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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
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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.

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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.

"A

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.

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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 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

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 18, 2018

Secretary Nielsen Swears in New Homeland Security Advisory Council Members
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen met with the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) to discuss her priorities for the Department. The group discussed a range of homeland security issues and Secretary Nielsen swore in eight new members to the HSAC: Jayson P. Ahern, Stewart A. Baker, Frank J. Cilluffo, Mark J. Dannels, Carol DiBattiste, Cathy Lanier, Wendy Smith-Reeve, and Chad Sweet.

"My vision for the HSAC, consistent with its charter, is to seek their strategic, timely, specific and actionable advice on a range of homeland security issues," said Secretary Nielsen. "The Department relies on the unique perspectives and strategic advice provided by HSAC members to help address emerging threats in a rapidly changing world. I'm confident that the new members sworn in today will contribute to this important mission."The HSAC is a Department of Homeland Security federal advisory committee that provides the Secretary with independent, informed recommendations, and advice on a variety of homeland security issues. The HSAC is comprised of national policy makers, representatives from state, local, and tribal governments, emergency, and first responder communities, academia, and the private sector. Former CIA and FBI Director Judge William Webster is chair of the HSAC.

For more information about the HSAC, visit www.dhs.gov/hsac.

The eight new HSAC members sworn in today are:

is a Principal and Head of Security Services Practice at The Chertoff Group. In this role, he advises clients on a broad range of issues including homeland and border security management, global commerce and supply chain security, critical infrastructure protection, risk management, and strategic planning and implementation. Mr. Ahern retired as the former Acting Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection with DHS, after serving 33 years in federal law

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 18, 2018

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

"Biological threats—whether naturally occurring, accidental, or deliberate in origin—are among the most serious threats facing the United States today. As part of the President's efforts to better protect Americans, the National Biodefense Strategy sets the course for the U.S. to combat 21st century biothreats. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stands ready to support the implementation of this strategy, in close coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services.

"Late last year, I directed the formation of the DHS Office of Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction office (CWMD) to elevate and streamline our efforts to stop terrorists and rogue actors from using chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear agents against us. Since then, the CWMD Office has renewed the Department's emphasis on bio security with efforts to develop and deploy a new biodetection system, update emergency responder and medical personnel guidance, examine new technologies, and provide support to our frontline operating components. As threats continue to evolve, our defenses must evolve as well. The CWMD Office will continue to address complex biological threats to the nation, but DHS needs additional authorities to be fully execute its mission. I look forward to working with Congress to pass the proposed authorizing legislation that will best position our CWMD response, mitigation, and recovery measures.

"DHS will continue to work closely with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, as well as industry and non-government organizations, to ensure we combat evolving biological threats and prepare to respond to biological disasters. By coordinating actions across the interagency, we can better anticipate, prevent, prepare for, respond to, mitigate, and recover from biological

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 17, 2018

Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alerting Systems


WASHINGTON - FEMA, in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), postponed the nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) until October 3 due to ongoing response efforts to Hurricane Florence.

The WEA portion of the test commences at 2:18 p.m. EDT, and the EAS portion follows at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.

October 3 was the previously scheduled back-up date for the test, which was originally set up for this Thursday, September 20. A backup date is always planned in case of widespread severe weather or other significant events on the primary test date. FEMA and the nation's emergency management community remain committed to the life-saving activities occurring through parts of North Carolina and South Carolina.

For further information on the test, go to https://www.fema.gov/emergency-alert-test.

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Keywords: EAS, IPAWS, WEA
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 16, 2018

Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems During Hurricane Florence Response and Recovery Operations


The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is warning drone owners and operators they may face significant fines if they interfere with emergency response operations in the areas affected by Hurricane Florence. Many aircraft that are conducting life-saving missions and other critical response and recovery efforts are likely to be flying at low altitudes over areas affected by the storm. Flying a drone without authorization in or near the disaster area may unintentionally disrupt rescue operations and violate federal, state, or local laws and ordinances, even if a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is not in place. Allow first responders to save lives and property without interference.

Private sector drone operators with an FAA Certificate of Authorization (COA) or flying under Part 107 who want to support response and recovery operations are strongly encouraged to coordinate their activities with the local incident commander responsible for the area in which they want to operate (more details are below).

Here is the information the FAA may require:

the unmanned aircraft type a PDF copy of a current FAA COA the pilot's Part 107 certificate number details about the proposed flight (date, time, location, altitude, direction and distance to the nearest airport, and latitude/longitude) nature of the event (assessment of critical infrastructure due to natural disaster) and the pilot's qualification information. The following site provides explanations on whether operators should ask for a waiver:

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 14, 2018

DHS Statement Regarding Safety and Enforcement During Hurricane Florence
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are concerned about the potential impact of Hurricane Florence to the East Coast of the United States, where North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia are under states of emergency. 

Our highest priority remains the preservation of life and safety. In consideration of these circumstances, there will be no immigration enforcement initiatives associated with evacuations or sheltering related to Florence, except in the event of a serious public safety threat.

What DHS and FEMA are Doing https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-florence

What the U.S. Government is Doing https://www.usa.gov/hurricane-florence
Spanish: https://gobierno.usa.gov/huracan-florence

Keywords: Hurricane, Hurricane Florence
Topics: Border Security, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Disasters, Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 13, 2018

House of Representatives Votes to Authorize the DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office
WASHINGTON - Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed by a voice vote the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 2018 (H.R. 6198). 

"The United States faces rising danger from terrorist groups and rogue nation states who could use weapons of mass destruction to harm Americans," said Secretary Nielsen. "Although DHS has broad authorities to guard against radiological and nuclear dangers, we don't have the authorities we need to do the same against biological and chemical threats. We must stay a step ahead of our enemies, and this legislation would help us do that. I applaud the House Homeland Security Committee for their leadership in developing this legislation—especially Chairman Michael McCaul and Rep. Dan Donovan—and all House members who voted to enhance our defenses against WMD threats. I now urge the Senate to do the same—to pass this legislation and send it to the President's desk for signature."

Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen established the DHS Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Office in December 2017 in one of the most significant reorganizations of the Department in a decade. If enacted into law, this legislation would permanently establish the office and grant it new authorities to protect the American people against evolving WMD threats. The CWMD Office is currently led by Assistant Secretary James F. McDonnell, who was appointed by President Trump in May 2018.

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Keywords: countering terrorism, weapons
Topics: Preventing Terrorism

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 13, 2018

Secretary Nielsen Statement on President Trump's Election Security Executive Order
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement today on President Donald J. Trump's Executive Order, Imposing Certain Sanctions in the Event of Foreign Interference in a United States Election:

"Today's Executive Order demonstrates the Administration's continued commitment to securing our nation's election infrastructure. As I have said on numerous occasions, election security is national security and any attempt to interfere in our democratic institutions is unacceptable. By mandating the imposition of sanctions against any individual or entity that seeks to interfere in our elections, we are sending a clear signal that the U.S. government will not tolerate interference of any kind and will use every tool at our disposal to protect our democratic process.

"We do not need to wait for another interference attempt to know the threat is real and evolving. DHS is already working closely with state and local election officials to ensure all Americans have confidence in our elections. Election officials in all 50 states and over 1,000 local jurisdictions are now working with DHS in some capacity to secure their election systems.  We're focusing on providing actionable information and intelligence to election officials; providing technical assistance to secure systems; and supporting election-focused incident response planning, training, and exercises.

"Securing our elections requires support across the government and our communities, and DHS will continue to lead the federal effort to ensure every American's vote is counted and counted correctly."

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Keywords: Election security
Topics: Election Security,

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 12, 2018

Statement from DHS Press Secretary on August Border Numbers
WASHINGTON -- Today, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Press Secretary Tyler Q. Houlton released the following statement on U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Southwest Border Migration numbers for August:

"August Southwest Border Migration numbers show a clear indicator that the migration flows are responding to gaps in our nation's legal framework.  While the overall numbers are consistent with an expected seasonal increase, the number of family units along the Southwest border increased 38 percent - 3,500 more than July and the highest August on record.  Smugglers and traffickers understand our broken immigration laws better than most and know that if a family unit illegally enters the U.S. they are likely to be released into the interior.  Specifically, DHS is required to release families entering the country illegally within 20 days of apprehension.

"We know that the vast majority of family units who have been released, despite having no right to remain in any legal status, fail to ever depart or be removed.  Through the third quarter of FY 2018, only 1.4 percent of family units have been repatriated to their home country from noncontiguous countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

"Secretary Nielsen and this Administration are committed to using all resources available to gain operational control of the U.S. border, to uphold our nation's immigration laws as passed by Congress, and to work with Congress to fix this broken system."

CBP's Southwest Border Migration Numbers for August can be found here.

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Keywords: Border Security, southwest border

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 12, 2018

FEMA and Partners Urge Preparedness for Dangerous Storms


WASHINGTON - Residents along the East Coast are urged to follow the direction of local officials and monitor news, check your local government website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest updates and emergency instructions.  Life-threatening conditions include significant coastal and inland flooding, storm surge, damaging winds. Local areas have already begun to issue mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders. If told to evacuate, do so immediately.

"It takes more than FEMA to respond to storms of this magnitude," said FEMA Administrator Brock Long. "The federal government has people and supplies in Guam, Hawaii, and along the East coast from South Carolina to Pennsylvania, but this will take all levels of government, the private sector, and individuals. Now is the time to prepare, and listen to warnings and orders from local officials."

History shows that storm tracks can change quickly and unexpectedly. It is crucial that residents and visitors in the areas that will be affected by these storms listen to and obey the instructions of local, state and tribal officials.

For additional information on evacuations, individuals should:

North Carolina: follow @NCEmergency on Twitter, visit https://readync.org/EN/Index.html. Individuals in Dare County, can also visit https://www.darenc.com/departments/emergency-management.

South Carolina: follow @SCEMD and @SCDOTpress on Twitter, call the SCDOT Call Center at 855-GO-SCDOT (855-467-2368). You can also visit www.511sc.org.

Virginia: follow

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 11, 2018

Message from Secretary Nielsen on the Anniversary of the September 11th Attacks
Seventeen years ago, America was violently attacked by terrorists, forever altering our nation's history. We will never forget the nearly 3,000 souls who perished on that fateful day. And in the years since, we have continued to honor their memory by resolving to dismantle and destroy terrorist organizations, wherever they may hide, so that no family—and no nation—has to again suffer what so many experienced on September 11th, 2001.

Despite the tragic loss of life, the 9/11 attacks brought the American people together, demonstrating to the world our relentless resolve. We saw real heroism as brave first responders ran toward the danger. Individuals donated their time and money to survivors and families of the victims. And citizens waited in lines around the block to give blood.

These attacks strengthened our solemn pledge to defend our homeland against all enemies, and led to the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

In the years since DHS opened its doors, our responsibilities have expanded significantly, but our core mission has remained the same: to protect the American people.

We must remain ever on guard. Hostile nation-states, terrorists, and transnational criminals are filling power vacuums which are springing up across the globe. They all share a common goal—to disrupt our way of life, and to incite chaos, instability, and violence.

Today let us focus—not on the actions of our enemies—but on the courage and resilience of the American people, and the unwavering efforts of the men and women on the front lines.

I am forever proud of the brave men and women of DHS who go to work every day to fulfill the promise we made after 9/11. As DHS Secretary, I will continue to do all I can to support you, and as an American, I thank you. You and your families—who serve as you serve—have my deepest respect and gratitude.

Today, we recommit ourselves to our mission: With honor and integrity, we will safeguar

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 05, 2018

Secretary Nielsen Remarks: Rethinking Homeland Security in an Age of Disruption
As prepared for delivery

Introduction Good morning everyone.  Thank you, Frank, for that kind introduction, and a big thank you to GW for hosting us here today.

I would also like to take a moment to thank the current and former DHS employees joining us today, as well as those who are hard at work across the country, keeping the American people safe.

Let's give them a round of applause.

Roadmap Today, I will 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 threats.

A Dark Cloud Next week will mark 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 will not let time nor space dull our memories or weaken our resolve.  Nor can we 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."  We heard enough chatter to know that danger was coming.  We just didn't know when or where.

My colleague Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence, recently said the system is "blinking red" once again.  His concern is our nation's digital infrastructure.

He is right.  Our digital lives are in danger like never before.

But it's more than that.  We are witnessing historic changes across the entire threat landscape.  We can see the winds blowing and hear the thunder drawing closer once again.

The balance of power that has characterized the international system for decades has been corroding.  America's unipolar moment is at risk.  Power vacuums are springing up across the globe and are quickly filled by hostile nation-states

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 30, 2018

Message from Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen on National Preparedness Month
"Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How." That is the theme this September for National Preparedness Month, an opportunity for us to remind our families, friends, and communities to get ready for disasters and emergencies before they strike. Thinking ahead can save lives. So we are working to create a "culture of preparedness" nationwide, which requires all Americans to prioritize preparedness efforts in their daily lives. I urge all of you to take the time to evaluate your preparedness and learn how to protect your family so that if disaster strikes, you are ready.

National Preparedness Month is divided into four weeks.  Each week we will publish recommended steps you can take to ensure you are prepared:

Week 1 (September 1 - 8): Make and Practice Your PlanWeek 2 (September 9 - 15): Learn Life Saving SkillsWeek 3 (September 16 - 22): Check Your CoverageWeek 4 (September 23 - 29): Save For an EmergencyThere are a number of resources available to help you implement the steps recommended for each week of National Preparedness Month. You can begin to boost your level of preparedness by taking small steps, such as discussing an emergency communications plan with your family over dinner, installing carbon monoxide detectors, reviewing your insurance coverage, or starting an emergency savings fund.

In addition to utilizing these resources, I hope you will consider taking part in the National Day of Action on September 15th. This is an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and businesses to take an action, such as learning a life-saving skill or participating in an exercise or drill, to increase preparedness. Please visit www.ready.gov for more information and resources. And if you have the ability to help others, please consider joining a Comm

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 30, 2018

Readout from Secretary Nielsen's Trip to Australia for the Five Country Ministerial
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen traveled to Australia for the Five Country Ministerial.  During the Ministerial, Secretary Nielsen met with senior security officials from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom to discuss persistent and emerging threats and how the "Five Eyes" nations can work jointly to thwart them.

Secretary Nielsen reached a number of actionable agreements with our foreign partners to keep the public safe. For example, the Secretary and her counterparts signed a statement of intent to expand information sharing on known and suspected terrorists so that all five countries can better detect and disrupt terrorist travel. She and her counterparts also agreed to establish a new "Aviation Security 5" working group to confront evolving security threats to the aviation sector; to strengthen connectivity between cyber centers to enable shared 24/7 monitoring of nefarious cyber activity; to coordinate and consider joint attribution and response activities in the event of a cyber attack or foreign interference incident; and to strengthen efforts to counter human trafficking including by securing our supply chains from goods made by forced labor.

Ministers issued a Joint Statement on Countering the Illicit Use of Online Spaces, which outlines the expectations of our citizens for industry action to counter online child sexual exploitation and terrorist content. The Ministers, along with Attorneys General from partner nations, issued a joint Statement of Principles on Access to Evidence and Encryption, which outlines a framework for engaging industry on the benefits and challenges of encryption. They also discussed challenges posed by refugee flows and irregular migration and agreed that more must be done to build asylum capacity in countries of origin and surrounding regions in order to protect vulnerable populations.

Further, Secretary Nielsen highlighted recent DHS actions to counter threats, including

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 24, 2018

DHS, FBI Hold Joint Briefing for Election Officials with Facebook and Microsoft
DHS, FBI, Facebook, and Microsoft Update State and Local Election Officials on Recent Actions Taken to Counter Foreign Threats

Washington, D.C. - Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was joined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Facebook, and Microsoft to host a briefing for the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) and the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) on recent actions taken by both companies to combat foreign threats. This is the second call in recent weeks DHS has hosted with Facebook and the nation's lead election security officials to share information on actions being taken to combat malicious interference operations. The call provided a unique opportunity to connect private and public officials to share information and actions being taken to combat threats to our elections and to our democracy.

"DHS works with a broad range of partners to understand and stop malicious cyber actors, whether they are attempting to interfere with elections, infiltrate critical infrastructure, or simply collect intelligence from policy makers, these actions reinforce the need for government and industry to work together to secure the homeland and protect our democracy," said Christopher C. Krebs, Under Secretary for the DHS National Protection and Programs Directorate. "Facebook's and Microsoft's announcements continue to underscore the important role the private sector has in combating this threat. Like cybersecurity, countering foreign influence is a shared responsibility, and these calls are an important indicator of the level of cooperation between our public and private partners to share information and take action."  

"Strong relationships with the private sector are a pillar of the FBI's operational strategy to combat foreign influence operations," said Michael McGarrity, Acting Executive Assistant Director of the FBI's National Security Branch. "Companies

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 24, 2018

DHS Announces Grant Allocations for Fiscal Year 2018 Preparedness Grants
WASHINGTON— As part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) ongoing efforts to support state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen today announced final allocations of $345 million for six Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 DHS competitive preparedness grant programs. These allocations together with the more than $1.3 billion in non-competitive grant funding announced by DHS in June, total more than $1.6 billionin FY 2018granted to assist states, local areas, tribal and territorial governments, nonprofit agencies, and the private sector with their preparedness efforts.

"DHS is committed to building a culture of preparedness with our government, private sector, and nonprofit partners nationwide so we are ready when disaster strikes," said Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. "The DHS grant programs are flexible by design and purposed to help address our evolving risk environment. Response and recovery to catastrophic events strain our communities' logistics, supply chains, communications, and staffing capacities. When these events occur, time is our most valuable resource. That is why our preparedness grant programs build and sustain critical capabilities today, so we will be ready tomorrow."

Since 2002, DHS has awarded more than $49 billion to these partners.  Preparedness grants strengthen our nation's ability to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies in support of the National Preparedness Goal and the National Preparedness System.

The FY 2018 preparedness grants focus on the nation's highest risk areas, including urban areas that continue to face the most significant threats. Consistent with previous grant guidance, dedicated funding is provided for law enforcement and terrorism prevention activities throughout the country to prepare for, prevent, and respond to terrorism-related activity.


Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 24, 2018

Secretary Nielsen to Travel to Australia for the Five Country Ministerial
WASHINGTON - Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen will be in Australia next week for the Five Country Ministerial. The Five Country Ministerial brings together senior security officials from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States to discuss ways to deepen collaboration on public safety issues and to jointly confront persistent and emerging homeland security threats.

While in Australia, Secretary Nielsen will discuss how DHS is taking action—across the board—to elevate our security standards and thwart our enemies and adversaries. She will seek joint and coordinated action on a range of homeland security issues, including enhancing aviation security and border security, countering emerging threats such as those posed by weaponized or nefarious drones, confronting human trafficking, enhancing counterterrorism, mitigating cyber threats, and protecting critical infrastructure. She will reiterate her commitment to continuing to work with foreign partners collaboratively on these and other issues. 

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Keywords: Border Security, Combatting Human Trafficking, counterterrorism, critical infrastructure, Cyber, dhs

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 24, 2018

President Trump Signs Emergency Declaration for Hawaii


WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that federal emergency aid has been made available to the state of Hawaii to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions in the areas affected by Hurricane Lane beginning on August 22, 2018, and continuing.

The President's action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe. This declaration is for Hawaii, Kauai and Maui counties and the City and County of Honolulu.

Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures (Category B), limited to direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding.

William Roche has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal response operations in the affected area.  Roche said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further evaluation.

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Keywords: Hurricane
Topics: Disasters

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 20, 2018

The Life Saving Missions of CBP
  With more than 60,000 employees, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is one of the world's largest law enforcement organizations and is charged with securing our borders while facilitating lawful international travel and trade. As the United States' first unified border entity, CBP takes a comprehensive approach to border management and control, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection into one coordinated and supportive activity.



To enhance CBP's capability in southwest border sectors, the Department of Defense (DOD), in conjunction with border state governors, has deployed the National Guard to assist in stopping the flow of deadly drugs and other contraband, gang members and other criminals, and illegal aliens into this country. There are currently 2,212 Department of Defense personnel supporting the mission to secure the Southwest border.The Deployment of the National Guard has contributed to:Removable alien arrests - 14,644Marijuana Seized (lbs) - 14,243Cocaine Seized (lbs) - 17CBP hosts monthly briefings/teleconferences with federal, state, and local partners regarding the current state of the border - both northern and southern- to monitor emerging trends and threats and provide a cross-component, multi-agency venue for discussing trends and threats.CBP is building more border wall right now than has been funded in a decade.El Centro Pedestrian Fence Replacement Project (2.25 miles):More than 2 m

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 20, 2018

The Life Saving Missions of ICE
  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) mission is to protect America from cross-border crime and illegal immigration that threaten national security and public safety. This mission is executed through the enforcement of more than 400 federal statutes and focuses on effective immigration enforcement, preventing terrorism and combating the illegal movement of people and goods.



Since ICE the establishment of ICE in March 2003, the agency has removed hundreds of thousands of criminal aliens, some of whom fall under the category of high-profile removals. High-profile removals are not only a danger to communities, but they also pose a threat to ERO officers who are responsible for escorting them back to their home countries.During fiscal year FY 2017, ERO administratively arrested more than 127,000 aliens with criminal convictions or pending criminal charges.Aliens administratively arrested by ICE ERO in FY 2017 were responsible for the following criminal convictions or pending criminal charges:More than 48,000 assault offensesMore than 11,000 weapon offensesMore than 5,000 sexual assault offensesMore than 2,000 kidnapping offensesMore than 1,800 homicide offenses.Despite numerous stories and allegations in the media falsely accusing ICE of conducting indiscriminate raids and sweeps, the fact is that all ERO operations are targeted against specific offenders of which 92% of the total aliens administratively arrested in FY 2017 had either c

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 16, 2018

Readout of Federal Commission on School Safety Event Hosted by DHS Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen
On August 16, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen hosted the fifth Federal Commission on School Safety meeting, which focused on best practices for school building security, active shooter training for schools, and school-based threat assessments. The Commission meeting was chaired by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and attended by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar II.

The Department is committed to using the experience and expertise it has developed over the past fifteen years to better secure our schools. While schools present unique security challenges, DHS has led national efforts to protect the American people and our critical infrastructure from terrorist attacks.

The participants on all three panels shared their insight into what schools can do to create safe and secure learning environments. The panels focused on a diverse set of measures that can be tailored to the needs of individual schools from enhancing physical security to best practices to mitigate the threat of active shooters to establishing school-based threat assessments that can help avoid incidents through early intervention.

Over the last few months, the Commission has hosted several listening sessions, formal Commission meetings and field visits. For more information, please visit the FCSS website: https://www.ed.gov/school-safety. Those with recommendations on how to increase school safety can send them to safety@ed.gov.

Watch today's Commission meeting here.

Keywords: public safety, schoo

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 15, 2018

DHS Hosts National Exercise on Election Security
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) hosted the "Tabletop the Vote 2018: DHS' National Election Cyber Exercise," a three-day, first-of-its-kind exercise to assist DHS and our federal partners, state and local election officials, and private vendors in identifying best practices and areas for improvement in cyber incident planning, preparedness, identification, response, and recovery. Through tabletop simulation of a realistic scenario, exercise participants discussed and explored potential impacts to voter confidence, voting operations, and the integrity of elections. Partners for this exercise include: 44 states and the District of Columbia; Election Assistance Commission; Department of Defense; Department of Justice; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Office of the Director of National Intelligence; National Institute of Standards and Technology; National Security Agency; and the U.S. Cyber Command.

The scenario was based on a combination of real world events as well as potential risks facing election infrastructure, including:

News and social media manipulation related to political candidates and the conduct of elections;Spear phishing campaigns targeting elections officials and personnel;Disruption of voter registration information systems and processes;Denial of service attacks and web defacements impacting board of election websites and web applications;Malware infections impacting electronic voting machines and election management system software; andThe exploitation of state and county board of election networks. "Today's exercise brought together our partners from all levels of government and the private sector in order to test our ability to respond to cyber incidents that could potentially effect an election, and build strong communication and incident response plans across the election community," said DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. "The response we have received from

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 15, 2018

DHS to Host Federal Commission on School Safety Meeting with Focus on Enhancing School Security Measures
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen will host the fifth Federal Commission on School Safety (FCSS) meeting this week. The session will focus on best practices for school building security, active shooter training for schools, and practitioner experience with school-based threat assessment.

: Federal Commission on School Safety Members

Chair, Betsy DeVos, Secretary of EducationKirstjen M. Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland SecurityJeff Sessions, Attorney General of the United StatesAlex M. Azar II, Secretary of Health and Human Services: Commission Meeting: "Creating a Citadel of Learning: New Tools to Secure our Schools, Inside and Out"

: Eisenhower Executive Office Building's Indian Treaty Room

: 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. ET, Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Commission meeting will include three panels:



Jay Brotman, Managing Partner, Svigals & Partners and Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA)Max Schachter, CEO and Founder, Safe Schools for Alex

Jarrod Burguan, Chief of Police, San Bernardino Police DepartmentChris Fraley, Region 2 Director, National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO)

Donna P. Michaelis, Manager, Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety, Division of Law Enforcement, Virginia Department of Criminal Justice ServicesSusan Payne, Founder and Executive Director of Safe2Tell Colorado and Director of Safe Communities ~ Safe Schools: Thursday's Commission meeting will be pooled press and available via livestream here.

For more information, please visit the FCSS website:

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 13, 2018

Vice President Pence: Time Has Come for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
While speaking at the DHS National Cybersecurity Summit in New York City on July 31st, Vice President Pence calls on the United States Senate to take action before the ended of the year to enact legislation creating the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.


Keywords: CISA, NPPD
Topics: Critical Infrastructure Security, Cybersecurity, Election Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 10, 2018

Readout from Secretary Nielsen's Trip to California
Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen traveled to Sacramento and Redding, California to address the ongoing wildfires. While in California, the Secretary participated in a briefing with state and local officials regarding the damage caused by the recent wildfires. She also participated in a ground survey of areas affected by the Carr fire. Secretary Nielsen discussed the importance of individual preparedness, fire safety and prevention in the United States, and the response and recovery support provided by the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to state and local partners.

Additionally, Secretary Nielsen visited the United States Coast Guard Air Stations in Sacramento to meet with personnel. She thanked them for their service and dedication to the Department's mission and acknowledged the challenging work they do for DHS and the American people.

On August 9, Secretary Nielsen met with California Governor Jerry Brown to discuss wildfire response and recovery efforts. They had the opportunity to address the need for long-term risk reduction to better protect communities across the state. Secretary Nielsen reiterated that the Department would continue to support California during what is looking to be a long and challenging wildfire season.

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Keywords: disaster recovery plan tool, disaster relief
Topics: Disaster Assistance,

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 08, 2018

Statement from DHS Press Secretary on July Border Numbers
On August 8, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Press Secretary Tyler Q. Houlton released the following statement on U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Southwest Border Migration numbers for July:

"Southwest Border Migration numbers dropped in July for the second month in a row.  This decrease shows that when there are real consequences for breaking the law, the conduct of those considering crimes will change.  In the month of July, we saw a decrease in illegal border crossings because human traffickers and Transnational Criminal Organizations were put on notice that this Administration was increasing prosecutions of those entering the country illegally.  Despite our terribly broken immigration laws, the administration has still been able to impact illegal immigration - but we need Congress to act to fix our system.

"At the same time, the number of family units apprehended at the border remains high and their percentage of total crossings has increased as court decisions prevent us from detaining and prosecuting family unit adults.  The inability to apply consequences to any law breaker ultimately threatens the safety and security of the nation and its communities.

"DHS is continuing to refer to DOJ single adult illegal border crossers for prosecution at historic rates.  Additionally, the Secretary has been engaging weekly with Mexican and Central American officials to more aggressively tackle the root causes of this crisis—and DHS has received commitments on specific actions that can be taken with and by our partners to confront the issue more decisively."

CBP's Southwest Border Migration Numbers for July can be found HERE.

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Keywords: Border Security,

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 07, 2018

DHS Releases Fiscal Year 2017 Entry/Exit Overstay Report
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today released the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Entry/Exit Overstay Report. The report provides data on departures and overstays, by country, for foreign visitors to the United States who entered as nonimmigrants through an air or sea Port of Entry (POE) and were expected to depart in FY 2017. The in-scope population for this report includes temporary workers and families, students, exchange visitors, temporary visitors for pleasure, temporary visitors for business, and other nonimmigrant classes of admission.

DHS has determined that there were 52,656,022 in-scope nonimmigrant admissions to the United States through air or sea POEs with expected departures occurring in FY 2017; the in-scope admissions represent the vast majority of all air and sea nonimmigrant admissions. Of this number, DHS calculated a total overstay rate of 1.33 percent, or 701,900 overstay events.

The report also breaks down the overstay rates further to provide a better picture of those overstays who remain in the United States beyond their period of admission and for whom there is no identifiable evidence of a departure, an extension of period of admission, or transition to another immigration status. At the end of FY 2017, there were 606,926 Suspected In-Country Overstays. The overall Suspected In-Country Overstay rate was 1.15 percent of the expected departures. 

The U.S. government is using a multifaceted approach to enforce overstay violations, including improving entry and exit data collection and reporting, notifying visitors of an impending expiration of their authorized period of admission, cancelling travel authorizations and visas for violators, recurrent vetting of many nonimmigrants, and apprehending overstays present in the United States.

A further breakdown can be found below and the full report is available

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 06, 2018

Secretary Nielsen Statement on President Trump's Intent to Nominate Ronald D. Vitiello to Serve as the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
"I am pleased that President Trump intends to nominate Ronald D. Vitiello to serve as the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Since assuming the role of Deputy Director in late June, he has made clear his commitment to support the men and women of ICE, and ensure they are well-positioned to meet the demands of their incredibly challenging jobs. Deputy Director Vitiello's leadership experience, combined with the unique perspective that comes from more than 30 years in law enforcement, makes him especially qualified to hold this important position. I encourage the Senate to act quickly in confirming Deputy Director Vitiello's nomination, and I look forward to continuing to work with him and the remarkable team at ICE."

Keywords: ICE
Topics: Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 06, 2018

DHS and Facebook Update Election Officials on Foreign Interference Operations
DHS Continues to Strengthen Election Security Efforts by Hosting Facebook Briefing on Malign Activity on Social Media Platforms

Washington, D.C. - Today, the Department of Homeland Security hosted a conference call with the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) and the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) - the nation's lead election security officials - featuring a briefing by Facebook on the company's actions last week to remove inauthentic behavior by malicious actors who seek to undermine our democratic institutions. DHS officials and Facebook's security team spoke with election officials to provide an update on recent actions taken by Facebook, including tactics used by adversaries. This briefing provided elections officials a broader understanding of the threat environment as they develop plans to bolster the resilience of election systems. This call is also a clear example of how the federal government is partnering with social media companies and state and local officials to share information and collaborate on combatting threats to elections. 

"Strengthening collaboration between social media companies and federal, state, and local governments is critical to preventing foreign interference in our democratic processes, including elections. Today's briefing is an excellent example of this growing partnership across industry and government," said Christopher C. Krebs, Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate. "While recent operations identified by Facebook were not directly targeting elections or political campaigns, it is important for election officials to have an understanding of the techniques and tactics malign actors use, as well as countermeasures used to defeat those operations. This broader understanding will help elections officials develop response and communications plans to bolster resilience of our nation's election systems."

"Faceb

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 03, 2018

Readout from Secretary Nielsen's Trip to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands
On August 3, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands to discuss ongoing hurricane recovery and preparedness efforts. Secretary Nielsen was joined by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long and General Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy, Commander, United States Northern Command.

While in Puerto Rico, Secretary Nielsen received a briefing regarding ongoing recovery efforts from Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Byrne and met with FEMA employees working at the Joint Field Office. She thanked the group for their continued commitment to the people of Puerto Rico and acknowledged their steadfast efforts to provide resources and support to Puerto Rican municipalities, institutions, and citizens. Secretary Nielsen also received an operational tour of a FEMA call center. Additionally, Secretary Nielsen joined Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló and First Lady Beatriz Rosselló at a back-to-school event for students preparing for the new school year. Secretary Nielsen joined Governor Rosselló and the First Lady in distributing backpacks to students, and thanked them for their ongoing partnership with the Department of Homeland Security.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, Secretary Nielsen met with and received a briefing from Federal Coordinating Officer Bill Vogel and FEMA personnel working on ongoing recovery and preparedness efforts. She also met with Acting Governor Valdamier Collens, Stacey Plaskett, Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, and other local officials. Secretary Nielsen joined local officials for a tour of the Arthur A. Richards Junior High School. The school was impacted by Hurricane Maria and is currently undergoing installation of temporary facilities so that students can begin the new school year with full day sessions.



Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 01, 2018

DHS Hosts Successful First-Ever National Cybersecurity Summit
On July 31, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) hosted the first-of-its-kind National Cybersecurity Summit in New York City, bringing together industry partners and top federal officials with the goal of laying out a vision for a collective defense strategy to protect our nation's critical infrastructure. The summit brought together Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray, and Commander, U.S. Cyber Command and Director, National Security Agency General Paul M. Nakasone, DHS Under Secretary Chris Krebs, U.S. Secret Service Director Randolph Alles, and DHS Assistant Secretary Jeanette Manfra, alongside top CEOs from across industry including the telecom, financial, and energy sectors.

"We are not waiting for the next intrusion before we act," said DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. "We are taking a clear-eyed look at the threat and taking action—and notably—collective action to combat them."

Throughout the Summit, DHS and its government and industry partners agreed on a series of concrete steps to better understand what is truly critical and work together to reduce strategic risk. 

Secretary Nielsen announced the creation of the National Risk Management Center, which will coordinate national efforts to protect the nation's critical infrastructure.

The National Risk Management Center will create a cross-cutting risk management approach across the federal government and our private sector partners through three lines of effort:

Identifying and prioritizing strategic risks to national critical functions;Integrating government and industry activities on the development of risk management strategies; andSynchronizing operational risk management activities across industry and government.The National Risk Management Center advances the ongoing work of DHS and government and private sector partners

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 30, 2018

Secretary Nielsen Meets with Mexican Secretary of Governance Alfonso Navarrete Prida
On July 30, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen met with Mexican Secretary of Governance Alfonso Navarrete Prida to reaffirm the importance of a strong, coordinated approach to border security that includes joint actions and robust information sharing. The two discussed ways the United States and Mexico can engage regional governments, international organizations, and the private sector to develop a strategic, long-term approach to regional migration control. Secretary Nielsen stressed the need to take bold steps to provide protection to refugees and asylum seekers and to jointly expand enforcement activities for migrants who do not qualify for protection. The two agreed there are major challenges in the region and made specific commitments to take immediate action to address them. Both Secretaries noted the importance of collaborating to reduce weapons trafficking, to address human smuggling and trafficking, and to explore options to improve the ability to provide access to labor markets. Recognizing the importance of border security and migration control to both countries, both Nielsen and Navarrete committed to continued engagement with Central American governments to reduce the root causes of migration.

This meeting was part of Secretary Nielsen's ongoing discussions with international partners on border security and migration control. Both Secretaries also agreed to work together on an action-oriented summit in the United States in September focused on addressing regional migration, security, and prosperity issues.

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Keywords: International partnerships, Mexico
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 26, 2018

Department of Homeland Security Announces National Cybersecurity Summit Participants
WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced participants, including Vice President Mike Pence, attending the DHS National Cybersecurity Summit on July 31 in New York City. Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray, Commander, U.S. Cyber Command and Director, National Security Agency General Paul M. Nakasone, and top CEOs from the financial services, energy, information technology, and telecom sectors will all participate in the summit.

The goal of the summit is to bring together government and private sector officials to lay out a vision for a collective defense model to protect our nation's critical infrastructure. Through panels, keynote addresses, and breakout sessions, the summit will serve as a launching point for a number of DHS initiatives to advance cybersecurity and critical infrastructure risk management.

A livestream to the summit will be available here. Some of the executives in attendance include:


Ajay Banga, Mastercard


Tom Fanning, Southern Company
Duane Highley, Arkansas Electric
John McAvoy, Con Edison
Jim Torgerson, Avangrid
Gil Quiniones, NYPA
Kevin Wailes, Lincoln Electric


Rob Arnold, Threat Sketch
Pat Gelsinger, VMware
Mark McLaughlin, Palo Alto Networks
Mike Gregoire, CA Technologies


John Donovan, AT&T Communications
Robert Hubbard, Hubbard Television Group
Rusty Moore, Big Bend Telephone
Bob Udell, Consolidated Communications
Anand Vadapalli, Alaska Communications

 



Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 23, 2018

Secretary Nielsen Meets with Border Sheriffs to Discuss Border Security, Continued Partnerships
On July 23, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen met with border state sheriffs and law enforcement officials in Washington, DC to continue an ongoing dialogue on border security and the Department of Homeland Security's commitment to working with local law enforcement officials. Secretary Nielsen, who was also joined by representatives from the National Sheriffs' Association, Arizona Sheriffs' Association, Southwest Border Sheriffs' Association, and Western State Sheriffs' Association, reiterated her commitment to working with state and local law enforcement to ensure the safety and security of the American people.

During the conversation, the group discussed ways in which we can work together to secure the southwest border. Secretary Nielsen stated that DHS would continue to enhance border security and immigration policies based upon the sheriff community's unique perspectives and recommendations. The sheriffs highlighted several stories regarding the dangers along the border and reiterated the need to enforce the law and enhance border security.

Secretary Nielsen also thanked those participating in DHS' 287(g) program, which allows for important collaborations between DHS and state and local partners to ensure that the safety of our communities is upheld and the sanctity of our laws respected.



(DHS Official Photo/Tara Molle)

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Keywords: Border Security
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 19, 2018

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

Individuals from Somalia with TPS will be eligible to re-register for an extension of their status for 18 months, through March 17, 2020. Prior to the conclusion of the 18-month extension, the Secretary will review conditions in Somalia to determine whether its TPS designation should be extended again or terminated.

The decision to extend TPS for Somalia 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 inter-agency consultation process, the Secretary determined that the conditions supporting Somalia's designation for TPS continue to exist. Thus, under the applicable statute, the current TPS designation must be extended.

There are approximately 500 Somali TPS beneficiaries. This 18-month extension of Somalia's designation for TPS permits current Somali TPS beneficiaries to re-register for TPS and remain in the United States with work authorization through March 17, 2020. To be eligible for TPS under Somalia's current designation, along with meeting the other eligibility requirements, individuals must have continuously resided in the United States since May 1, 2012, and have been continuously physically present in the United States since September 18, 2012.

Further details about this extension for TPS, including information

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 19, 2018

The Perils of Illegal Border Crossing
The Trump Administration has repeatedly referenced the dangers of trekking to and attempting to illegally enter the southwest border of the United States. As the perilous realities of these journeys have gone underreported, the Department of Homeland Security has compiled a list of the illegality stemming from trafficking and smuggling, the health and safety risks of entrusting someone to illegally take you across the border, and the dangerous transnational criminal organizations that exploit the porous southwest border to bolster their numbers in the interior.

On July 10, Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen met with foreign and security ministers from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico in Guatemala City, Guatemala to discuss how to expand and share joint public messaging efforts to dissuade potential migrants from taking the dangerous journey north—and work to counter-message the advertising and false information promoted by human smugglers.



July 16, 2018 : DHS Directorate uses data analytics to target human smugglers.July 16, 2018 : U.S. Border Patrol agents discover an assortment of narcotics during a failed smuggling attempt worth over $673K.July 16, 2018 : 3-year-old, abandoned by human traffickers, rescued along river by US border Patrol agentsJuly 14, 2018 : ICE agents arrest 18 human smugglers, 117 illegal immigrants in Texas, New Mexico

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 19, 2018

DHS News Releases


Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 18, 2018

Department of Homeland Security to Host National Cybersecurity Summit
Release Date: July 18, 2018The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will host a National Cybersecurity Summit on July 31, 2018 at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House in New York City, New York. The DHS National Cybersecurity Summit will bring together a broad group of representatives from across government including officials from Department of Defense, National Security Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Energy, and Department of Treasury. They will be joined by academia and industry CEOs across sectors including telecom, financial, and energy to lay out a vision for a collective defense model to protect our nation's critical infrastructure. Through panels, keynote addresses, and breakout sessions, the summit will serve as a launching point for a number of DHS initiatives to advance cybersecurity and critical infrastructure risk management.

"An interconnected world offers a myriad of benefits to American businesses and the public, but the innovations and conveniences of modern technology pose new and complex security challenges," said Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. "With the majority of critical infrastructure owned and operated by the private sector, it is essential that we maintain strong partnerships between DHS and the private sector to underpin our collective defense against the evolving threats we all face. Because of our increasing hyper-connectivity, cybersecurity remains a shared responsibility; too big for anyone acting alone. This summit is another opportunity to gather our interagency and private partners and

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 13, 2018

Readout from Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen's Trip to Mexico
Release Date: July 13, 2018On July 13, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen joined Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin in Mexico City, Mexico for meetings with Mexican government officials. While in Mexico, Secretary Nielsen participated in discussions with President Enrique Peña Nieto, Secretary of Foreign Relations Luis Videgaray Caso, Secretary of Governance Alfonso Navarrete Prida, and President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Secretary Nielsen also joined Secretary Pompeo and Secretary Mnuchin for a meet and greet with U.S. Embassy employees and thanked Department of Homeland Security personnel in country for their service.

During the meetings with Mexican government officials, Secretary Nielsen reaffirmed the importance of the close U.S. alliance with Mexico, our enduring partnership on issues of mutual importance, and the need to continue confronting shared challenges together.

The Secretary proposed specific ways to continue and deepen cooperation on confronting illegal migration and on building regional asylum capacity. She also emphasized the need for governments, international organizations, and the private sector to develop a comprehensive regional approach to stemming Central American migrant flows, countering human smuggling, and fighting back against trafficking. She discussed options for engagement with public and private sector partners throughout the region to increase prosperity and diminish migratory push factors. The Secretary reaffirmed her commitment to partnering to protect communities and vulnerable p

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 13, 2018

U.S. Secret Service Releases Operational Guide for Preventing Targeted School Violence
Release Date: July 13, 2018On July 12, 2018, the United States Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center released another tool in support of the effort to end the prevalence of targeted violence effecting the Nation, the world, and most importantly - our schools.  ENHANCING SCHOOL SAFETY USING A THREAT ASSESSMENT MODEL - An Operational Guide for Preventing Targeted School Violence, was developed to provide fundamental direction on how to prevent incidents of targeted school violence.

The guide provides schools and communities with a framework to identify students of concern, assess their risk for engaging in violence, and identify intervention strategies to mitigate that risk.

The Secret Service created the National Threat Assessment Center in 1998 to focus on research, training and threat assessments related to various forms of targeted violence. Following the tragedy at Columbine High School in April 1999, the Secret Service partnered with the Department of Education to study 37 incidents of targeted violence that occurred at elementary and secondary schools.  The goal of that study, the Safe School Initiative (SSI), was to gather and analyze accurate and useful information about the thinking and behavior of students who commit acts of violence.  The ?ndings of the SSI led to the establishment of threat assessment programs in schools - something the Secret Service remains fervently committed to. 



Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 12, 2018

Secretary Nielsen Statement on FEMA 2017 Hurricane Season After-Action Report
Release Date: July 12, 2018Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement regarding the release of FEMA's 2017 Hurricane Season After-Action Report today:

"By capturing the insights gained from the previous hurricane season, this report, which is focused only on the efforts of DHS and FEMA, provides a transformative roadmap for how we respond to future catastrophic incidents in support of states, tribes, and territories.  No two disasters are alike and each requires the first responders on the ground, as well as Federal support, to adapt to the unique circumstances and needs in real-time. With every response or recovery effort, we take with us lessons learned that help build a nation-wide culture of preparedness and shape the way FEMA and the emergency management community respond to and recover from future disasters.  2017 taught us that we need to further strengthen the Nation's ability to rapidly stabilize critical lifelines.  It also underscored the importance of enhancing logistics capabilities across the emergency management community.  While we don't know what future hurricane seasons may bring, we do know that the women and men of DHS and FEMA remain committed and dedicated as ever to helping our fellow Americans."

Read the 2017 Hurricane Season After-Action Report here.

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Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 12, 2018

Trump Administration Completes Reunification for Eligible Children Under Age 5
Release Date: July 12, 2018Under order of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, the departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Homeland Security (DHS), and Justice (DOJ) have been reunifying alien minors under 5 years old who are currently in the custody of HHS with adults who have been in the custody of DHS.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions made the following joint statement regarding reunification efforts for children under age 5:

"Dedicated teams at the Departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Justice have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of Ms. L class members. As of this morning, the initial reunifications were completed. Throughout the reunification process our goal has been the well-being of the children and returning them to a safe environment. Our agencies' careful vetting procedures helped prevent the reunification of children with an alleged murderer, an adult convicted of child cruelty, and adults determined not to be the parent of the child. Of course, there remains a tremendous amount of hard work and similar obstacles facing our teams in reuniting the remaining families. The Trump administration does not approach this mission lightly, and we intend to continue our good faith efforts to reunify families.

"Certain facts remain: The American people gave this administration a mandate to end the lawlessness at the border, and President Trump is keeping his promise to do exactly that. Our message has been clear all along: Do not risk your own li

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 11, 2018

Readout from Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen's Meetings in Guatemala
Release Date: July 11, 2018On July 10, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen met with foreign and security ministers from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico in Guatemala City, Guatemala to discuss joint international efforts to combat human trafficking, drug smuggling, and illegal immigration. During these meetings, the ministers and Secretary Nielsen reiterated their commitment to carry out concrete actions to enhance information-sharing best practices as well as collectively address security challenges and illegal migration flows. Secretary Nielsen was also joined by the State Department's Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Carl Risch, Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Kristen Madison, and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Francisco Palmieri.

Commitments:

Expand and share joint public messaging efforts to dissuade potential migrants from taking the dangerous journey north - and work to counter-message the advertising and false information promoted by human smugglers.Enhance security cooperation, including joint efforts to combat human smuggling and illicit trafficking.Step up operations and resources dedicated to dismantling transnational criminal organizations.Deepen information sharing about criminals, threat actors, and migration trends, including through co-locating more frontline operators and establishing action plans to share data in real-time across borders.Bolster police forces, anti-gang units, and anti-extort

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 10, 2018

The Administration is Following the Court Order to Reunify Families in a Responsible Manner
Release Date: July 10, 2018

Under order of the U.S. Federal District Court, Southern District of California, on July 10, 2018, HHS and DHS will facilitate the reunification of alien minors under 5 years old who are currently in the custody of HHS with parents in the custody of DHS.





Some parents have been found unsuitable for reunification because of issues discovered during a criminal background check, including child cruelty, child smuggling, narcotics crimes, robbery convictions, and a warrant for murder.Adults that have been determined to not be the child's parent. Some adults claimed to be parents but when approached about doing a DNA test to verify parentage admitted they were not parents.Other issues that may prevent a parent from being ineligible for reunification include:Parents in the custody of the U.S. Marshall Service or in State and County jail for other offenses.Parents that are being treated for a communicable disease.Parents that were deported and therefore cannot be reunited on July 10.Parents that have been released within the U.S. and therefore require more thorough processes to ensure that there is no danger to the child from th

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 10, 2018

DHS Announces Implementation of Visa Sanctions
Release Date: July 10, 2018On July 10, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced, in coordination with the State Department, the implementation of visa sanctions on Burma and Laos due to lack of cooperation in accepting their citizens who have been ordered removed the United States.

Pursuant to her authority under Section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen notified Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that the governments of Burma and Laos have denied or unreasonably delayed accepting their nationals ordered removed from the United States.

As a result, Secretary Pompeo has ordered consular officers in Burma and Laos to implement visa restrictions on certain categories of visa applicants. Without an appropriate response from Burma and Laos, the scope of these sanctions may be expanded to a wider population. The suspension will remain in place until the Secretary Nielsen notifies Secretary Pompeo that cooperation on removals has improved to an acceptable level.

The decision to sanction a recalcitrant country is not taken lightly. DHS makes significant efforts, in collaboration with the State Department, to encourage countries to accept the prompt, lawful return of their nationals who are subject to removal from the United States. Those efforts include diplomatic communications at the highest level of government.

As a general matter, recalcitrant countries who refuse to issue travel documents render meaningless the United States' entire removal process as enacted by Congress in the INA, and such countries a

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 05, 2018

Statement from DHS Press Secretary on June Border Numbers
Release Date: July 5, 2018Today, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Press Secretary Tyler Q. Houlton released the following statement on U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Southwest Border Migration numbers for June:

"Following the implementation of the Administration's zero-tolerance policy, the June 2018 Southwest Border Migration numbers declined by 18 percent when compared to the previous month.

"DHS will continue to enforce the rule of law and uphold our nation's immigration laws as passed by Congress. As we have said before, the journey north is dangerous and puts individuals in the hands of smugglers and traffickers. We continue to call on Congress to address the crisis at the border by closing legal loopholes that drive illegal immigration."

CBP's Southwest Border Migration Numbers for June can be found HERE

Keywords: 

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 05, 2018

SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY KIRSTJEN M. NIELSEN ANNOUNCEMENT ON TEMPORARY PROTECTED STATUS FOR YEMEN
Release Date: July 5, 2018WASHINGTON — Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen has announced her determination that an extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Yemen is warranted pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act. After carefully reviewing conditions in Yemen with interagency partners, Secretary Nielsen determined that the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that support Yemen's current designation for TPS continue to exist. Therefore, pursuant to the statute, she has extended Yemen's TPS designation for 18 months.

Individuals from Yemen with TPS will be eligible to re-register for an extension of their status for 18 months, through March 3, 2020. Prior to the conclusion of the 18-month extension, the Secretary will review conditions in Yemen to determine whether its TPS designation should be extended again or terminated.

There are approximately 1,250 Yemeni TPS beneficiaries. This 18-month extension of Yemen's designation for TPS permits current Yemeni TPS beneficiaries to re-register for TPS and remain in the United States with work authorization through March 3, 2020. To be eligible for TPS under Yemen's current designation, along with meeting the other eligibility requirements, individuals must have continuously resided in the United States since January 4, 2017, and have been continuously physically present in the United States since March 4, 2017. 

Further details about this extension for TPS, including information about the re-registration process and employment authorization documents, wil

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 05, 2018

Secretary Nielsen Announcement on Temporary Protected Status for Yemen
Release Date: July 5, 2018WASHINGTON — Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen has announced her determination that an extension of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Yemen is warranted pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act. After carefully reviewing conditions in Yemen with interagency partners, Secretary Nielsen determined that the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions that support Yemen's current designation for TPS continue to exist. Therefore, pursuant to the statute, she has extended Yemen's TPS designation for 18 months.

Individuals from Yemen with TPS will be eligible to re-register for an extension of their status for 18 months, through March 3, 2020. Prior to the conclusion of the 18-month extension, the Secretary will review conditions in Yemen to determine whether its TPS designation should be extended again or terminated.

There are approximately 1,250 Yemeni TPS beneficiaries. This 18-month extension of Yemen's designation for TPS permits current Yemeni TPS beneficiaries to re-register for TPS and remain in the United States with work authorization through March 3, 2020. To be eligible for TPS under Yemen's current designation, along with meeting the other eligibility requirements, individuals must have continuously resided in the United States since January 4, 2017, and have been continuously physically present in the United States since March 4, 2017. 

Further details about this extension for TPS, including information about the re-registration process and employment authorization documents, wil

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 30, 2018

Secretary Nielsen Announces Ronald D. Vitiello to Serve as Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Release Date: June 30, 2018Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen announced that Ronald D. Vitiello will serve as Deputy Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), effective Saturday, June 30. He will also take on the role as the Acting Director of ICE. Vitiello currently serves as the Acting Deputy Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Secretary Nielsen's message to all DHS employees announcing Deputy Commissioner Vitiello's new position is below.

Message from Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Announcing Ronald D. Vitiello to Serve as the Acting Director of ICE

I am pleased to announce that Ronald D. Vitiello has been named the Deputy Director for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), effective Saturday, June 30. As of today he will also take on the role as the Acting Director of U.S. ICE.  

As U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Deputy Commissioner, Ron has more than 30 years of experience working in law enforcement and protecting our nation. Deputy Commissioner Vitiello brings to ICE the vision and leadership needed to continue the exceptional work the agency is doing to accomplish its crucial national security and public safety missions.

Deputy Commissioner Vitiello began his career in Laredo, Texas, entering on duty as a U.S. Border Patrol agent in 1985, a member of Class 174.

Throughout his career, he has held numerous leadership positions, participated in Special Response Team operations and was instrumental in formulating the Laredo Sector Criminal Alien Program. He also oversaw

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 26, 2018

DHS Statement on Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry to the United States
Release Date: June 26, 2018The Department of Homeland Security released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court's decision to uphold President Trump's Proclamation 9645 Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats:

"It is the duty of the government to ensure that those seeking to enter our country will not harm the American people. While we have the most generous immigration system in the world, it has repeatedly been exploited by terrorists and other malicious actors who seek to do us harm. President Trump's executive actions take important steps to protect the American people by allowing for the proper review and establishment of standards to prevent terrorist or criminal infiltration by foreign nationals.

"Today's ruling confirms the legality of these critically important executive actions, and the Department of Homeland Security will continue to faithfully execute our country's immigration laws and treat everyone we encounter humanely and with professionalism."

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Topics:  Immigration Enforcement

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 23, 2018

Fact Sheet: Zero-Tolerance Prosecution and Family Reunification
Release Date: June 23, 2018The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Health and Human Services (HHS) have a process established to ensure that family members know the location of their children and have regular communication after separation to ensure that those adults who are subject to removal are reunited with their children for the purposes of removal. The United States government knows the location of all children in its custody and is working to reunite them with their families.

As part of the apprehension, detention and prosecution process, illegal aliens, adults and children, are initially detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) before the children are sent to HHS' Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and parents to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. Each entity plays a role in reunification.  This process is well coordinated.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

CBP has reunited 522 Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) in their custody who were separated from adults as part of the Zero Tolerance initiative.  The reunions of an additional 16 UAC who were scheduled to be reunited on June 22, 2018 were delayed due to weather affecting travel and we expect they will all be reunited with their parents within the next 24 hours.  There will be a small number of children who were separated for reasons other than zero tolerance that will remain separated: generally only if the familial relationship cannot be confirmed, we believe the adult is a threat to the safety of the child, or the adult is a criminal alien.Because of the speed i

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 19, 2018

DHS Officials Discuss Efforts to Combat the Opioid Crisis
Release Date: June 19, 2018On June 19, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials participated in a hearing titled "Opioids in the Homeland: DHS Coordination with State and Local Partners to Fight the Epidemic." The hearing took place in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and was held by the House Committee on Homeland Security's Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency.

During the hearing, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Director of Field Operations, Baltimore Casey Durst and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agent in Charge, Philadelphia Marlon Miller discussed DHS efforts to both stop the flow of illegal opioids into American communities and dismantle criminal networks responsible for drug trafficking.

"HSI is committed to battling the U.S. opioid crisis," said Miller in his written testimony. "HSI will continue to vigorously pursue the cartels that bring not only heroin and fentanyl to the U.S., but other narcotics that have a dangerous, and too often deadly, impact on our communities."

"As America's unified border agency, CBP plays a critical role in preventing illicit narcotics, including opioids, from reaching the American public," said Durst in her written testimony. "CBP leverages targeting and intelligence-driven strategies, and works in close coordination with our partners as part of our multi-layered, risk-based approach to enhance the security of our borders and our country."

CBP's Office of Field Operations is extensively engaged in the interdiction of terrorists, narcotics, weapons, and

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 18, 2018

DHS Secretary Nielsen's Remarks on the Illegal Immigration Crisis
Release Date: June 18, 2018WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen delivered the below remarks at the White House Press Briefing on the illegal immigration crisis at the southern border:

SECRETARY NIELSEN: Good afternoon. It is my pleasure to be here because I would love to see if I can help explain some of what is going on and give you some of the facts. I know there have been a lot put out there but hopefully we clarify some things today. I just wanted to start by thanking the sheriffs of the United States, I had the privilege of speaking to them this morning at the National Sheriffs' Association Conference. We are so thankful for their partnership here at DHS and all they do to protect our communities so, I thank them.  I want to provide you an update on the illegal immigration crisis on our Southern Border and the efforts the Administration is taking to solve this crisis and to stop the flood of illegal immigrants, drugs, contraband, and crime coming across the border. So let's just start with a few numbers and facts.

So, in the last three months we have seen illegal immigration on our Southern Border exceed 50,000 people each month - multiples over each month last year. Since this time last year, there has been a 325 percent increase in Unaccompanied Alien Children and a 435 percent increase in family units entering the country illegally. Over the last ten years, there has been a 1,700% increase in asylum claims, resulting in an Asylum Backlog today, in our country of 600,000 cases.

Since 2013, the United States has admitted more than half

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 18, 2018

Myth vs. Fact: DHS Zero-Tolerance Policy
Release Date: June 18, 2018In recent days, we have seen reporters, Members of Congress, and other groups mislead the public on the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) zero-tolerance policy.

Federal law enforcement officers have sworn duties to enforce the laws that Congress passes.  Repeating intentionally untrue and unsubstantiated statements about DHS agents, officers, and procedures is irresponsible and deeply disrespectful to the men and women who risk their lives every day to secure our border and enforce our laws.

MythDHS has a policy to separate families at the border. 

FactDHS does not have a blanket policy of separating families at the border.   However, DHS does have a responsibility to protect all minors in our custody.  This means DHS will separate adults and minors under certain circumstances.  These circumstances include: 1) when DHS is unable to determine the familial relationship, 2) when DHS determines that a child may be at risk with the parent or legal guardian, or 3) when the parent or legal guardian is referred for criminal prosecution. 

Familial Relationship - If there is reason to question the claimed familial relationship between an adult and child, it is not appropriate to detain adults and children together.Human Trafficking and Smuggling - If there is reason to suspect the purported parent or legal guardian of human trafficking or smuggling, DHS detains the adult in an appropriate, secure detection facility, separate from the minor.  DHS continues to see instances and intelligence reports indicating minors a

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 15, 2018

Fact Sheet: Zero Tolerance Immigration Prosecutions - Families
Release Date: June 15, 2018The risks of crossing the Rio Grande and desert terrain, or hiding in stash houses or tractor trailers, are high for adults and even more deeply concerning for children.  Individuals who seek to enter the United States should do so at ports of entry.

The Attorney General directed United States Attorneys on the Southwest Border to prosecute all amenable adults who illegally enter the country, including those accompanied by their children, for 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a), illegal entry. 

Children whose parents are referred for prosecution will be placed with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).

The information below provides information about:

Care for childrenFamily communication processesThe removal processAdditional InformationClick here for Frequently Asked Questions regarding Zero Tolerance Immigration ProsecutionsClick here to view information provided to individuals while in CBP's custodyClick here for Information on the location of ICE detaineesProsecution/Removal ProceedingsIndividuals who are apprehended by Border Patrol are taken to stations for processing. 

All individuals, including both adults and children, provide biographical information and, in many cases, fingerprints. Border Patrol age

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 15, 2018

Frequently Asked Questions: Zero Tolerance Immigration Prosecutions
Release Date: June 15, 2018The Attorney General directed United States Attorneys on the Southwest Border to prosecute all amenable adults who illegally enter the country, including those accompanied by their children, for 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a), illegal entry. Children whose parents are referred for prosecution will be placed with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). The following are Frequently Asked Questions regarding Zero Tolerance Immigration Prosecutions.

Why Are Parents Being Separated From Their Children?The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may separate a parent or legal guardian from his or her child for several reasons, including situations where DHS cannot ascertain the parental relationship, when DHS determines that a child may be at risk with the presumed parent or legal guardian, or if a parent or legal guardian is referred for criminal prosecution, including for illegal entry.

Where Are Children Going?Alien children who are separated from their parents or legal guardians will be transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement (HHS ORR).

What Happens to Children in HHS Custody?HHS ORR provides care for all alien children in its custody, to include medical care, mental health care, educational services, and other services.  HHS also works to locate a sponsor (parent, guardian, other adult relative, or foster care provider) for the children in its custody, for purposes of releasing the child from government custody.

What Happens After C

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 13, 2018

Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Release Date: June 13, 2018On June 13, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem during the inaugural International Homeland Security Forum.

Secretary Nielsen thanked Prime Minister Netanyahu for his government's close cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on a range of counterterrorism and public safety issues. This includes aviation security, border security, cybersecurity, emergency management, law enforcement, and science and technology research and development.

In addition to these efforts, Secretary Nielsen also highlighted actions DHS has taken to counter threats. These efforts include countering the proliferation of nuclear, missile, and other technology; providing capacity building to our allies; and countering cyber threats. Further, Secretary Nielsen suggested that DHS and the government of Israel cooperate to advance implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2396, which provides greater international focus on measures to address returning and relocating foreign terrorist fighters and transnational terrorist groups.

Secretary Nielsen traveled to Israel for the inaugural meeting of the International Homeland Security Forum. The purpose of the forum is to improve countries' capabilities to face homeland and public security issues; deepen bilateral and multilateral cooperation; and share knowledge and best practices.



Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 12, 2018

Secretary Nielsen Receives Operational Briefing on Israeli Security Technology, Delivers Remarks at the International Homeland Security Forum
Release Date: June 12, 2018On June 12, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen joined the Ministries of Defense, Foreign Affairs and Public Security and the Israeli Defense Forces for an operational briefing on security technology and operations.

Secretary Nielsen also delivered remarks at the inaugural International Homeland Security Forum. The purpose of the forum is to improve countries' capabilities to face homeland and public security issues; deepen bilateral and multilateral cooperation; and share knowledge and best practices.



(DHS Official Photo/Tara Molle)



(DHS Official Photo/Tara Molle)



Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 12, 2018

DHS Announces Strengthened Northern Border Strategy
Release Date: June 12, 2018On June 12, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published an updated Northern Border Strategy (NBS). The strategy establishes a clear vision and concrete actions that will improve DHS's efforts to safeguard our northern border against terrorist and criminal threats, facilitate the safe and efficient flow of lawful cross-border trade and travel, and strengthen cross-border critical infrastructure protection and community resilience.

The NBS will:

Enhance border security operations through better information sharing, improved domain awareness, and integrated operations.Facilitate and safeguard lawful trade and travel by enhancing rapid inspection and screening, enforcing a fair trade environment, and bolstering border infrastructure.Promote cross-border resilience by supporting response and recovery capabilities between federal, state, local, tribal, and Canadian partners.The NBS, which supersedes the 2012 DHS Northern Border Strategy, draws upon the findings from the Northern Border Threat Analysis Report delivered to Congress in summer 2017.

The Department is currently developing an accompanying Northern Border Strategy Implementation Plan which will include measures that enable DHS to evaluate progress toward addressing any identified capability gaps on the northern border. Together, the Strategy and its companion Implementation Plan will improve the Department's oversight and optimize resource utilization in support of enhancing security, travel, trade, and resiliency along the U.S. - Canada border.

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 08, 2018

Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen to Travel to Israel
Release Date: June 8, 2018Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen will travel to Jerusalem, Israel next week to participate in the International Homeland Security Forum. While in Israel, Secretary Nielsen will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan. She will also serve as keynote speaker and participant at the forum with Israeli leaders and other international partners. Additionally, Secretary Nielsen will receive an operational briefing on Israeli border infrastructure technology and systems. The forum is expected to include delegates from 17 countries and will focus on counterterrorism and how the United States, Israel, and our international partners can work together to further combat emerging threats.

 

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Topics:  International Engagement Keywords:  counterterrorism

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 07, 2018

DHS Receives "A " Grade on the SBA Annual Small Business Procurement Scorecard
Release Date: June 7, 2018For the ninth year in a row, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has earned an "A" grade or higher on the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Annual Small Business Procurement Scorecard (PDF, 2 pages, 53 KB). For this reporting period, the Department earned its third "A ," the highest score possible.

SBA's scorecard measures federal agencies' success in meeting their overall small business contracting goals.

The Department's small business program is the largest agency to consistently earn an "A" grade or higher on the SBA's annual scorecard. Last fiscal year, DHS awarded 34.75 percent of total contracting dollars to small businesses, greatly exceeding the government-wide goal of 23 percent.

Small businesses play a critical role in delivering efficient and innovative solutions to support our mission needs. Partnership with the small business community will continue and the Department remains committed to their participation in the efforts to secure the nation.

For more information about the Department's small business programs, visit https://www.dhs.gov/small-business-assistance.

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Topics: 

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 07, 2018

Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Meets with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández
Release Date: June 7, 2018On June 7, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen met with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández in Washington, D.C.  She was joined by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director L. Francis Cissna and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan. During the meeting, Secretary Nielsen reaffirmed her support for Honduran efforts to increase security and prosperity in their country, and reiterated the Department's commitment to combating transnational organizations and the illicit flow of narcotics entering the United States.

Further, Secretary Nielsen and President Hernández discussed tangible ways to improve citizen security and enhance the rule of law in Honduras. They also discussed joint efforts to ensure a smooth transition related to the end of Temporary Protected Status for a select group of Honduran citizens. Finally, Secretary Nielsen reaffirmed her commitment to a more stable and secure Central America.

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Topics:  International Engagement

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 07, 2018

Departments of Justice and Homeland Security Release Quarterly Alien Incarceration Report Highlighting the Negative Effects Of Illegal Immigration and the Need for Border Security
Release Date: June 7, 2018WASHINGTON—President Trump's Executive Order on Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to collect relevant data and provide quarterly reports on data collection efforts. On June 7, 2018 DOJ and DHS released the FY 2018 1st Quarter Alien Incarceration Report, complying with this order.[1] The report found that more than one-in-five of all persons in Bureau of Prisons custody were known or suspected aliens, and 93 percent of confirmed aliens in DOJ custody were in the United States unlawfully.

"The illegal immigrant crime rate in this country should be zero," said Attorney General Sessions. "Every crime committed by an illegal alien is, by definition, a crime that should have been prevented. It is outrageous that tens of thousands of Americans are dying every year because of the drugs and violence brought over our borders illegally and that taxpayers have been forced, year after year, to pay millions of dollars to incarcerate tens of thousands of illegal aliens. That is another reason why the Department of Justice under President Trump's leadership has instituted a zero tolerance policy for illegal entry on our Southwest border. Today's report is yet a

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 06, 2018

Statement from DHS Press Secretary on May Border Numbers
Release Date: June 6, 2018Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Press Secretary Tyler Q. Houlton released the following statement on U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Southwest Border Migration numbers for May:

"The May 2018 Southwest Border Migration numbers show that for the third month in a row more than 50,000 illegal border crossers were apprehended.  The number of apprehended illegal border crossers increased slightly from the previous month and climbed by 160 percent in May 2018 in comparison to May 2017. 

"These numbers show that while the Trump administration is restoring the rule of law, it will take a sustained effort and continuous commitment of resources over many months to disrupt cartels, smugglers, and nefarious actors.  We are taking action and will be referring and then prosecuting 100 percent of illegal border crossers, we are building the first new border wall in a decade, and we have deployed the National Guard to the border.

"No one expects to reverse years of political inaction overnight or in a month.  It is also clear change will take more than Administration action alone. Congress must act to end legal loopholes that have left us with policies that serve as tremendous magnets for illegal immigration.  Smugglers, human traffickers, and nefarious actors know our loopholes well and accordingly exploit the

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 06, 2018

Written testimony of I&A Under Secretary and OGC for a Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing titled "S. 2836, the Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018: Countering Malicious Drones"
Release Date: June 6, 2018342 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Chairman Johnson, Ranking Member McCaskill, and distinguished members of the Committee, thank you for inviting DHS to speak with you today. We appreciate the opportunity to discuss the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) role in countering threats from small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in our National Airspace System (NAS).

Introduction First, we would like to thank the Committee for its attention to this issue and holding this hearing to highlight the critical importance of the interagency efforts to secure the national airspace. We would also specifically thank Chairman Johnson, Ranking Member McCaskill, and the other members of this committee for introducing and cosponsoring a bill that would specifically address our equities in this area - this is a monumental step forward. With enactment of this proposal, Congress would reduce risks to public safety and national security, which will help to accelerate the safe integration of UAS into the NAS and ensure that the United States remains a global leader in UAS innovation.

DHS continues to strongly support the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) UAS integration efforts. As the safe integration of commercial and private UAS into the NAS continues, this technology also presents increasing security challenges that require a layered and parallel government security response from federal partners to protect the public from misuse of this technology. The misuse of this technology poses unique security challenges. Generally, examples of UAS-related t

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