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Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 16, 2019

Acting DHS Secretary McAleenan Visited FEMA's National Response Coordination Center for Briefing on Tropical Storm Barry
On July 14, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan visited the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) headquarters in Washington, DC to receive a brief on the ongoing response efforts for Tropical Storm Barry.

"Thank you to the men and women at FEMA and their partners across the country who work tirelessly to coordinate response and recovery during this storm," Acting Secretary McAleenan said. "It is an honor to work alongside you in pursuit of our shared DHS mission."

FEMA Acting Administrator Pete Gaynor briefed Acting Secretary McAleenan on the current status of the storm and discussed how heavy rainfall continues as the storm moves through northern Louisiana and into Arkansas. Acting Secretary McAleenan was assured that FEMA has been working in close coordination with local, state, federal, and tribal partners in Louisiana, Mississippi, and other affected areas to assist in response efforts.

Following the briefing, Acting Secretary McAleenan was given a tour of the response operations in the NRCC to observe the complex coordination efforts of FEMA underway during this emergency. He also met with many of the different federal teams working from FEMA and thanked them individually for their diligence in providing a road to recovery to the American people in the storm's path.

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Keywords: National preparedness, Storms
Topics: Disasters

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 15, 2019

DHS and DOJ Issue Third-Country Asylum Rule
WASHINGTON - On July 16th, a joint Interim Final Rule (IFR) issued by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security will publish in the Federal Register.

This IFR uses the authority delegated by Congress in section 208(b)(2)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to enhance the integrity of the asylum process by placing further restrictions or limitations on eligibility for aliens who seek asylum in the United States. Specifically, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security are revising 8 C.F.R. § 208.13(c) and 8 C.F.R. § 1208.13(c) to add a new bar to eligibility for asylum for an alien who enters or attempts to enter the United States across the southern border, but who did not apply for protection from persecution or torture where it was available in at least one third country outside the alien's country of citizenship, nationality, or last lawful habitual residence through which he or she transited en route to the United States.

Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan issued the following statement:

"While the recent supplemental funding was absolutely vital to helping confront the crisis, the truth is that it will not be enough without targeted changes to the legal framework of our immigration system. Until Congress can act, this interim rule will help reduce a major 'pull' factor driving irregular migration to the United States and enable DHS and DOJ to more quickly and efficiently process cases originating from the southern border, leading to fewer individuals transiting through Mexico on a dangerous journey. Ultimately, today's action will reduce the overwhelming burdens on our domestic system caused by asylum-seekers failing to seek urgent protection in the first available country, economic migrants lacking a legitimate fear of persecution, and the transnational criminal organizations, traffickers, and smugglers exploiting our system for profits."


Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 11, 2019

DHS Statement on Safety and Enforcement During Tropical Storm Barry
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued the following statement on safety and enforcement during Tropical Storm Barry:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are concerned about the potential impact of Tropical Storm Barry to portions of the Gulf Coast, where Louisiana and Texas 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 the storm, except in the event of a serious public safety threat.

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Keywords: natural disasters
Topics: Disasters

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 11, 2019

Acting Secretary McAleenan Travels to El Paso
On July 11, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan travels to El Paso, Texas to meet with Border Mayors from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, meet with DHS surge volunteers currently working at the border, host a Town Hall with DHS personnel, and participate in operational briefings and tours of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities in the area.

Acting Secretary McAleenan will participate in a roundtable with border mayors to discuss hardships facing their communities due to the current immigration crisis and how a "whole of government" approach should be used to work towards a solution. The Acting Secretary will reaffirm his commitment to state and local leaders to do everything DHS can to address this crisis. He will then speak to employees from CBP, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) at a town hall. There, he will acknowledge their achievements and stress the importance of Department-wide collaboration when addressing this border crisis. Following the town hall, Acting Secretary McAleenan will meet with DHS employees who have volunteered at the Southwest border in this time of crisis and commend them on their steadfast commitment to U.S. security.

Later in the day, the Acting Secretary will tour the U.S. Border Patrol's El Paso Station and receive an operational briefing of the current state of the El Paso Sector, along with the actions CBP has taken to improve conditions and adjust to the ever changing flow of migrant apprehensions. He will also tour the Clint Holding Facility where he will be briefed on the medical services and accommodations provided at the facility, in addition to the day to day operations at the facility.

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Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 11, 2019

U.S. and Canada Continue Commitment to Securing our Borders, Begin Phase III of the Entry/Exit Project Under the Beyond the Border Initiative
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In support of a strong, secure and efficient border, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced today the implementation of Phase III of the Entry/Exit information system, a commitment of the Beyond the Border Action Plan. (Beyond the Border Action Plan)

During Phase I, implemented in 2012, the U.S. and Canada piloted the exchange of information on third country nationals and permanent legal residents at four land border ports along the U.S.-Canada border. Building upon the pilot, in Phase II the countries institutionalized this exchange of data at all common land border ports in June 2013. Phase III of this program expands the exchange of data to include U.S. and Canadian citizens, and continue the sharing of data on legal permanent residents and third country nationals. 

CBP and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) are exchanging biographic data, travel documents, and other border crossing information collected from individuals traveling between the countries at land border ports of entry. This data exchange allows both governments to expand their situational border awareness so that the record of a traveler's entry into one country can establish a record of exit from the other country.

"I am proud of the cooperation between the U.S. and Canada on this significant agreement to promote our mutual security and economic competitiveness," said Acting U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary, Kevin K. McAleenan.  "Ultimately, our commitment to sharing information on

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 09, 2019

DHS Announces Decrease in Border Enforcement Actions and Continued Efforts to Address the Ongoing Border Crisis
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data for June indicates a 28 percent drop in enforcement actions along the Southwest Border since May, from 144,278 to 104,344. This year's decline in apprehensions from May to June outpaces last year's decline by 11 percent. The reduction in apprehensions accounts for decreases across all demographics, including unaccompanied minors, family units and single adults, as well as decreases in migrants from all Northern Triangle countries, particularly those coming from Guatemala. Decreasing apprehension numbers will provide greater opportunities for the DHS to address capacity challenges for those in custody and speed the movement of unaccompanied children into Health and Human Services (HHS) care.

DHS has been taking a "whole of government" approach to confront the ongoing crisis and fulfill our humanitarian and security obligations, including surging personnel from across the Department to high capacity locations on the Southwest border, requesting and receiving continued support from the Department of Defense, expanding medical services, establishing additional soft-sided facilities, surging rescue response operations, and requesting and receiving emergency supplemental funding from Congress.

We are also continuing our collaboration with our international partners, formalizing a number of initiatives with Northern Triangle countries to improve the lives and security of our respective citizens by combating human trafficking and the smuggling of illegal goods, helping to limit ‘push' factors that encourage dangerous irregular migration to the U.S. Additionally, we are working with the Government of Mexico to expand Migrant Protection Protocols to allow the U.S. to more effectively assist legitimate asylum-seekers and individuals fleeing persecution and deter migrants with false or meritless claims from making the journey. And since the administration reached a new a

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 09, 2019

Acting Secretary McAleenan Statement on Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center's Annual Report on Mass Attacks in Public Spaces
On July 9, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan joined Secret Service Director James Murray and the National Threat Assessment Center's (NTAC) Chief Dr. Lina Alathari for the release of its annual report on Mass Attacks in Public Spaces (MAPS). The report examines 27 targeted attacks that occurred in public spaces during 2018.

"Mass attacks - whether inspired by hateful ideologies, grievances, or any other motivating factor - shatter the feeling of safety that we typically have in public spaces in the U.S," said Acting Secretary McAleenan. "The Department of Homeland Security prioritizes the prevention of targeted violence, to include domestic terrorism inspired by all ideologies. Hate and violence have no place in our public spaces."

"Since our founding after the horrible attacks on September 11, we have often utilized the special resources within the Secret Service to better protect our public spaces. This is because the Secret Service has the most experience at protecting public spaces, and they remain the best at it in the world. Secret Service's multidisciplinary methodology involves coordination and partnership between law enforcement and others, including workplace managers, school administrators, local officials, and the mental health community."

Acting Secretary McAleenan thanked the men and women of the Secret Service and National Threat Assessment Center, and reiterated the Department's commitment to partnering with state and local communities to identify and prevent acts of targeted violence. Today's event included a two-hour seminar for federal agencies, local police departments, intelligence analysts, public safety professionals, resource officers, military personnel, school officials, mental health professionals, faith-based community leaders, and private sector security organizations, among others.

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Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 08, 2019

Acting Secretary McAleenan Travels to West Virginia to Discuss DHS Efforts to Combat the Opioid Crisis
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan is traveling to Huntington, West Virginia on July 8 to speak with law enforcement, community and political leaders about Department of Homeland Security (DHS) efforts to interdict dangerous, illicit opioids at or before reaching U.S. borders.

The Acting Secretary will first receive a tour of the city with Huntington Police Chief Hank Dial and Fire Chief Jan Rader. He will then join West Virginia Governor Jim Justice, U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin, U.S. Representative Carol Miller (WV-3), Huntington Mayor Steve Williams, and other public health and safety officials to moderate a roundtable discussion on the crisis.

Later in the day, he will travel to the Cabell County Courthouse to receive a Drug Court briefing with Judge Gregory Howard, where he will also meet with graduates of the program. He will also receive a walk-through and briefing at the Marshal University Digital Forensic Lab before departing back to Washington.

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Keywords: opioids
Topics: Law Enforcement Partnerships, Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 05, 2019

Acting DHS Secretary Praises Work of Border Patrol Agents, Says Bad Apples Must Be Addressed
*/ On Wednesday night, July 3, Acting Secretary McAleenan appeared on The Fox News Channel's Special Report with Bret Baier to talk about border security and the current humanitarian crisis. When asked about overcrowding at border facilities, the Acting Secretary told Mike Emanuel (standing in for Bret Baier) that "our men and women on the border have been doing an incredible job with limited resources and without, frankly, a lot of support for months on end. I'm very proud of them. I'm very proud of the dedication they bring to their duties. The fact that they didn't sign up for this - they want to catch bad guys on the border, stop criminals from exploiting the border, bringing drugs into the country. But they've been pressed into service to really process, care for, addressing medical needs, take children to the hospital for months on end now. They've done an incredible job. It's our responsibility, ideally working with Congress, but if not working with international partners to address this flow, and get them back to their priority mission."

When asked about the investigation into recent social media activity, the Acting Secretary said, "we can't have these kind of comments, they reflect very poorly on the men and women in uniform. They do not represent the kind of people we have in the Border Patrol. The Border Patrol motto is Honor First and in my experience working with them for 15 years, 16 years since we started the Department of Homela

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 01, 2019

Acting Secretary McAleenan to Travel to El Salvador and Honduras
WASHINGTON - On July 1, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan will travel to San Salvador, El Salvador for a two-day visit to discuss continued collaboration in addressing the root causes of irregular migration, enhancing security and targeting transnational criminal organizations. Following his visit to El Salvador, he will travel to Palmerola, Honduras.  

In El Salvador today, Acting Secretary McAleenan will meet with U.S. Ambassador Jean Elizabeth Manes and Deputy Chief of Mission Mark C. Johnson. He will also participate in a meeting of the National Trade Facilitation Committee for a discussion on trade facilitation and customs modernization and then he will receive a briefing on the Policia Nacional Civil Model Police Precinct Program. Tonight, he will join El Salvador President Nayib Bukele for a bilateral meeting.

Tomorrow, Acting Secretary McAleenan will meet with El Salvador's Minister of Justice and Public Security, Rogelio Rivas, to discuss security and migration in El Salvador and Central America, followed by attending the first meeting of the Bilateral Migration Task Force comprised of several key government officials to take a whole of government approach to addressing irregular migration. He will then receive a briefing and tour of the Gender Based Violence (GBV) Assistance Center. Tomorrow afternoon he will travel to Palmerola, Honduras for a bilateral meeting with Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez to discuss continued collaboration on migration and security issues.

Keywords: Border Security, Combatting Human Trafficking,

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 27, 2019

Statement from Acting Secretary McAleenan on ICE Leadership
On June 27, Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan released the following statement on U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) leadership changes:

"Mr. Mark Morgan, who is serving as the Acting Director of ICE, will take the helm of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as the Chief Operating Officer and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner following John P. Sanders's decision to resign the position this week. Mr. Morgan became the Acting Director in May of 2019 and quickly worked to advance the ICE mission of safeguarding the homeland through criminal and civil enforcement. Mr. Morgan returns to CBP where he previously served as the Chief of U.S. Border Patrol. I am confident he will bring the same commitment to the agency as it continues to navigate the current humanitarian and operational crisis.

"Assuming the role of Acting Director of ICE is Matthew T. Albence, who has been performing the duties of the agency's Deputy Director since August 2018. Mr. Albence brings years of experience, as he's held a number of key positions within the ICE domain. In 2017, Mr. Albence served as the agency's Executive Associate Director (EAD) for Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and was also the Assistant Director for the ERO Enforcement Division. A 25-year law enforcement professional, Mr. Albence will lead the way for ICE as the nation's vital immigration enforcement branch."

 

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 27, 2019

Acting Secretary McAleenan Statement on the Senate Passing Emergency Border Funding
On June 26, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan released the following statement after the Senate passed an emergency spending bill to provide the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with an additional $4.5 billion to address the crisis at the border:

"Today the Senate demonstrated their bipartisan commitment to addressing the humanitarian crisis at our border and supporting the men and women of DHS.  This emergency funding addresses the immediate and dire need to provide safe care for the children and families coming across our border at unprecedented levels. I urge lawmakers to work together quickly and collaboratively to swiftly pass a bill."

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 26, 2019

Acting Secretary McAleenan Statement on CBP Acting Commissioner Sanders's Resignation
On June 26, Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan released the follwoing statement on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) leadership:

"This week, Mr. John P. Sanders offered his resignation as Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, effective Friday, July 5. I would like to thank Mr. Sanders for his service and for assuming the highest role at CBP at one of the most tenuous times in the Department's history. His dedication to our nation's security has helped raise the agency's standards of care as well as support for the law enforcement personnel who serve CBP.

"I had the distinct honor to serve with him at CBP where he held the position of Chief Operating Officer. In that role, he worked to identify and address the operational requirements of the agency, and to provide strategic direction and oversight of enterprise services and operational support components. He also led CBP's efforts to form key partnerships with technological innovators and industry stakeholders.

"Prior to joining CBP, Mr. Sanders served as the Transportation Security Administration's Chief Technology Officer, overseeing the development and implementation of risk-based analysis to enhance transportation security. Mr. Sanders's private sector experience includes co-founding Reveal Imaging Technologies and with contraband detection, geospatial intelligence and data analytics solutions.

"On behalf of the entire Department, I want to thank Mr. Sanders for his outstanding service to CBP and to our nation, and I wish him the very best for the future."

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Keywords: staffing
Topics: Border Security,

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 26, 2019

Acting Secretary McAleenan Statement on CBP's Sanders's Resignation
On June 26, Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan released the follwoing statement on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) leadership:

"This week, Mr. John P. Sanders offered his resignation as Chief Operating Officer and Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Commissioner, effective Friday, July 5. I would like to thank Mr. Sanders for his service and for assuming the highest role at CBP at one of the most tenuous times in the Department's history. His dedication to our nation's security has helped raise the agency's standards of care as well as support for the law enforcement personnel who serve CBP.

"I had the distinct honor to serve with him at CBP where he held the position of Chief Operating Officer. In that role, he worked to identify and address the operational requirements of the agency, and to provide strategic direction and oversight of enterprise services and operational support components. He also led CBP's efforts to form key partnerships with technological innovators and industry stakeholders.

"Prior to joining CBP, Mr. Sanders served as the Transportation Security Administration's Chief Technology Officer, overseeing the development and implementation of risk-based analysis to enhance transportation security. Mr. Sanders's private sector experience includes co-founding Reveal Imaging Technologies and with contraband detection, geospatial intelligence and data analytics solutions.

"On behalf of the entire Department, I want to thank Mr. Sanders for his outstanding service to CBP and to our nation, and I wish him the very best for the future."

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Keywords: staffing
Topics: Border Security,

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 26, 2019

Acquisition Excellence: DHS Receives an "A " Grade on SBA's Annual Small Business Procurement Scorecard
For the 10th year in a row, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) earned a grade "A" or higher on the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Annual Small Business Procurement Scorecard. This is the Department's fourth "A ," the highest score possible.

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

DHS has been the largest agency to consistently earn a grade of an "A" or higher on SBA's scorecard. Last fiscal year, the Department awarded 34.5 percent of total contracting dollars to small businesses, far exceeding the 23 percent goal for the federal government. Further, nearly 11,700 companies received DHS prime contracts and of these approximately 7,800 were small businesses.   

This achievement confirms the Department's commitment to working with small businesses to help keep our nation safe.    

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

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Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 22, 2019

First Ladies of Guatemala and Honduras Tour Border with DHS and CBP Leaders
WASHINGTON - The first ladies of Guatemala and Honduras received a tour of the Rio Grande Valley Southwest border Sector on Thursday, June 20th, accompanied by Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan and Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection John P. Sanders.

Patricia Marroquín de Morales, First Lady of Guatemala, and Ana Garcia de Hernandez, First Lady of Honduras, received a briefing on the state of the border before participating in an operational tour of the border and of CBP processing facilities for single adults, families and unaccompanied children in the Rio Grande Valley area.

"It is important to be able to work hand in hand with the United States government to identify the irregular migration flow, analyze the incentives to migrate, and create conditions of support and wellbeing for people in Northern Triangle countries, so that families build their futures in their own nations," Ana Garcia de Hernandez, First Lady of Honduras said.

"This week, the Guatemalan and Honduran delegations were able to see the border security and humanitarian crisis first hand," said Acting DHS Secretary McAleenan. "This important visit allowed us to share our efforts to address the current situation and demonstrate how our continued collaboration will improve the lives and security of our citizens and theirs."

The dignitaries were joined by Sandra Jovel, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, Enrique Antonio Degenhart Asturias, Minister of Government of Guatemala, and María D. Agüero, Foreign Secretary of Honduras, as well as other senior foreign officials.

"This is a call to all Guatemalans: please - you must know that there is no guarantee that you will you get into the United States, regardless of if you bring a child or not," Sandra Jovel, Guatemalan Minister of Foreign Affairs said in a video posted on Twitter following the tour. "The processes to enter the U.S. are very long,

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 21, 2019

Texas Governor Deploys 1,000 National Guard Soldiers to Assist with Border Crisis
WASHINGTON - Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced today that the Lone Star State will be sending approximately 1,000 soldiers from the Texas National Guard to the Southwest border in order to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in response to the continued border security and humanitarian crisis. These troops will provide supplemental staffing support at temporary holding facilities, as well as supplemental enforcement capacity at ports of entry along the border.

"The crisis at our southern border is unlike anything we've witnessed before and has put an enormous strain on the existing resources we have in place," said Governor Abbott. "With the deployment of these troops, we are taking action to confront the crisis at the border and keep potentially dangerous criminals and illegal activity out of our communities. By working together with our federal partners, we will continue to pursue a strong and comprehensive strategy to secure our border."

"At DHS, we have a long history of working closely with our partners in Texas, united by the common purpose of keeping the United States and its people safe and secure," said Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan. "While we are doing everything we can to manage the crisis, the volume of vulnerable populations arriving every day is simply unsustainable. The deployment of Texas National Guard personnel provides critical support to our law enforcement agents at the border at a time of tremendous need."

The combined state and federal effort will help address the humanitarian crisis on our border as well as increase border security for Texas communities. National Guard personnel have provided support—such as counternarcotic support operations— in Texas for decades. Over 4,000 National Guard Troops from Texas, Arizona and New Mexico have helped in securing the border in recent deployments.

In the past three weeks alone, more than 45,000 people have been apprehende

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 20, 2019

Joint E.U.-U.S. Statement Following The E.U.-U.S. Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting
On June 19, 2019, the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union hosted the E.U.-U.S. Ministerial Meeting on Justice and Home Affairs in Bucharest, Romania. The meeting provided an opportunity for both sides to take stock of their long-standing cooperation in this area and to reaffirm their partnership in addressing common security threats.

The U.S. was represented by the U.S. Attorney General, William Barr, and Acting Deputy Secretary for Homeland Security, David Pekoske.

The E.U., hosting the meeting, was represented by the Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos, the Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourová, the Commissioner for the Security Union, Julian King, as well as the Romanian Vice Prime Minister ad interim and Minister of Justice, Ana Birchall, and the Minister of Interior, Carmen Daniela Dan, together with the Finnish Minister of the Interior, Maria Ohisalo, and the Minister of Justice, Anna-Maja Henriksson, on behalf of the current and incoming Presidencies of the Council of the European Union.

The E.U. and the U.S. reaffirmed that fighting terrorism is among their top priorities and committed to enhance their joint efforts, including by expanding the sharing of information gathered in zones of combat for use in investigations and prosecutions. Participants welcomed results already achieved in this domain, including in cooperation with Europol and Eurojust, and looked forward to the outcome of the meeting to be held on this subject that will bring together E.U. and U.S. experts in Brussels on July 10. With regard to other critical areas of E.U.-U.S. information sharing, Participants of the meeting reiterated the importance of the E.U.-U.S. Passenger Name Record agreement and committed to begin a joint evaluation to assess its implementati

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 12, 2019

DHS and HHS Pen Joint Letter to Congress: Emergency Supplemental Funding Urgently Needed to Address Crisis at Our Border
On June 12, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar wrote a joint letter to Congress urging the immediate passage of emergency supplemental funding, citing the current crisis at our southern border:

On May 1, the Administration requested $4.5 billion in emergency appropriations for DHS, HHS, the Department of Defense, and Department of Justice to address the immediate humanitarian crisis at our southern border. With this crisis growing day to day and no emergency funding, DHS has been forced to surge resources and personnel from the interagency.

"It has been six weeks since the Administration requested emergency supplemental funding and Congress has yet to act. Since May 1, the day the Administration submitted this request, over 144,000 migrants have crossed our southern border illegally. While the Department is doing everything we can to maximize our resources and personnel in a Department-wide emergency response, the surge of families and unaccompanied children migration has created an unsustainable strain on DHS personnel working to protect our borders," Acting Secretary McAleenan said.

"The Administration's emergency supplemental request will support DHS efforts to address the immediate humanitarian crisis. Without this funding, DHS will not have the resources to properly care for the families and children in custody. We urge Congress to immediately approve the administration's supplemental request," he added.

The Administration's supplemental will allow both DHS and HHS to address the humanitarian and security crisis currently facing our Southwest border. This letter to Congress urges quick action in order to provide the appropriate resources to ensure the safety and welfare of our workforce and the migrant population.

View the joint letter to Congress

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 12, 2019

DHS Partners with ALPA and Others to Fight Human Trafficking
On June 12, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Blue Campaign announced a new partnership with the world's largest airline pilot union, the Air Line Pilots Association, Int'l (ALPA), along with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to fight human trafficking through the Blue Lightning Initiative (BLI). Through an interactive training module, ALPA pilots can access the resources needed to help protect the basic right of freedom and bring those who exploit human lives to justice.

"U.S. Customs and Border Protection is proud to partner with those who stand up against human trafficking and exploitation, which has no place in society," said Acting Commissioner John P. Sanders. "Through the Blue Lightning Initiative, we are equipping a critical group of airline professionals who are in a unique position to identify and report signs of potential exploitation and trafficking to law enforcement authorities. Through partnerships like BLI, we can help stop human exploitation."

"Public awareness is key to identifying and reporting human trafficking," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.   "Each tip may make the difference in saving someone's life."

"As flightcrew members responsible for the operation of tens of thousands of flights across North America, airline pilots, working with our partner crewmembers, are uniquely positioned to help combat the vile act of human trafficking," said Capt. Joe DePete, ALPA president. "Through our partnership with the Blue Lightning Initiative, ALPA pilots now have access to education and training that helps identify potential human trafficking victims and alert the authorities."

The Blue Lightning Initiative trains aviation industry 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

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 11, 2019

Acting Secretary McAleenan Statement on the ‘United States Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security'
WASHINGTON - On June 11th, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan issued the following statement regarding the United States Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security released by the White House to address problems faced by women and girls in conflict and disaster affected areas around the world:

"On behalf of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), I commend the President for creating an articulated strategy to promote the role of women in preventing conflict and securing peace through the United States Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security (WPS Strategy).  This important strategy—the first of its kind—will have far-reaching effects on the success and empowerment of women as it not only prioritizes women's participation in conflict recovery, but in civilian and economic life as well.  I look forward to incorporating the goals of the WPS Strategy as DHS continues to develop and implement programs that work to end human trafficking, disrupt transnational criminal organizations, and increase security and prosperity to eliminate push factors that encourage illegal migration."

Keywords: Combatting Human Trafficking
Topics: Human Trafficking, International Engagement

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 11, 2019

8 Finalists Announced in $1.55m Challenge for New Solutions to Detect Opioids in International Mail
WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced eight finalists in the first stage of the Opioid Detection Challenge, which is a $1.55 million global prize competition for rapid, nonintrusive detection tools that will help find illicit opioids in international mail. The Challenge is an S&T collaboration with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS).

"I am alarmed with dangerous illicit opioids traveling through our international mail system not only because they feed the devastating opioid epidemic in our country, but because they put our operators at risk," said Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan. "I am very impressed with the creative detection technologies submitted, and we look forward to deploying new solutions in operational environments."

In Stage 1, the Challenge called for well-developed plans for automated, user-friendly tools and technologies that have the potential to quickly and accurately detect opioids in parcels, without disrupting the flow of mail. Stage 1 submissions closed on April 24, 2019, and the Challenge received 83 submissions from U.S. and international innovators. The finalists are:

A solution to use high-frequency radio waves in a particle accelerator technology developed by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (known as CERN). As neutrons and gamma rays pass through parcels, the solution analyzes the energy spectra produced. A layered approach to opioid detection. Machine learning algorithms are applied to images captured through dual-energy radiography and hyperspectral imaging.

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 11, 2019

Written Testimony of L. Eric Patterson for a House Committee on Homeland Security hearing titled "Federal Protective Service: Ensuring the Mission is not Lost in Transition"
Good afternoon Chairwoman Torres Small, Ranking Member Crenshaw, and Members of the Subcommittee. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today on behalf of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Protective Service (FPS) regarding FPS's critical mission within DHS.

In the year 2021, FPS will celebrate its 50th anniversary. Since its inception in 1971, FPS has protected people and property in the Federal government by identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities through risk assessments, law enforcement, intelligence analysis, and security countermeasures.

Today, we protect over 9,000 facilities and more than 1.4 million people who work, visit, or conduct business at these facilities each day.

FPS provides the DHS Secretary with a highly trained, nationwide force that can support the Department's mission in countering emerging or existing threats and terrorism, within the boundaries of our Nation and territories.

Each day, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers, including the officers of FPS, risk their lives in protecting and securing this great nation. In recognition of their sacrifices, nearly one month ago, citizens across the United States came together to participate in National Police Week to honor and remember our fallen law enforcement officers. In its history, FPS has had six sworn officers killed in the performance of their duties. This serves as a sobering reminder that the women and men of FPS must remain vigilant and well-prepared to prevent, protect, respond to and recover from events that threaten our nation's people, property, and institutions.

FPS OverviewFPS was established in 1971 as the uniformed protection force of the General Services Administration (GSA). On March 1, 2003, pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. §§101 et. seq), FPS was transferred from GSA to DHS in recognition of the role FPS plays in securing our homeland. At the time, it was placed with

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 07, 2019

Acting Secretary McAleenan Views Drug Offload, Tours National Hurricane Center
June 5 through 6, Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan traveled to Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Florida  to view a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) drug offload, tour the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and meet with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials.

During his visit, McAleenan met with the crew of the USCG Cutter Hamilton, which had just returned to Port Everglades after confiscating drugs including over 26,000 pounds of cocaine worth an estimated $348 million wholesale, and over 1,400 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated $1.3 million seized in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. The drugs represent 15 separate suspected drug smuggling vessel interdictions and disruptions in the Eastern Pacific off the coasts of Mexico and Central and South America by three Coast Guard cutters between March and May 2019. The Acting Secretary, along with Coast Guard District Seven Commander Peter Brown, Commanding Officer U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton Mark Gordon, and senior officials from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), also discussed the work the Coast Guard undertakes to disrupt transnational criminal organizations that profit off of human trafficking and illicit drug smuggling.

"I am proud of the work our U.S. Coast Guard doesto combat transnational criminal organizations who profit from human misery through human and drug trafficking, exacerbate crime levels in the region, and pump dangerous drugs into our country," McAleenan said. "DHS has a strong interagency partnership to disrupt, dismantle, and prosecute these proliferators of crime.

Also on Thursday, the Acting Secretary toured the National Hurricane Center, which is the epicenter of predicting and tracking hurricanes throughout the Atlantic hurricane season. He received a briefing from Director Ken Graham and NHC leadership on the operational priorities, capabilities and go

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 06, 2019

On This Day in History - Deputy Chief Russell Daniel
CMR 21-19

The Secret Service sent some of our finest onto the beaches of Normandy, France, on June 6th, 1944. One of them came home and became the Deputy Chief of the Secret Service.

Russell "Buck" Daniel was born November 28, 1906, in Lancaster, Missouri. He began his career in the Secret Service in Kansas City, Missouri, as a stenographer on October 7, 1929. He served continuously, except for 2 ½ years in the United States Army.

In 1932, he became a Special Agent in Kansas City, and was later assigned to field offices in New York, Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland, and Oklahoma City, where he gained wide experience in the suppression of counterfeiting, and in the investigation of forgeries of Treasury checks and bonds.

In 1938, Daniel was a member of a special detail in New York established to investigate large-scale counterfeiting activities. His success in the investigation of major counterfeiting and check forgery cases won him a promotion to Special Agent in Charge of Omaha, Nebraska, in March 1939.

In May 1943, Daniel enlisted in the Army and later participated in the Normandy invasion, the Battle of the Bulge, and three other major European campaigns as a paratrooper with the famed 82nd Airborne Division. He was honorably discharged as a Technical Sergeant, wearing the Bronze Star Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge, Parachutist's Badge, five Battle Stars, and the Bronze Service Arrowhead.

Returning to the Secret Service in 1945, he became Assistant Special Agent in Charge at St. Paul, Minnesota. On January 3, 1949, he came to Washington to assume charge of the Washington Field District. Shortly after his promotion he supervised the investigation and arrests of four men and a woman for making about $150,000 in counterfeit $20 bills in a plant located only a few blocks from the Treasury Building.

On July 17, 1950, Daniel was promoted to the position of Inspector and engaged in insp

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 06, 2019

Acting Secretary McAleenan Travels to Florida for USCG Drug Offload and Hurricane Season Preparedness Briefing
On April 6, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan will travel to Fort Lauderdale and Miami, Florida for a two-day trip. The Acting Secretary will view a U.S. Coast Guard cutter drug offload at Port Everglades, receive a briefing and tour of the National Hurricane Center (NHC), and visit with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel at Miami International Airport.

McAleenan will view a Coast Guard drug offload and meet with the crew of Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton after they return from a mission that kept thousands of pounds of drugs out of our communities. The Acting Secretary, along with Coast Guard District Seven Commander Peter Brown, Commanding Officer U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Hamilton Mark Gordon, and senior officials from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), will discuss work the Coast Guard undertakes to disrupt transnational criminal organizations that profit off of human trafficking and illicit drug smuggling.

The Acting Secretary will also take an operational tour of the NHC and receive a briefing from Director Ken Graham and NHC leadership on the expectations for Atlantic hurricane season, which began June 1st, and resiliency and response plans. Finally, the Secretary will meet with TSA employees and view a demonstration of new technology used to increase safety and security in aviation. 

###

Keywords: drug interdiction, employees, National preparedness
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
May 31, 2019

Acting Secretary McAleenan Signs Bilateral Agreement to Confront Factors Driving Irregular Migration from Guatemala, Combat Human Smuggling
WASHINGTON - Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan traveled to Guatemala this week to attend the sixth Northern Triangle Security Ministerial meeting with Ministers of Security and other high-level security officials from the region. During his visit, the Acting Secretary signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Guatemalan Ministry of Government to enhance bilateral law enforcement cooperation in an effort to stem the flow of irregular migration. Acting Secretary McAleenan also met with Guatemalan civil society leaders, indigenous leaders, International NGO leadership and small business leaders to gain a deeper understanding of the root causes driving the high rate of migration from the region and targeted solutions to address them. 

The signed MOC will expand areas of bilateral cooperation between the U.S. and Guatemala to target ‘push' factors like high levels of crime and limited economic opportunity that spur illegal and irregular migration from the Northern Triangle Region. Included in the agreement is a provision on law enforcement training to improve criminal investigations that disrupt human trafficking and drug smuggling networks often run by transnational criminal organizations, who are able to profit from human suffering. The agreement has already resulted in nine arrests of a major drug smuggling organization, showing promise for the effectiveness of the resource and information-sharing agreement.

"I am proud to sign this agreement with Minister Enrique Antonio Degenhart," said Acting Secretary McAleenan. "Through our continued collaboration and partnership, the U.S. and Guatemala are formalizing a number of initiatives to improve the lives and security of our respective citizens by combating human trafficking and the smuggling of illegal goods, helping to limit ‘push' factors that encourage dangerous irregular migration to the U.S., perpetuating the ongoing crisis at our bor

Department of Homeland Security News
May 30, 2019

Background Press Call by Senior Administration Officials on the Crisis at Our Southern Border
Office of the Vice President
The White House

8:04 P.M. EDT

  Good evening and thanks for joining the briefing call tonight regarding the crisis at our southern border.  This call is on the record and it will be conducted by acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Kevin McAleenan and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

There will be brief opening remarks delivered by both gentlemen and then we'll open it up for questions.  Again, the information on this call is on the record.  And with that, I'll turn it over to acting Secretary McAleenan.

  Thanks, Hogan.  I want to start by offering some context on the situation at the U.S. border that is requiring extraordinary action.  The situation is both a humanitarian and border security crisis that has become a national emergency.

The current influx of illegal crossings into the United States from Mexico is overwhelming the resources of CBP and DHS and has severely impacted the ability of the Department to secure the U.S. border and enforce the immigration laws of the United States. 

Over the past 21 days, an average of over 4,500 people have crossed our border illegally or arrived at ports of entry without documents.  In May of 2017, that number was less than 700 a day.  The month of May is on pace to be the highest month in crossings in over 12 years and will significantly surpass the record 109,000 in April.

Yesterday, a single group of 1,036 families and unaccompanied children simply walked from Juárez, Mexico into the United States illegally as a single group -- the largest group ever apprehended at the border. 

U.S. immigration authorities now have over 80,000 people in custody, a record level that is beyond sustainable capacity with current resources.  Over 7,500 single adults are in custody at the border and Immigration and Customs Enforcement is holding over 50,000. 

Most ur

Department of Homeland Security News
May 30, 2019

Border Patrol Agents Apprehend Largest Group Ever Encountered
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
CBP Media Relations
202-344-1780

- U.S. Border Patrol agents from El Paso Sector apprehended the largest group of illegal aliens ever encountered early Wednesday morning. Agents took custody of 1,036 people after they illegally crossed the border in El Paso, Texas, shortly after 4 a.m., MDT.

The group crossed the Rio Grande and were immediately taken into custody by Border Patrol agents south of downtown El Paso, between Bridge of the Americas and Stanton Street Bridge.

"The apprehension of 1,036 individuals in a single group - the largest group ever encountered by Border Patrol agents - demonstrates the severity of the border security and humanitarian crisis at our Southwest border," said CBP Deputy Commissioner Robert E. Perez. "The dedicated men and women of CBP, and in particular the U.S Border Patrol, are doing their very best every day to address the influx of family units and unaccompanied children."

All members of the group were from Guatemala, Honduras, or El Salvador. The group included 934 family members, 63 unaccompanied minors, and 39 single adults. They were taken into custody for processing and initial medical screenings. They will remain in U.S. Border Patrol custody until they are processed accordingly.

El Paso Sector agents have previously encountered the largest groups so far - of over 400 - on at least two recent occasions. The most recent was on Memorial Day, when agents apprehended a group of 430 people.

The group of 1,036, comprised mostly family units and unaccompanied children, adds to the more than 530,000 aliens apprehended or encountered at ports of entry on the Southwest border so far this fiscal year. The El Paso Sector

Department of Homeland Security News
May 28, 2019

DHS Signs Memorandum of Cooperation with Guatemala to Confront Irregular Migration and Combat Human Smuggling
Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan has formalized an agreement between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Ministry of Government of Guatemala with the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC). The agreement, which will expand areas of collaboration between the United States and the Northern Triangle country to target human smuggling and trafficking networks, marks the start of the Acting Secretary's four-day trip to participate in bilateral and multilateral meetings with officials representing the governments of the Northern Triangle countries.

The meetings will highlight the root causes driving the current high rate of irregular migration to the U.S., as well as viable options for enhancing protections of vulnerable populations.

"I am proud to sign this agreement with Minister Enrique Antonio Degenhart," said Acting Secretary McAleenan. "Through our continued collaboration and partnership, the U.S. and Guatemala are formalizing a number of initiatives to improve the lives and security of our respective citizens by combating human trafficking and the smuggling of illegal goods, helping to limit ‘push' factors that encourage dangerous irregular migration to the U.S., perpetuating the ongoing crisis at or border."

According to the MOC, both countries have agreed to take concrete actions necessary to combat the scourge of human trafficking and smuggling, interdict illicit drug trafficking, and target illegal trade and financial flows. This will include law enforcement training and collaboration to improve criminal investigations.

Other areas of cooperation include increasing the security of the Guatemalan border to stem the flow of irregular migration while ensuring proper preparation to improve the ability of both countries to identify and better understand their root causes.

The Acting Secretary will be in Guatemala through Thursday, May 30th, to meet with officials representing Northern Triangle countries, leadersh

Department of Homeland Security News
May 24, 2019

Message from Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan on Memorial Day Observance
On Memorial Day, our country recognizes the more than one million men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while carrying out their duties in our Armed Forces, including the U.S. Coast Guard.

It is a day to honor the memory of our brave men and women in uniform who dedicated their lives to training tirelessly and serving selflessly—to protect our freedoms, keep us safe from harm, and secure our nation. As a law enforcement organization, we know all too well the pain and grief that come with making that ultimate sacrifice.

This Memorial Day, I encourage everyone to take time to reflect on the sacrifices our service members and their families have made to our nation and our mission.

As a Department, we are forever thankful to our men and women in uniform—past and present—for putting themselves in harm's way to protect our nation and the American way of life. Through your service and devotion, together we continue to preserve the great freedoms and liberties that make us a great nation.

Kevin K. McAleenan
Acting Secretary
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

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

Keywords: memorial ceremony
Topics: Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
May 21, 2019

Acting Secretary McAleenan Swears in Two New HSAC Members, Announces New Council Tasking Focused on the Security and Resiliency of Houses of Worship and Faith-Based Organizations
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan met with the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) to discuss a range of homeland security issues and his priorities for the Department. The Acting Secretary then swore in two new members to the HSAC, Robert Bonner and Leon Fresco.

"My vision for the HSAC, consistent with its charter, is to seek their strategic, organizationally independent, timely, specific, and actionable advice on a range of homeland security issues," Acting Secretary McAleenan said. "I am pleased to appoint national thought leaders like Robert Bonner and Leon Fresco to the Council." 

During today's public session, Acting Secretary McAleenan also announced a new HSAC tasking that is focused on the security and resiliency of houses of worship and faith-based organizations across the country.

"The right to practice our respective religions free from interference or fear is one of our Nation's most fundamental and indelible rights. That is why I have tasked HSAC with evaluating how DHS can work with houses of worship and faith-based groups to prevent and ensure protection from acts of violence. Worshiping free from fear is a basic and essential right we must defend and I look forward to receiving the committee's critical feedback," Acting Secretary McAleenan said.

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

Department of Homeland Security News
May 15, 2019

Readout from Meeting with Acting Secretary McAleenan and Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Nebojša Stefanovic
On May 14, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan met with Serbia's Deputy Prime Minister, Nebojša Stefanovic, at the Department of Homeland Security's St. Elizabeths campus. The two discussed areas of mutual cooperation and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to identify and prevent terrorist travel and reduce illegal migration. 

Following the signing of this MOU, the Serbians will implement a Secure Real Time Platform (SRTP) to establish the exchange of information with DHS to help identify individuals who pose a threat of terrorism and criminal activity. DHS has offered SRTP to select foreign governments as a way to help increase border and immigration security. This MOU speaks to the partnership and cooperation between the U.S. and Serbia, and to the efforts of DHS to increase security across the globe.

Keywords: International partnerships
Topics: Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
May 15, 2019

DHS Determines that Conditions in Venezuela Threaten the Safety and Security of Passengers, Aircraft, and Crew, Requiring an Immediate Suspension of Air Transportation
Under 49 U.S.C. § 44907 Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan determined that conditions in Venezuela threaten the safety and security of passengers, aircraft, and crew, requiring an immediate suspension of all commercial passenger and cargo flights between the United States and Venezuela.  In accordance with the statute, the Secretary of State has approved flight suspension, and the Secretary of Transportation has implemented the determination.

This determination is based on the ongoing political instability and increased tensions in Venezuela and associated inadvertent risk to flight operations.

In coordination with the Department of State and the Department of Transportation, the Department of Homeland Security will continue to monitor this situation. If and when the conditions in Venezuela change, and if in the public interest, the Secretaries will revisit this determination. Until then, the flight suspension will remain in effect indefinitely.

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

Department of Homeland Security News
May 15, 2019

DHS Issues Waivers to Expedite Border Wall Projects in Tucson and El Centro
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued two waivers, which will ensure expeditious construction of new bollard wall within the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson and El Centro Sectors in Arizona and California, respectively. The projects covered by the waivers include up to approximately 78 miles of new bollard wall in place of dilapidated and outdated designs, in addition to road construction and improvement and lighting installation. The waivers were published in the Federal Register on May 15, 2019.

To support DHS's actions under Section 102 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, as amended (IIRIRA), DHS requested that the Department of Defense (DoD), pursuant to its authority under 10 U.S.C. § 284(b)(7), assist with the construction of fences, roads and lighting within specified locations of the border in order to block drug-smuggling corridors across the international boundary between the United States and Mexico. The Acting Secretary of Defense determined that the projects covered by these waivers meet the statutory requirements of 10 U.S.C. § 284(b)(7).  As such, these projects will be funded by appropriations available to DoD. DoD, in close coordination with DHS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), will plan and execute these projects in coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

These waivers are pursuant to authority granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security by Congress and cover 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. 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

Department of Homeland Security News
May 15, 2019

DHS Issues Waiver to Expedite Border Wall Projects in California
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a waiver, which will ensure expeditious construction of approximately 15 miles of new border wall system in place of dilapidated and outdated designs in the state of California within U.S. Border Patrol's San Diego and El Centro Sectors.

The waiver was published in the Federal Register on May 15, 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), will begin construction as early as May 18, 2019.

The projects covered by this waiver are funded by CBP's Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) Appropriation. It is not a project undertaken pursuant to the National Emergency Declaration, 10 U.S.C § 284, 10 U.S.C. § 2808, nor does it draw from any other source of funding, including appropriations available to the Department of Defense (DoD).

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. 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 mandated 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 the Secretary's sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure the expeditious construction of the barriers and roads authorized by section 102 of IIRIRA.

The geographic sc

Department of Homeland Security News
May 10, 2019

Acting Secretary McAleenan Visits the National Vetting Governance Board to Commend Interagency Cooperation
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan visited the National Vetting Governance Board on Friday to congratulate and thank representatives from multiple agencies for their work on standing up the new National Vetting Center (NVC).

In attendance were members from the Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, along with several representatives from the Intelligence Community (IC).

"Led by DHS, the National Vetting Center is an essential and long-awaited component of the U.S. government's national vetting enterprise," Acting Secretary McAleenan said. "The NVC fills a critical need to improve how federal officials identify individuals who may present a threat to national security, border security, homeland security, or public safety. The NVC is just another step in realizing the 9/11 Commission's recommendations regarding the need for interagency collaboration to ‘connect the dots' and make more informed decisions about threats to the United States."

The NVC strengthens, simplifies, and streamlines the complex way intelligence and law enforcement information is used to inform operational decisions, allowing agencies to contribute their unique information while complying with applicable law and policy and maintaining robust privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties protections. Furthermore, the NVC's technology process allows for information held by national security partners to be checked before the travel benefit is issued, ensuring we keep potential threats away from our borders.

The Acting Secretary expressed gratitude to the group, highlighting the immediate impact on the of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)'s mission. "Through the NVC, CBP can now receive near-real time responses from national security partners for more than 35,000 Electronic System for Travel Authorization applications each day."

Department of Homeland Security News
May 06, 2019

DHS, DOL to Publish Joint Rule for Additional Visas for Returning Foreign Workers
WASHINGTON - On May 6th, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) will publish a joint rule making available an additional 30,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for Fiscal Year 2019. These supplemental H-2B visas are available only to returning workers who received an H-2B visa, or were otherwise granted H-2B status, during one of the last three fiscal years (FY 2016, 2017, or 2018), and availability is restricted by prioritizing only those businesses who would suffer irreparable harm without the additional workers.

Returning H-2B workers have demonstrated their ability to abide by the terms and conditions of the H-2B program and, therefore, are less likely to remain in the United States and work without authorization after their legal status has expired. H-2B workers often return to the same employer year after year on a seasonal basis, are vetted, trusted, and can have their visas approved more rapidly given their known history.

"The Department of Homeland Security continues to urge lawmakers to pursue a long-term legislative fix that both meets employers' temporary needs while fulfilling the President's Buy American and Hire American executive order to spur higher wages and employment rates for U.S. workers," said Acting Secretary McAleenan. "The truth is that Congress is in the best position to establish the appropriate number of H-2B visas that American businesses should be allocated without harming U.S. workers. Therefore, Congress - not DHS - should be responsible for determining whether the annual numerical limitations for H-2B workers set by Congress need to be modified and by how much, and for setting parameters to ensure that enough workers are available to meet employers' temporary needs throughout the year." 

Details on the increase in H-2B Nonimmigrant Visas for FY 2019 can be found alongside the temporary final r

Department of Homeland Security News
May 03, 2019

Acting Secretary McAleenan Statement on U.S. Secret Service Leadership
- On May 3rd, Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan released the following statement on U.S. Secret Service leadership:

"After a long and distinguished career, this week Randolph D. "Tex" Alles stepped down as Director of the U.S. Secret Service. Mr. Alles has led the dedicated men and women of the Secret Service with professionalism for the past two years. Before that, I had the distinct honor to serve with him at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) where he held the position of Chief Operating Officer. Before joining CBP, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 35 years, retiring in 2011 as a Major General. As a Marine aviator, he served in numerous leadership positions in both the Marine Corps and joint commands.

"I'm also proud to announce that Mr. Alles will transition to a new role with the Department, serving as the Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Management, and will oversee all aspects of the Department's management programs, including financial, human capital, information technology, procurement, security, and asset management. I thank Mr. Alles for his willingness to serve, and I look forward to continuing to work together in pursuit of our shared mission. Mr. Alles will step in for Deputy Under Secretary Chip Fulghum, who has been integral to ensuring the Department functions efficiently and effectively. Mr. Fulghum has served the men and women of DHS with distinction since first joining in 2012, and we are forever grateful for his service. I wish him the very best in the years ahead.

"Today, President Donald J. Trump officially announced the appointment of James M. Murray as Director of the U.S. Secret Service. Mr. Murray began his Secret Service career in 1995 as a Special Agent in the New York Field Office, where he conducted cyber-enabled financial crime investigations and served as the agency's representative to the FBI-NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force. Since then he has held a

Department of Homeland Security News
May 02, 2019

White House Cybersecurity Workforce Executive Order Bolsters U.S. Frontline Defenses, Aids Job Creation
On May 2, President Trump signed an Executive Order directing the federal government to take critical steps to strengthen America's cybersecurity workforce. Importantly, the Executive Order will enhance mobility of our country's frontline cybersecurity practitioners, support the development of their skills to encourage excellence in the field, and help ensure the United States keeps its competitive edge in cybersecurity. The United States currently has a shortage of 300,000 cybersecurity practitioners.

"America's cybersecurity practitioners—whether working in the private sector or serving in the federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial governments—constitute a core element in our country's frontline defense, and we must urgently bolster them in the face of a myriad of cybersecurity threats," said Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan. "DHS and this Administration are committed to bold action. From enabling movement between the private and public sectors to supporting our workforce's training, education, and development, the President's action today sets the course to expand and sustain the workforce and ensure America keeps its competitive edge in the critical field of cybersecurity."

Under the Cybersecurity Workforce Executive Order, the Department of Homeland Security will work with partners from around the federal government on several initiatives to strengthen the workforce. DHS will create the Federal Cybersecurity Rotational Program, in which Info

Department of Homeland Security News
May 01, 2019

Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan Joins Second Lady Karen Pence to Announce Partnership between U.S. Coast Guard and LinkedIn
WASHINGTON - On May 1st, Second Lady of the United States Karen Pence was joined by Homeland Security Acting Secretary Kevin K. McAleenan to announce a new partnership between the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and LinkedIn. The agreement was sealed by a Memorandum of Understanding providing a free one-year premium LinkedIn membership to USCG spouses after a permanent change of station (PCS) move to help them obtain employment. Importantly, this vital benefit eases some of the challenges associated with finding employment and helps military spouses re-establish their careers after a PCS move.

The Department of Defense (DOD) previously established a partnership with LinkedIn allowing DOD spouses to receive a free LinkedIn premium membership for a year both before and after each PCS move, but the initial agreement excluded the U.S. Coast Guard.

"Military spouse employment is a very important aspect of a strong and resilient military family, " said Mrs. Pence. " Our work to develop a partnership with LinkedIn to include Coast Guard military spouses with LinkedIn premium access started last fall. We commend Microsoft and LinkedIn for working with the United States Coast Guard to expand their program to Coast Guard military spouses. This new collaboration will help spouses with employment opportunities and will make job hunting easier."

Second Lady Pence has become a champion for awareness of the challenges unique to military spouses, including obtaining employment after a PCS move. A proud military mom, whose son serves in the Marines, Mrs. Pence understands the struggles associated with repeated moves of military families. Second Lady Pence advocated to LinkedIn to facilitate expanding this benefit to include the Coast Guard, the only Armed Force in the Department of Homeland Security.

"We are committed to helping as much as possible, and today I'm glad we can make that next move a little bit easier through this partnership with

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 27, 2019

Acting Secretary McAleenan Statement on Synagogue Shooting in Poway, California
WASHINGTON - Today, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan released the following statement on the synagogue shooting in Poway, California:

"On behalf of the Department of Homeland Security, I am deeply saddened to learn of the tragic shooting in Poway, California. Targeted violence committed against any race, religion, creed or ethnic group cannot and will not be tolerated. DHS will take every appropriate action to assist with the investigation and ensure that those affected by this tragedy receive the closure and justice they deserve. We are thankful that one of our own, an off-duty Border Patrol agent, was able to assist in the response and likely prevented the deaths of more worshipers."

Keywords: countering violent extremism
Topics: Homeland Security Enterprise

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 26, 2019

DHS Issues Waiver to Expedite Border Wall Projects in Yuma & El Paso
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued two waivers, which will ensure expeditious construction of new bollard wall within the U.S. Border Patrol's Yuma and El Paso sectors in Arizona and Texas. The projects covered by the waivers include up to approximately 53 miles of new bollard wall in place of dilapidated and outdated designs, in addition to, road construction and improvement and lighting installation. The waivers were published in the Federal Register on April 24, 2019.

To support DHS's actions under Section 102 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, as amended (IIRIRA), DHS requested that the Department of Defense (DoD), pursuant to its authority under 10 U.S.C. § 284(b)(7), assist with the construction of fences, roads, and lighting within specified locations of the border in order to block drug-smuggling corridors across the international boundary between the United States and Mexico. The Acting Secretary of Defense determined that the projects covered by these waivers meet the statutory requirements of 10 U.S.C. § 284(b)(7). As such, these projects will be funded by appropriations available to DoD.

DoD, in close coordination with DHS/Customs and Border Protection (CBP), will plan and execute these projects in coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). USACE awarded the contracts for these projects on April 9, 2019. The Yuma projects were awarded to Barnard Construction Co. Inc. for approximately $187 million and the El Paso project was awarded to SLSCO Ltd. in the amount of $789 million.

These waivers are pursuant to authority granted to the Secretary of Homeland Security by Congress and cover 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.  Section 102(a) of IIRIRA provides that the Secretary of Home

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 26, 2019

DHS Issues Waiver to Expedite Replacing Existing Border Wall in Arizona
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a waiver, which will ensure expeditious construction of new bollard wall that will replace approximately 26 miles of existing primary pedestrian wall near the international border in the state of Arizona within U.S. Border Patrol's (USBP) Yuma Sector.

The waiver was published in the Federal Register on April 24, 2019, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), will begin construction as early as April 24, 2019.

The approximately 26 mile fence replacement project covered by this waiver is funded by CBP's Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) Appropriation. It is not a project undertaken pursuant to the National Emergency Declaration, 10 U.S.C § 284, 10 U.S.C. § 2808, nor does it draw from any other source of funding, including appropriations available to the Department of Defense (DoD). Approximately 4 of the 26 miles for this project were originally included in DHS's February 25, 2019, Request for Assistance to DoD, which requested DoD's assistance in constructing fences, roads, and lighting pursuant to DoD's authority under 10 U.S.C § 284(b)(7). However, DHS recently amended the Request for Assistance to remove those four miles from inclusion in DoD's border barrier projects under 10 U.S.C. § 284(b)(7). As such, these miles will be constructed as part of the project covered by this waiver and will be funded by CBP's FY18 Appropriation. 

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 th

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 24, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 21, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keywords: countering terrorism, countering violent extremism
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 19, 2019

Readout from Acting Secretary McAleenan's Trip to McAllen


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

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

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 19, 2019

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

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

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

Keywords: countering terrorism, countering violent extremism,

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 16, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 15, 2019

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

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

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Keywords: Customs and Border Protection, leadership
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 12, 2019

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

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 11, 2019

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

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

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Keywords: leadership
Topics: Homeland Security Careers

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 10, 2019

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

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

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

Kevin K. McAleenan
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 10, 2019

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

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

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

Keywords: Secretary Nielsen
Topics: Homeland Security Enterprise

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 10, 2019

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

Keywords: ICE
Topics: Homeland Security Enterprise

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 09, 2019

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

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

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

Warmest regards,

 

Kirstjen M. Nielsen
Secretary of Homeland Security

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 08, 2019

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

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

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

# # #

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 07, 2019

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

God bless you, and God bless our great country.

Best Regards,

 

Kirstjen M. Nielsen
Secretary of Homeland Security

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

# # #

Keywords: Secretary Nielsen
Topics: Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 07, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 04, 2019

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



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

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

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 03, 2019

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 02, 2019

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

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

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

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

Earli

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 01, 2019

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

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Apr 01, 2019

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

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 29, 2019

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

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 28, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 27, 2019

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

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 26, 2019

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 21, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

"It should

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 18, 2019

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

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


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

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 18, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 15, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 14, 2019

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

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

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

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

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Keywords: Border Protections
Topics: Border Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 08, 2019

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

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

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

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

Further det

Department of Homeland Security News
Mar 06, 2019

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

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

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



Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 27, 2019

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

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

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

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Keywords: counterterrorism
Topics: Cybersecurity,

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 22, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 22, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 21, 2019

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

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 15, 2019

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

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 15, 2019

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

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

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Keywords: staffing
Topics: Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 14, 2019

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

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

The report highlights various areas of terrorism prevention, including:

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 13, 2019

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

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

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

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Keywords: FEMA
Topics: Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 13, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

DHS a

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 08, 2019

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

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 07, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keywords: CBP, ICE,

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 05, 2019

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

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

# # #

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 05, 2019

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 05, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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Department of Homeland Security News
Feb 01, 2019

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

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

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

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

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Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 31, 2019

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

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

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

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

Keywords: State
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 31, 2019

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

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


(DHS Official Photo/Tim Godbee)
 

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

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

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Keywords: department of homeland security,

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 29, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Keywords: ICE
Topics: Border Security,

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 24, 2019

MIGRANT PROTECTION PROTOCOLS




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



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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 24, 2019

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



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

 

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



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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 09, 2019

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

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

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



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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 07, 2019

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



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

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 01, 2019

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

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

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

 

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 31, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 26, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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