or enter or attempt to depart from or enter the United States except under such reasonable rules, regulations, and orders, and subject to such limitations and exceptions as the President may prescribe."Q. Who would this rule apply to?A.This rule would apply only prospectively to proclamations issued on or after the effective date of this rule.  It would not apply to a proclamation that specifically includes an exception for aliens applying for asylum, nor would it apply to aliens subject to a waiver or exception provided by the proclamation. It does not apply to legal permanent residents or U.S. citizens. It does not limit the rights of unaccompanied alien minors.

Q. How does this uphold our nation's values with regard to immigration?A. The United States is a global leader when it comes to assisting individuals fleeing persecution—including refugees and asylum seekers. We accept far more refugees referred from the United Nation's High Commissioner for Refugees tha

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 08, 2018

Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Statement on the Shooting in California
"Today, I join the American people in mourning the lives of those lost in the horrific shooting in Thousand Oaks, California. I offer my deepest condolences to the families of the victims, and all those affected by this tragedy. I would also like to acknowledge the heroic sacrifice of Ventura County Sheriff's Office Sergeant Ron Helus, who was killed while engaging the suspect, and thank the law enforcement officers and first responders who were on the scene.

"DHS continues to support our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to develop trainings and resources to improve response capabilities and better protect soft targets and crowded places."

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Keywords: Active Shooter
Topics: Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 08, 2018

Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker Statement
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen and Acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker released the following statement on the joint Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice asylum regulation:

"Consistent with our immigration laws, the President has the broad authority to suspend or restrict the entry of aliens into the United States if he determines it to be in the national interest to do so. Today's rule applies this important principle to aliens who violate such a suspension or restriction regarding the southern border imposed by the President by invoking an express authority provided by Congress to restrict eligibility for asylum.  Our asylum system is overwhelmed with too many meritless asylum claims from aliens who place a tremendous burden on our resources, preventing us from being able to expeditiously grant asylum to those who truly deserve it.  Today, we are using the authority granted to us by Congress to bar aliens who violate a Presidential suspension of entry or other restriction from asylum eligibility."

The interim final rule is available here.

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Keywords: immigration
Topics: Border Security,

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 08, 2018

Message from Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen on the 2018 Secretary's Awards
Each year, the Secretary's Awards provide an opportunity to recognize some of the outstanding DHS employees who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in service to our missions. It is a time for us to celebrate their accomplishments, and thank them for their service. 

Today, I had the distinct honor of presenting these awards to the more than 660 employees who received individual or team awards. These employees and their stories—full of honor, courage, and ingenuity—represent the very best of our Department. It was a pleasure to be joined by other leaders throughout the Department, as well as the families of our honorees, to celebrate their accomplishments. 

I would like to note, however, that these men and women represent only a fraction of our outstanding employees who, every day, commit themselves to the important work of our Department. I want to thank each of you, and your families, for the sacrifices you make in service to our Department.  

Once again, congratulations to the 2018 Secretary's Award recipients. Thank you for your service to our country and our Department. 

Best regards,


Kirstjen M. Nielsen
Secretary of Homeland Security

With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.

Keywords: employee awards, Secretary Nielsen
Topics: Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 07, 2018

Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Statement on National Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement on President Trump's Proclamation of November as National Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month:

"Americans rely on secure and resilient infrastructure to provide access to safe food, reliable electricity and transportation, clean water, and instant communication. These physical and cyber systems—and others across all 16 critical infrastructure sectors—provide the essential services that support and underpin American society.

"As the Secretary of Homeland Security, I am committed to strengthening our efforts to protect and secure the infrastructure on which Americans rely, in close partnership with other federal agencies, state, local, territorial and tribal governments, and the private sector. Only by working together can we help ensure the nation's critical infrastructure is secure and resilient, and be ready to respond to any cyber or physical threats we might face.

"The threat to our critical systems is continuous and outpacing our defenses. We have already seen attempts by countries such as China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia to use their power in cyberspace to compromise and disrupt our infrastructure, and advance their own interests.

"I commend President Trump for recognizing the important work we do to ensure secure and resilient infrastructure, and for pushing his entire Administration to combat these threats head on.

"I also want to commend the countless employees of the Department of Homeland Security, and all our partners in government and the private sector who work day-in and day-out to make our infrastructure more secure.  Our collective success depends on your continued dedication."

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Keywords: critical infrastructure,

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 07, 2018

Secretary Nielsen Statement on the Nomination of Dr. Joseph Cuffari
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement on President Trump's intent to nominate Dr. Joseph Cuffari as Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security:

"I am pleased that President Trump intends to nominate Dr. Joseph Cuffari as Inspector General (IG) at the Department of Homeland Security. Dr. Cuffari's leadership will help to provide crucial oversight to ensure excellency, integrity and accountability throughout all programs and operations. The Department has a long-standing commitment to combating waste, fraud and abuse, and Dr. Cuffari has demonstrated his resolve to do so throughout a variety of roles. His decades of experience, including more than 40 years in the U.S. Air Force and more than 20 years at the Department of Justice (DOJ), will make him an invaluable member of the Department's leadership team.  I thank Dr. Cuffari for his willingness to serve in government again and urge the Senate to swiftly confirm him to this important position."

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Keywords: Office of Inspector General
Topics: Homeland Security Jobs

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 05, 2018

Joint Statement on Election Day Preparations
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)—in coordination with federal, state, local, and private sector partners nationwide—are continuing efforts to protect our elections. Today, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, DNI Dan Coats, and FBI Director Christopher Wray released the following joint statement:

"Our agencies have been working in unprecedented ways to combat influence efforts and to support state and local officials in securing our elections, including efforts to harden election infrastructure against interference. Our goal is clear: ensure every vote is counted and counted correctly. At this time we have no indication of compromise of our nation's election infrastructure that would prevent voting, change vote counts, or disrupt the ability to tally votes."

"But Americans should be aware that foreign actors - and Russia in particular - continue to try to influence public sentiment and voter perceptions through actions intended to sow discord. They can do this by spreading false information about political processes and candidates, lying about their own interference activities, disseminating propaganda on social media, and through other tactics. The American public can mitigate these efforts by remaining informed, reporting suspicious activity, and being vigilant consumers of information, as discussed below."

"The United States will not tolerate foreign interference in our elections from Russia, China, Iran, or other nations. As noted in a  joint statement on October 19, 2018, such actions are a threat to our democracy, and identifying and preventing this interference is one

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 01, 2018

Myth vs. Fact: Caravan
Below are the facts surrounding the "caravans" en route to the U.S. Southwest border.

Q: Do we know who is in the caravan? A:  We continue to be concerned about individuals along the caravan route. In fact, over 270 individuals along the caravan route have criminal histories, including known gang membership.  Those include a number of violent criminals - examples include aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, armed robbery, sexual assault on a child, and assault on a female. Mexican officials have also publicly stated that criminal groups have infiltrated the caravan. We also continue to see individuals from over 20 countries in this flow from countries such as Somalia, India, Haiti, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. There is a large segment of this population that we know nothing about and we must be prepared to defend our border and enforce our laws to protect the citizens of our country.

Q: Is the caravan politically motivated? A: Some recent media reports indicate there may be political motivations from Central American countries.

Q: Are there criminals in the caravan? A: Yes - so far, there are over 270 individuals along the caravan route that have criminal histories, including known gang membership. 

On October 29, the Mexican ambassador to the U.S. described some of the caravan members as "very violent:"  "Unfortunately, some of the people in the caravan have been very violent against authority, even though they have offered the possibility of entering in compliance with immigration law and refugee status."

On October 30, Mexico's Interior Minister Navarrete Prida speaking on Radio Enfoque (Focus) 100.1 FM, confirmed that some criminal groups ha

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 26, 2018

Joint Statement from the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense
"After receiving a request for assistance from the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of Defense has approved providing mission-enhancing capabilities to Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) along the Southwest Border (SWB). This assistance is in addition to the previously authorized support to CBP's Operation Guardian Support mission.

The DoD will provide Defense Support of Civil Authorities with planning assistance, engineering support (temporary barriers, barricades, and fencing), fixed and rotary wing aviation support to move CBP personnel, medical teams to triage, treat and prepare for commercial transport of patients, command and control facilities, temporary housing for CBP personnel, and personal protective equipment for CBP personnel. USNORTHCOM will be in the lead for the duration of the operation and is in support of Custom and Border Protection."

Keywords: Border Protections, southwest border
Topics: Border Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 25, 2018

Statement From DHS Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen on Recent Mail Bombs
"DHS and the U.S. Secret Service are closely coordinating with the FBI on the active investigation and are working with state and local law enforcement to provide updates on the evolving situation. The Department has heightened the security posture at federal facilities around the country and is actively communicating with our National Network of Fusion Centers. I condemn these cowardly acts in the strongest possible terms. Americans will not tolerate these types of threats, and we will not be intimidated."

Keywords: bomb, secret service
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 15, 2018

FEMA Leads Massive Whole Community Response Effort for Hurricane Michael Survivors
?WASHINGTON - Thousands of first responders and volunteers continue working together to save lives, restore power and help survivors affected by Hurricane Michael.

More than 16,000 federal employees, including over 8,000 military personnel have been deployed to support Hurricane Michael response efforts.

Since Michael's landfall, search and rescue teams from FEMA, the U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard and others, working alongside state responders and volunteers, have completed 110 evacuations, 4,193 rescues/assists, 15,287 shelter in place checks, and 128 animal assists. Structural assessments were completed on 16,827 structures in Florida.

FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance teams are in Florida helping survivors register for assistance. More than 28,000 individuals and households registered for disaster assistance and are being referred to federal, state or voluntary agencies for assistance.

Sunday, President Trump issued a major disaster declaration for Georgia, making federal assistance available to individuals and households, and authorizing debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance.

Sixteen different states are sending support through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. More than 25 missions are active in both Florida and Georgia with more than 430 people deployed to assist.

More than 35,000 utility workers from 26 states, are working to restore power. Customer outages are declining; as customers are restored, companies are reallocating resources strategically. Efforts in the hardest hit areas may be prolonged due to access constraints and the level of damage.
In Florida, FEMA provided 715,000 meals and 1.5 million liters of water per day. FEMA transferred more than 350,000 meals to Georgia for feeding operations.

The federal go

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 12, 2018

Department of Homeland Security Hosts Central American Countries for Security Day
Today, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen hosted the second day of the Conference on Prosperity and Security in Central America, which focused on improving citizen security and safety in Central America. As part of the conference, Secretary Nielsen and Mexican Foreign Secretary Videgaray met with leaders from Northern Triangle countries in Washington, D.C., including Minister of Government Degenhart of Guatemala, Secretary of Security Pacheco of Honduras, and Minister of Justice and Public Security Landaverde of El Salvador.

Throughout the day's sessions, discussions focused on security cooperation, stemming the flow of illegal migration, combating organized crime and gangs, and enhancing regional and citizen security.

Secretary Nielsen recognized the efforts being taken by the Northern Triangle governments to strengthen security in the region. In the area of narcotics trafficking, one of many subjects the leaders touched upon today that affects security in the region was that much of South American cocaine bound for the U.S. travels through Central America. As part of the Department's commitment to stopping the flow of illicit drugs crossing our borders, Secretary Nielsen committed to continuing to work with these countries to address drug trafficking.

Additionally, the leaders discussed the flow of illegal immigrants from Northern Triangle countries. Since 2014, when nearly 52,000 children from the Northern Triangle region of Central America made the dangerous journey alone to the U.S. border, the U.S. government has worked with the governments of the Northern Triangle to address the root causes of illegal immigration to the United States. By reducing crime and violence, addressing corruption and impunity, disrupting the activities of transnational criminal organizations, and providing citizens in Central America with greater economic opportunity, the United States is helping to foster an environment w

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 12, 2018

Secretary Nielsen Statement on the Confirmation of Pete Gaynor
"Yesterday, the Senate confirmed Pete Gaynor to be Deputy Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). With the 2018 hurricane season fully underway, Pete's confirmation could not have come at a more critical time. His experience as both a state and local emergency manager, combined with more than two decades of service in the United States Marine Corps, make him an invaluable addition to the Administrator's leadership team at FEMA. Deputy Administrator Gaynor will immediately get to work helping the many Americans recently devastated by the destruction of Hurricane Michael across the East Coast.  I look forward to working with him in the months and years ahead to support the men and women of FEMA as they carry out their missions."

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Keywords: FEMA, Secretary Nielsen
Topics: Disasters, Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 11, 2018

DHS Issues Waiver to Expedite Border Construction Project in Hidalgo County, Texas
WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security has issued a waiver to waive certain laws to ensure the expeditious construction of barriers and roads near the international border in the state of Texas, in the county of Hidalgo.  The waiver was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 11, 2018.

This waiver is pursuant to authority granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security by Congress and covers a variety of environmental, natural resource, and land management laws.  Congress provided the Secretary of Homeland Security with a number of authorities necessary to carry out DHS's border security mission.  One of these authorities is found at section 102 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, as amended ("IIRIRA").  Section 102(a) of IIRIRA provides that the Secretary of Homeland Security shall take such actions as may be necessary to install additional physical barriers and roads in the vicinity of the United States border to deter illegal crossings in areas of high illegal entry into the United States.  In section 102(b) of IIRIRA, Congress has called for the installation of additional fencing, barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors on the southwest border.  Finally, in section 102(c) of IIRIRA, Congress granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to waive all legal requirements that the Secretary, in Secretary's sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure the expeditious construction of the barriers and roads authorized by section 102 of IIRIRA.

The Department exercised the waiver authority in Section 102 (c) of IIRIRA on five occasions from 2005 to 2008 and on two occasions in 2017.

The geographic scope of this waiver covers an approximate 14-mile long wall project located in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas.  This is within the Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley Sec

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 10, 2018

DHS Issues Waiver to Expedite Border Wall Gate Construction Project in Texas
WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security has issued a waiver to ensure the expeditious construction of gates in existing wall structure near the international border in the state of Texas. The waiver was published in the Federal Register Oct. 10, 2018. 

This waiver is issued pursuant to authority granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security by Congress.  Congress has provided the Secretary of Homeland Security with a number of authorities necessary to carry out DHS's border security mission.  One of these authorities is found at section 102 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, as amended ("IIRIRA").  Section 102(a) of IIRIRA provides that the Secretary of Homeland Security shall take such actions as may be necessary to install additional physical walls and roads near the United States border to deter illegal crossings in areas of high illegal entry into the United States.  In section 102(b) of IIRIRA, Congress has called for the installation of additional fencing, walls, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors on the southwest border.  Finally, in section 102(c) of IIRIRA, Congress granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security the authority to waive all legal requirements that the Secretary, in Secretary's sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure the expeditious construction of the walls and roads authorized by section 102 of IIRIRA. The Department exercised the waiver authority in Section 102 (c) of IIRIRA on eight prior occasions.

The geographic scope of this waiver provides for the installation of 11 automated border wall gates and associated site improvements at existing openings in the existing PF225 Bollard Fence alignment in the U.S. Border Patrol Rio Grande Valley Sector. The project sites are within the area of responsibility of the Fort Brown, Brownsville, and Harlingen Bo

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 10, 2018

Written testimony of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen for a Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing titled "Threats to the Homeland"
342 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Chairman Johnson, Ranking Member McCaskill, and distinguished Members of the Committee:

It is a privilege to appear before you today to discuss the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) crucial missions and how we are implementing a policy of "relentless resilience" to confront worldwide threats.

Let me first say that the men and women of DHS are exceptional and dedicated professionals who are on watch 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year protecting Americans from threats by land, sea, air, and in cyberspace, while also safeguarding our values and promoting our nation's economic prosperity. They work tirelessly to strengthen the safety and security of our nation, and to secure it from persistent and emerging threats, including terrorists, transnational criminal organizations, hostile nation-states, natural disasters, and more.

In recent public remarks, I noted that today's threats are very different now than they were at the time of the Department's creation. Today, I will elaborate on that and describe five major changes in the threat landscape that are requiring us to comprehensively rethink homeland security. I will explain how we are building resilience into everything we do, preparing our frontline defenders to protect America in a new age, and responding to these evolving challenges.

A Dark CloudLast month marked an important anniversary: 17 years since the 9/11 attacks. We are now many years from the pivotal moment that gave us a permanent mission, but we have not allowed the passage of time to dull our memories or weaken our resolve. We cannot afford to, especially with new storm clouds forming on the horizon.

In the months prior to 9/11, then-CIA Director George Tenet said that the system was "blinking red." Our intelligence professionals were picking up so-called chatter that signaled danger was coming, yet we did not know when or from where. My colleague Dan Coats, the Directo

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 09, 2018

DHS Announces Strategy to Protect the Homeland from Electromagnetic Incidents
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced the release of the Strategy for Protecting and Preparing the Homeland against Threats from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) and Geomagnetic Disturbance (GMD).

The Strategy lays out a clear vision and an approach for DHS to take to protect critical infrastructure and prepare to respond and recover from potentially catastrophic electromagnetic incidents. The Strategy also reflects a consensus Intelligence Community assessment of the EMP threat posed by our nation's adversaries.

Electromagnetic incidents caused by an intentional EMP attack or naturally-occurring GMD events, while unlikely, could cause serious damage to the nation's critical infrastructure, including the electrical grid, communications equipment, and transportation capabilities.

While the Strategy is primarily focused on Departmental activities, it recognizes the importance of continued close collaboration with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial decision-makers, sector-specific agencies, and private sector critical infrastructure owner-operators. This partnership is essential to help critical infrastructure owners and operators to manage EMP and GMD risk.

The Department is currently developing an accompanying Implementation Plan, which will include measures that enable DHS to evaluate progress toward addressing identified capability gaps. Together, the Strategy and its companion Implementation Plan will improve the Department's management oversight and optimize resource utilization for our EMP/GMD protection, response, and recovery activities.

DHS intends to review and update the EMP/GMD Strategy, as needed, and regularly assess the Department's progress on the Implementation Plan.

You can view the Department's EMP/ GMD Strategy here.

                                                                                                                                

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 06, 2018

Statement from DHS Press Secretary on Recent Media Reports of Potential Supply Chain Compromise
"The Department of Homeland Security is aware of the media reports of a technology supply chain compromise. Like our partners in the UK, the National Cyber Security Centre, at this time we have no reason to doubt the statements from the companies named in the story. Information and communications technology supply chain security is core to DHS's cybersecurity mission and we are committed to the security and integrity of the technology on which Americans and others around the world increasingly rely. Just this month - National Cybersecurity Awareness Month - we launched several government-industry initiatives to develop near- and long-term solutions to manage risk posed by the complex challenges of increasingly global supply chains. These initiatives will build on existing partnerships with a wide range of technology companies to strengthen our nation's collective cybersecurity and risk management efforts."

Keywords: Cybersecurity, supply chain security
Topics: Cybersecurity

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 05, 2018

Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Statement on President Trump's Counterterrorism Strategy
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement today on President Trump's National Counterterrorism Strategy:

"Since 9/11, the threats to our homeland—and our enemies—continue to evolve.  It's time for our counterterrorism posture to do the same.  President Trump's National Counterterrorism Strategy is the bold framework we need to confront a new age of terror, in which the ‘away game' and ‘home game' are now one in the same.

"Today our country is fighting terrorists groups, such as ISIS and al-Qaeda, on physical and virtual battlefields.  Our enemies are crowd-sourcing their violence and spreading their hate to all corners of the globe, including into our own communities.  And they are pursuing sophisticated plots using emerging technologies, as well as simple do-it-yourself tactics, in order to cause fear and destruction and to undermine our open society.

"The President's strategy puts terrorists on notice that their time is up.  We are hardening our defenses at home and abroad, shutting down their plots and obstructing their operations, crushing their networks wherever we find them, and working to prevail over their hateful ideology.  In cooperation with our many partners across the country and around the world, DHS is committed to supporting the President's strategy and implementing his vision for a forward-leaning defense of the homeland."

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Keywords: counterterrorism
Topics: Preventing Terrorism, Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 04, 2018

Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Statement on Passage of Legislation to Counter Dangerous Unmanned Aerial Systems
WASHINGTON — Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement today on the passage of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, which will provide the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) with authorities to counter unmanned aerial systems (CUAS) used for nefarious purposes:

"The evolving threat posed by malicious drone technology is quickly outpacing the federal government's ability to respond. Transnational criminals use drones to identify security gaps in order to sneak into the country undetected. Smugglers use drones to bring illegal drugs across the border. Terrorist groups aspire to use armed drones against our homeland and U.S. interests and have already deployed such devices abroad to surveil, disrupt, and kill. 

"Existing legal constraints and statutes have prohibited the Department of Homeland Security from addressing these drone-threat scenarios and protecting the American people. The Department's lack of authorities also prevented us from testing truly needed drone-defense technologies. Today Congress took a major step forward to address these vulnerabilities.

"I am grateful Congress has voted to send a bill to the President's desk that provides DHS the crucial authorities it needs to protect the homeland against unmanned aerial threats. Today's action will help the U.S. government identify, track, and mitigate weaponized or dangerous unmanned aerial systems in our skies.

"I would like to thank Chairman Ron Johnson (R-WI) and Ranking Member Claire McCaskill (D-MO), of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee; Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) of the Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee; Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) of the Senate Judiciary Committee; Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), and Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) for their support.

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Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 03, 2018

DHS and DOE Meet with Oil and Natural Gas Sector Coordinating Council, Announce Pipeline Cybersecurity Initiative
On October 2, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) met with the Oil and Natural Gas Sector Coordinating Council as part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator David Pekoske and National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) Under Secretary Christopher Krebs led the meeting alongside Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary Karen Evans and leaders from the oil and natural gas industry. The group discussed ways industry and government can take a more strategic approach to securing pipelines and other critical infrastructure.

"The National Risk Management Center (NRMC) is DHS's effort to secure tomorrow's infrastructure, providing a central point of entry for working with industry to manage long-term strategy risk across our critical infrastructure sectors," said NPPD Under Secretary Christopher Krebs. "This meeting was a key milestone in the partnership between the federal government and the oil and natural gas industry, as we launched the pipeline cybersecurity initiative that partners DHS NPPD cybersecurity resources, DOE's energy sector expertise, with TSA's regular and ongoing assessments of pipeline security to get a broader understanding of the risks the sector faces. Collaborative efforts like this allow us to better understand the threat landscape and direct more targeted and prioritized risk management activities. We look forward to continuing these important meetings with the other critical infrastructure sectors across the country." 

"TSA is committed to the mission of securing the nation's natural gas and oil pipelines, and values longstanding relationships with pipeline operators across this great nation," said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. "This meeting and the ones to follow will build upon the expanded cyber security measures in the recently updated Pipeline Security Guidelines and our collaboration with the National Risk Management Center to

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 03, 2018

Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Kicks Off National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
On October 2, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen kicked off National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), with a conversation at the Washington Post's Cybersecurity Summit. Secretary Nielsen discussed DHS's continued efforts to secure our nation's election systems and combat the threats to our cyberspace.

Click here to watch the full conversation.

"The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Act has bipartisan support. It is meant to recognize the importance of the mission that we have at DHS. We are responsible for federal efforts when it comes to both protecting critical infrastructure, working with the owner-operators in private sector, and protecting all those civilian dot govs. To do that, we have to have both a name that indicates that is what we do, and we have to be able to streamline the organization so that we can become more operational." "First of all, the information sharing is much stronger than it ever has been before. We're working very closely with the intel community. The moment that we see something significant, we are, in conjunction with them, sharing with our state and local partners." "For Election Day, we're setting up a situational awareness room—a virtual place where everybody can share information quickly. We are actually pre-deploying Hunt and Incident Response Teams (HIRT)…we'll be there to support our partners if they need it." "There are two categories that we're worried about. One is the direct attacks on election infrastructure. That is where DHS has the lead. The other is this more nefarious, but also nebulous area of foreign influence. That can be done through state spokesmen in a foreign country and through state-run media. In Russia, that could include RT and Sputnik."

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 02, 2018

Nationwide Emergency Alert Test Planned for Oct. 3
WASHINGTON - FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission, will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018. The WEA portion of the test, which will be sent to consumer cell phones, will begin at 2:18 p.m. EDT. The EAS portion of the test, which will be sent to radio and television, will follow at 2:20 p.m. EDT.  This will be the fourth nationwide EAS test and the first nationwide WEA test. In light of the upcoming test, the agencies share the following key informational points:

The Basics : The purpose of the test is to ensure that EAS and WEA are both effective means of warning the public about emergencies, particularly those on the national level. Periodic testing of public alert and warning systems helps to assess the operational readiness of alerting infrastructure and to identify any needed technological and administrative improvements. The EAS and WEA test messages will be sent using FEMA's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), a centralized Internet-based system administered by FEMA that enables authorities to send authenticated emergency messages to the public through multiple communications networks. : FEMA will administer the test, in cooperation with the FCC and the National Weather Service, and with the participation of the communications industry. : October 3, 2018, beginning at 2:18 p.m. EDT on cell phones and 2:20 p.m. EDT on TV and radio. (This is the test back-up date; the test was previously postponed due to response efforts to Hurricane

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 25, 2018

Department of Homeland Security Launches First National "If You See Something, Say Something®" Awareness Day Today
On September 25, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will hosts the national "If You See Something, Say Something®" Awareness Day. The "If You See Something, Say Something®" campaign is calling on citizens and national public and private-sector partners to participate in activities related to the campaign,including:

Learning what suspicious activity is, the common indicators of suspicious activity, and how to report suspicious activity.Leading discussions in their communities about how to support the campaign and how they can play a role in keeping their community safe.Using social media to share why it's important to be vigilant and report suspicious activity, using the hashtags #WhyISeeSay and #SeeSayDay."Today marks an important milestone for the DHS ‘If You See Something, Say Something®' campaign as the Department hosts the first national Awareness Day. We are thrilled with the support we have received from our public and private partners in educating citizens who are not aware of the campaign. It's on all of us to protect our communities, and the campaign empowers citizens to play an active role keeping our homeland safe," said Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen.

To access Awareness Day resources and for more information on how to get involved, visit dhs.gov/SeeSayDay. For more information about the campaign, visit

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 22, 2018

DHS Announces New Proposed Immigration Rule to Enforce Long-Standing Law that Promotes Self-Sufficiency and Protect American Taxpayers
WASHINGTON - Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a proposed rule that will clearly define long-standing law to ensure that those seeking to enter and remain in the United States either temporarily or permanently can support themselves financially and will not be reliant on public benefits.

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The term "public charge" as applied to admission of aliens to the United States has a long history in U.S. immigration law, appearing at least as far back as the Immigration Act of 1882. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries public charge was the most common ground for refusing admission at U.S. ports of entry. 

"Under long-standing federal law, those seeking to immigrate to the United States must show they can support themselves financially," said Secretary Nielsen. "The Department takes seriously its responsibility to be transparent in its rulemaking and is welcoming public comment on the proposed rule. This proposed rule will implement a law passed by Congress intended to promote immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers."

Inadmissibility based on the public charge ground is determined by looking at the mandatory factors set forth in section 212(a)(4) of the  Immigration and Nationality Act and making a determination of the applicant's likelihood of becoming a public charge at any time in the future. The proposed regulation defines a public charge to be a person who receives certain public benefits above certain defined threshold amounts or for longer than certain periods of time.  Importantly, by law, the public charge inadmissibility determination is

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 22, 2018

DHS Announces New Proposed Immigration Rule to Enforce Long-Standing Law that Promotes Self-Sufficiency and Protects American Taxpayers
WASHINGTON - Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a proposed rule that will clearly define long-standing law to ensure that those seeking to enter and remain in the United States either temporarily or permanently can support themselves financially and will not be reliant on public benefits.

.

The term "public charge" as applied to admission of aliens to the United States has a long history in U.S. immigration law, appearing at least as far back as the Immigration Act of 1882. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries public charge was the most common ground for refusing admission at U.S. ports of entry. 

"Under long-standing federal law, those seeking to immigrate to the United States must show they can support themselves financially," said Secretary Nielsen. "The Department takes seriously its responsibility to be transparent in its rulemaking and is welcoming public comment on the proposed rule. This proposed rule will implement a law passed by Congress intended to promote immigrant self-sufficiency and protect finite resources by ensuring that they are not likely to become burdens on American taxpayers."

Inadmissibility based on the public charge ground is determined by looking at the mandatory factors set forth in section 212(a)(4) of the  Immigration and Nationality Act and making a determination of the applicant's likelihood of becoming a public charge at any time in the future. The proposed regulation defines a public charge to be a person who receives certain public benefits above certain defined threshold amounts or for longer than certain periods of time.  Importantly, by law, the public charge inadmissibility determination is

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 20, 2018

Statement by Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen on the Release of the National Cyber Strategy
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement today on the National Cyber Strategy:

"The Trump administration has taken bold steps to strengthen our security and prosperity in cyberspace in the face of growing threats and competition.  The critical infrastructure that Americans rely on is threatened every day by nation-states, cyber criminals and hackers seeking to wreak havoc, disrupt commerce, and even undermine our democratic institutions. Today's National Cyber Strategy - the first in fifteen years - strengthens the government's commitment to work in partnership with industry to combat those threats and secure our critical infrastructure.

"The National Cyber Strategy, along with the DHS Cybersecurity Strategy released earlier this year, will guide the Department's cybersecurity activities in a number of areas, including securing federal networks and information systems, managing risk to the nation's critical infrastructure, and combatting cybercrime. With respect to securing federal networks, for example, we have used our authorities to ensure agencies are updating and patching systems, strengthening their email security, and removing Kaspersky antivirus products from their systems. To strengthen critical infrastructure security and resilience, DHS works across government and industry to share timely and actionable information as well as provide training and incident response support. Working with the private sector, the department's newly launched National Risk Management Center is working collaboratively to break down silos, identify and prioritize national critical functions, provide a more holistic picture of the risk environment within and across sectors, and develop joint solutions to manage risk.

"The strategy also identifies several important steps which will further enable DHS to successfully combat cybercrime. Transnational criminal groups are employing increasingly sophisticated

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