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Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 28, 2022

DHS Takes Action to Combat Forced Labor and Hold Companies Accountable for Exploiting Workers
Issues Withhold Release Order and Two Forced Labor Findings on Companies Exploiting Workers 

WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a new Withhold Release Order and two new forced labor Findings. By barring goods produced with forced labor from entering the United States, the Department is playing a critical role in protecting human rights and enforcing international labor standards. This week, Secretary Mayorkas also announced that he has designated the DHS Chief Procurement Officer as the Department's Senior Accountable Official to prevent forced labor and other forms of human trafficking in all DHS contracts and acquisitions. 

"The dedicated CBP workforce has again taken significant action to combat forced labor and protect the human rights of workers around the world,"  "Today's Withhold Release Order and Forced Labor Findings are another important step toward ending these abhorrent practices. We will continue to leverage all of our authorities and resources to bar goods produced with forced labor from entering the United States, and with my designation earlier this week of a Senior Accountable Official to prevent human trafficking in DHS contracts, we are leading efforts to ensure that no taxpayer dollars are ever used to purchase goods or services that rely on forced labor." 

"CBP is entering the new year with a renewed commitment to investigating and enforcing the U.S. prohibition against importing goods made with forced labor,"  "We will again dedicate significant resources to rooting out the evil and inhumane practices of forced labor." 

Effective today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and import specialists at all U.S. ports of entry will detain disposable gloves produced in Malaysia by YTY Industry Holdings Sdn 

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 27, 2022

Statement from Secretary Mayorkas on International Holocaust Remembrance Day
WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement and video on International Holocaust Remembrance Day: 

"When you walked into the home where I grew up, our living room shelves were filled with books of Jewish history and, regrettably and all too often tragically, histories and stories of antisemitism and violence that accompanied it. 

"My mother had lived this history. As a girl, she and her parents fled from Romania to France, and on to Cuba, because they could not make it safely to Israel or the United States. Her father lost his parents, brothers, and other family members in the Holocaust. Through the years in the United States, my mother stayed in touch with her two cousins who survived the camps and had made it to Israel alone. 

"Our home was deeply rooted in my mother's experience of the Holocaust and the fragility of our safety, wherever we might live in the world. As you might expect, my mother's childhood profoundly shaped her approach to a young child away from home through the night. When our fellow elementary school students went to sleepaway camps and had sleepovers with friends, my siblings and I did not. My mother taught us the meaning and experience of independence in different ways. 

"She also taught us three foundational principles that defined for her the scourge of antisemitism and other ideologies of hate. First, their existence manifests in ways that we readily can see, but also lies more widely beneath the surface, often undetected in the day-to-day goings-on of life but sometimes appearing in the most subtle of ways. Second, their prevalence continues to present an existential threat, and one can never assume that a holocaust could not happen again and could not happen where we, her children, might live. And third, that an attack borne of hate against one minority is an attack against all of society. 

"I am proud to work in the Department of Homeland Sec

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 27, 2022

DHS Announces Availability of Additional H-2B Visas for First Half of Fiscal Year
WASHINGTON—The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) today announced the availability of 20,000 additional H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for the first half of fiscal year (FY) 2022.?These visas are for U.S. employers that are facing irreparable harm without additional workers and seeking to employ additional workers on or before March 31, 2022. 

"DHS is taking action to address the needs of our economy by making an additional 20,000 H-2B visas available to workers," said Secretary Mayorkas. "We are providing employers with the resources and support needed to sustain their businesses while expanding lawful pathways to the United States. At the same time, DHS and DOL are protecting against the exploitation of H-2B workers."  

This supplemental cap increase, which comes at a time of record job growth and reduced labor force participation, marks the first time that DHS is making additional H-2B visas available in the first half of the fiscal year.?DHS first announced the joint temporary final rule in December 2021. The additional H-2B visas will become available to employers on January 28, 2022. 

The supplemental H-2B visa allocation consists of 13,500 visas available to returning workers who received an H-2B visa, or were otherwise granted H-2B status, during one of the last three fiscal years.?The remaining 6,500 visas, which are exempt from the returning worker requirement, are reserved for nationals of Haiti, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. 

The H-2B program permits employers to temporarily hire noncitizens to perform nonagricultural labor or services in the United States.?The employment must be for a limited period of time, such as a one-time occurrence, seasonal, or intermittent need.?Employers seeking to hire H-2B workers must take a series of steps to test the U.S. labor market.?They must provide certification from the Department of Labor that proves there are not enough U.S. worker

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 26, 2022

Operation Allies Welcome Announces Departure of Last Afghan Nationals from Camp Atterbury, Indiana
WASHINGTON — Yesterday, the last group of Afghan nationals temporarily housed at Camp Atterbury, Indiana as part of Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) departed the base. Camp Atterbury, Indiana is the fifth of eight Department of Defense (DOD) installations supporting the resettlement of Afghan nationals, also known as "safe havens," to complete operations. To date, more than 66,000 Afghan evacuees have been resettled in communities across the country. These resettlement efforts are led by the Department of State in close coordination with more than 290 local resettlement affiliates.

"As operations at Camp Atterbury come to an end, we are grateful for the partnerships that state and local leaders, the Indiana National Guard, non-profit organizations, and Hoosiers across the state have forged with our team as we helped our Afghan allies through the resettlement process," . "Over the last five months, through a whole-of-society effort, Operation Allies Welcome has helped more than 66,000 Afghan evacuees begin their new lives in America."

DOD continues to provide temporary housing facilities for the remaining approximately 9,000 vulnerable Afghans who are in the process of completing their resettlement while at the following three military installations: Fort McCoy, Wisconsin; Fort Pickett, Virginia; and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. While on these installations, Afghan evacuees have access to a range of services, including medical care and resettlement services, and they can apply for work authorization.

"I am incredibly proud of the military men and women and the entire interagency team who enabled the resettlement of approximately 7,200 Afghan guests who temporarily resided at Task Force Atterbury," "Over the past five months, our service members at this and seven other militar

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 26, 2022

Operation Allies Welcome Announces Departure of Last Afghan Nationals from Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico
WASHINGTON — Yesterday, the last group of Afghan nationals temporarily housed at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico as part of Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) departed the base. Holloman AFB, New Mexico is the fourth of eight Department of Defense (DOD) installations supporting the resettlement of Afghan nationals, also known as "safe havens," to complete operations. To date, more than 66,000 Afghan evacuees have been resettled in communities across the country. These resettlement efforts are led by the Department of State in close coordination with more than 290 local resettlement affiliates.

"With the completion of operations at Holloman AFB, we have now helped more than 66,000 Afghan evacuees begin their new lives in the United States," . "I am grateful for all the federal staff, servicemembers, volunteers, and local partners who have participated in this historic effort and for the countless Americans who are welcoming our Afghan allies into their communities."

DOD continues to provide temporary housing facilities for the remaining approximately 9,000 vulnerable Afghans who are in the process of completing their resettlement while at the following four military installations: Camp Atterbury, Indiana; Fort McCoy, Wisconsin; Fort Pickett, Virginia; and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. While on these installations, Afghan evacuees have access to a range of services, including medical care and resettlement services, and they can apply for work authorization.

"I applaud the military men and women and the entire interagency team who enabled the resettlement of the more than 7,100 Afghan guests who were temporarily housed and cared for at Task Force Holloman," "Since the beginning of Operation Allies Welcome, service members at this and seven other military installations provided

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 25, 2022

Statement from Secretary Mayorkas on National Human Trafficking Prevention Month
WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement on National Human Trafficking Prevention Month:  

"Human trafficking is an abhorrent crime that impacts an estimated 25 million people, here in the United States and abroad. Victims too often suffer in silence and perpetrators are too seldom brought to justice. National Human Trafficking Prevention Month is a time to reaffirm the Department's commitment to seeing those victims, hearing their stories, and preventing the horrific acts of human trafficking before they occur. We will bring the full weight of the Department of Homeland Security - our resources and our dedicated personnel - to identify and protect victims and to investigate and arrest perpetrators.  

"Across DHS, our tremendous professionals lead this work each day. 

The DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking leverages the resources of 16 DHS Agencies and Offices to combat both sex trafficking and forced labor.   U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations Special Agents investigate these crimes and help prosecute the perpetrators.   The HSI Victim Assistance Program supports victims with critical emergency assistance and connects victims with non-governmental organizations that provide short- and long-term direct services.   U.S. Customs and Border Protection investigates allegations of forced labor in U.S. supply chains and bars goods made with forced labor from entering the country.   The Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers educates law enforcement about the indicators of trafficking and best practices for supporting victims and bringing perpetrators to justice.   We raise awareness about these heinous crimes through our signature public awareness and education campaign, the DHS Blue Campaign, and our partnerships with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, businesses, airlines

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 24, 2022

Readout of Secretaries Mayorkas and Cardona's Meeting with HBCU Presidents on International Day of Education
WASHINGTON - Today, on International Day of Education, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona hosted a discussion with presidents of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) from across the nation to share information on grant programs, training resources, research opportunities, and other tools available to HBCUs to strengthen campus safety and security. The meeting was part of the Biden-Harris Administration's ongoing commitment to ensure HBCUs have equitable access to the resources and support they need to effectively execute their critical missions.

"The Department of Homeland Security is eager to deepen our partnerships with HBCUs to protect students and faculty from an evolving range of threats, and to cultivate the next generation of remarkable talent, including by increasing access to careers in the federal government," . "I appreciated the opportunity to speak directly with more than 40 HBCU presidents who lead these tremendous institutions. Together, we will embrace the opportunities and address the challenges of our time."

"To do their best learning, students must be able to focus on their education without fear or distraction. Acts of intimidation against HBCUs can't and won't be tolerated," . "I am pleased Secretary Mayorkas and his team at the Department of Homeland Security are focused on partnerships with HBCU leaders to equip them with the tools to protect their campuses, students, and communities."

During today's meeting, the Department of Homeland Security also provided a briefing on the evolving threat landscape, including potential impacts on colleges and universities. The Department of Homeland Security does not have information indicating any specific, credible threats to campus safety. Leaders from DHS's Office of Strategy, Policy and Plans, the Office of Intelligence & Analysis, and the Offic

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 24, 2022

DHS Helps Law Enforcement Spot and Respond to Human Trafficking
Hosts Awareness Training for State and Local Law Enforcement Officers in Gainesville, Florida 

WASHINGTON - On Thursday, January 20, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) hosted state and local law enforcement officers from the Gainesville, FL area for a Human Trafficking Awareness Training (HTAT). The HTAT program provides law enforcement officers with an in-depth understanding of the crime of human trafficking. The training consists of case studies, videos, and student-centered activities to enhance the learning experience and helps stress the importance of taking a victim-centered approach. 

"FLETC's work with local law enforcement across the country is essential to ensuring that law enforcement can identify and support victims and work to prevent the horrific crime of human trafficking,"  "These trainings are just one part of our whole-of-DHS approach to combating human trafficking. DHS Agencies and Offices work to shine a light on these terrible crimes, investigate and help prosecute traffickers, and provide support and necessary services to victims." 

More than 30 local law enforcement officers participated in the training, which was hosted by the Santa Fe College in Gainesville, FL, and featured Florida-based counter-trafficking experts and resources.  

"When FLETC developed this class, we prioritized incorporating a diverse panel of experts, including federal, state, or local prosecutors, survivors, and other experts,"  "The goal is for everyone attending to hear from both local experts and federal investigators, including from ICE Homeland Security Investigations, about their experience and expertise in combating human trafficking." 

FLETC began developing training on the signs and indicators of human trafficking in late 2009. In 2015, FLETC 

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 24, 2022

DHS Advances Biden-Harris Efforts to Stop Flow of Goods Produced by Forced Labor
Requests Public Input to Implement Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act and Block Importation of Goods Produced by Forced Labor in the People's Republic of China  

WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced, as part of its implementation of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA), that it will seek public input to inform the Department's continued efforts to prohibit goods from being imported into the United States that are produced with forced labor in the People's Republic of China, including in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.  

"As part of our efforts to advance the Biden-Harris Administration's priority to eradicate forced labor from U.S. supply chains, we are taking an important first step today to implement the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act,"   "Every day, the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection ensures that goods made with forced labor are not able to enter the U.S. supply chain, and I am proud to work alongside the world's leading forced labor investigators in their mission to protect human rights and international labor standards. I look forward to hearing from our stakeholders as we continue to work closely to protect our vital trade ecosystem and end these horrific practices around the world."    

The UFLPA prohibits goods from being imported into the United States that are either produced in China's Xinjiang province or by certain entities identified in the forthcoming UFLPA enforcement strategy, unless the importer can prove by clear and convincing evidence that the goods were not produced with forced labor. After receiving comments, the Forced Labor Enforcement Task Force will conduct a public hearing and develop a strategy for supporting enforcement of section 307 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended. DHS and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will issue guidance for importers.    

DHS is focuse

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 21, 2022

DHS Expands Opportunities in U.S. for STEM Professionals
Department adds Twenty-Two New Fields of Study and Takes Additional Steps to Attract Critical STEM Talent 

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced 22 new fields of study have been added to the STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) program to enhance the contributions of nonimmigrant students studying in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and support the growth of the U.S. economy and innovation.

"STEM innovation allows us to solve the complex challenges we face today and make a difference in how we secure and protect our country,"   "Through STEM education and training opportunities, DHS is expanding the number and diversity of students who excel in STEM education and contribute to the U.S. economy."

The STEM OPT program permits F-1 students earning bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees in certain STEM fields to remain in the United States for up to 36 months to work in their field of study.  Adding 22 fields of study will ensure the U.S. economy benefits from students earning degrees in the United States in competitive STEM fields.  Information on the new fields of study will be communicated to schools and students through a Federal Register notice. 

DHS is also updating and issuing new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) policy manual guidance.  USCIS is updating guidance to clarify how certain STEM graduates and entrepreneurs can use the national interest waiver for employment-based immigrant visa classification as an advanced degree professional noncitizen or noncitizen of exceptional ability.

Certain noncitizens with an advanced degree or excep

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 21, 2022

U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Education Release Toolkit of Federal Resources to Help Rebuild Puerto Rico's School Infrastructure
*/ En español

Today, the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the U.S. Department of Education released a toolkit outlining federal resources available to help Puerto Rico recover and rebuild safe, healthy, and modernized school facilities.  The Departments of Energy and Labor, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, also collaborated on the toolkit.

The toolkit focuses on four key aspects to supplement ongoing recovery efforts in the education sector: planning and design, workforce readiness, contracting and procurement, and project review.  In addition, the document includes a directory with technical assistance opportunities and information on other funding sources from federal partners. 

"As Puerto Rico continues to rebuild, recover, and reimagine a future of security and prosperity for all of its families, DHS will be there every step of the way,"   "I encourage officials to use the resources available to them through the federal government to build safe and resilient schools for teachers and students."

"All children deserve to have the opportunity to learn and thrive in safe and functioning educational facilities,"

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 20, 2022

DHS to Require?Non-U.S. Individual Travelers?Entering?the United States?at?Land?Ports of?Entry?and Ferry Terminals?to?be Fully Vaccinated?Against COVID-19
New Requirements at Land Ports of Entry and Ferry Terminals Will Protect Public Health While Facilitating Cross-Border Trade and Travel

WASHINGTON?-?Beginning on January 22, 2022,?DHS will require?non-U.S. individuals?seeking to enter the United States via land ports of entry?and?ferry terminals?at?the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada?borders?to?be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination,?as COVID-19 cases continue to rise nationwide.?These new restrictions?will?apply to non-U.S.?individuals?who are traveling for both essential?and?non-essential reasons.?They?will not apply to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, or U.S. nationals.

"Starting?on?January 22, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security will?require?that?non-U.S.?individuals?entering the United States via?land ports of entry or ferry terminals along?our Northern and?Southern?borders?be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and be prepared to show related proof of?vaccination,"??"These updated?travel?requirements?reflect the Biden-Harris?Administration's commitment to?protecting public health while safely facilitating?the?cross-border trade and travel?that is?critical to?our economy."

These changes?-?which were first announced in October 2021?and made in consultation with?the White House and?several federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) -?will align public health measures?that?govern?land travel with?those that govern incoming international air travel.

Non-U.S. individuals traveling to the United States via land

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 14, 2022

Message from Secretary Mayorkas on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Colleagues,

On Monday, people across the United States will pause to honor the life of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This is a moment for all of us to reflect on Dr. King's vision and consider how his message of nonviolence and his pursuit of justice can remain a part of our Department's daily work to keep our communities safe and secure.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is also a National Day of Service. For our extraordinary DHS workforce - for all of you - service is a part of who we are. We demonstrate it by doing our jobs and always answering the call.

In the spirit of this day, I will join our partners at On Ramps to Careers and Urban Alliance to engage with youth from across the country, including those here in Washington, D.C. Some of these remarkable young people are serving, or have served, as interns at DHS. Through their willingness to step up and strengthen our communities and our country, they embody the spirit of Dr. King.

As we mark MLK Day, I hope you will take the time to find a volunteer opportunity or service project in your area. Please visit MLK Day | AmeriCorps to learn more. Many of you, of course, will be marking the day by serving in your DHS role; we in DHS safeguard our homeland every single day.

As Dr. King stated, "The time is always right to do what is right." Thank you for everything you do to honor Dr. King and strengthen our nation.

 

Alejandro N. Mayorkas
Secretary of Homeland Security

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

Keywords: Employee Resource, Secretary Alejandro Mayork

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 12, 2022

Department of Homeland Security Announces Climate Change Professionals Program
WASHINGTON - Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the creation of a new Climate Change Professionals Program to recruit recent graduates and current federal employees to support the Department's growing focus on adapting to climate change and improving resilience.  The program is one of many new activities under the umbrella of the DHS Climate Change Action Group, established in 2021 by Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. 

"The Climate Change Professionals Program will be instrumental in helping the Department adapt to our changing climate by providing hands-on experience and guidance to young professionals interested in climate adaptation and resilience," said .  "This program will develop the next generation of climate experts, improve climate literacy throughout the Department, and help us execute our Climate Action Plan to remain mission-resilient while reducing our own impacts on the environment." 

This two-year program will be run by the DHS Office of the Chief Readiness Support Officer and provide participants with hands-on opportunities to contribute to new initiatives that have the potential to substantially help DHS adapt to climate change and improve resilience.  Upon successful completion of the program, participants will receive a Climate Change Professional accreditation from the Association of Climate Change Officers and be eligible for permanent, full-time positions at DHS. 

Participants in the program will work under the leadership of the Climate Change Action Group.  The CCAG is comprised of senior officials from across the Department and focuses on promoting resilience and addressing multiple climate change-related risks, including flooding, extreme heat, drought, and wildfires. 

The Climate Change Professionals Program is part of the Secretary's Honors Program, which was 

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 07, 2022

United States Coast Guard Transitions to State-of-the-Art Financial Management System
New integrated financial, procurement, and asset management system improves DHS resource management

— The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Management Directorate announced that the United States Coast Guard (USCG) has recently transitioned to an updated integrated financial, procurement, and asset management system, called the Financial System Modernization Solution (FSMS). The new system includes automated and integrated controls, a common appropriations structure and accounting line, standard business practices, up-to-date security, and functionality that will assist the USCG in overseeing their annual budget of more than $12 billion more efficiently and effectively.

"Modernizing our financial support systems is vital to the Department of Homeland Security and is one of our top priorities," said Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Chief Financial Officer Stacy Marcott. "The new system will vastly improve the U.S. Coast Guard's business systems, help employees be more productive, and allow them to achieve more reliable results when paying bills, procuring goods and services, reporting and managing budgets, and much more."

The DHS Financial Systems Modernization initiative works by updating legacy financial systems to provide greater security, data integrity, efficiency, and flexibility. These improvements will lead to more accurate reporting, therefore improving transparency and accountability.

"This is truly the beginning of a new era for the United States Coast Guard's Financial Management and Procurement Services," says Rear Admiral Mark Fedor, Assistant Commandant for Resources & Chief Financial Officer, U.S. Coast Guard. "I'm honored to help lead the Coast Guard through this financial transformation and confident the Service will be more efficient, adaptable to our dynamic operational environment, and better stewards of the taxpayers' dollars. Hundreds of people have invested thousands

Department of Homeland Security News
Jan 06, 2022

DHS Statement on the Importance of Seeking Safety and Support Regardless of Immigration Status Following Recent Wildfires in Colorado
WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working with its federal, state, local, and non-governmental partners to support the needs of the areas affected by the devastating wildfires in Colorado.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) remind the public that sites that provide emergency response and relief are considered protected areas for purposes of ICE and CBP enforcement actions. To the fullest extent possible, ICE and CBP do not conduct enforcement activities at protected areas such as along evacuation routes, sites used for sheltering or the distribution of emergency supplies, food or water, or registration sites for disaster-related assistance or the reunification of families and loved ones.

At the request of FEMA or local and state authorities, ICE and CBP may help conduct search and rescue, air traffic de-confliction, and other public safety missions. ICE and CBP provide emergency assistance to individuals regardless of their immigration status and are not also conducting immigration enforcement in these roles. DHS officials do not and will not pose as individuals providing emergency-related information as part of any immigration enforcement activities.

DHS encourages all eligible individuals to apply for and seek out assistance. Please go to www.disasterassistance.gov/get-assistance/forms for instructions on how to apply for FEMA disaster assistance. DHS is aware that some disaster survivors may fear applying for FEMA assistance due to their immigration status. FEMA does not collect information regarding the immigration status of an applicant or any member of an applicant's household and does not proactively provide personal information to ICE or CBP for immigration enforcement. However, in rar

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 31, 2021

Operation Allies Welcome Announces Departure of Last Afghan Nationals from Fort Bliss, Texas
WASHINGTON — Yesterday, the last group of Afghan nationals temporarily housed at Fort Bliss, Texas as part of Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) departed the base. Fort Bliss is the third of eight Department of Defense (DOD) installations supporting the resettlement of Afghan nationals that are also known as "safe havens" to complete operations. To date, more than 52,000 Afghan evacuees have been resettled in communities across the country. These resettlement efforts are led by the Department of State in close coordination with more than 290 local resettlement affiliates.

"The end of operations at Fort Bliss marks another important step in our mission to safely and successfully resettle our Afghan allies. We are thankful for the partnership the local communities have forged with our teams and their support for this historic effort," . "We have made incredible progress over the last four months thanks to the dedication of our workforce and the backing Operation Allies Welcome has received from veterans, faith groups, non-governmental organizations, and Americans across the country. This is truly a whole-of-society effort to support the people who supported our Nation over the last twenty years."

DOD continues to provide temporary housing facilities for the remaining approximately 22,500 vulnerable Afghans who are in the process of completing their resettlement while at the following five military installations: Camp Atterbury, Indiana; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico; Fort Pickett, Virginia; and Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. While on these installations, Afghan evacuees have access to a range of services, including medical care and resettlement services, and they can apply for work authorization.

"I am incredibly proud of the military men and women of Task Force Bliss and the entire interagency team who enabled the resett

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 23, 2021

Operation Allies Welcome Announces Departure of Last Afghan Nationals from Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia
WASHINGTON — Yesterday, the last group of Afghan nationals temporarily housed at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia as part of Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) departed the base. Marine Corps Base Quantico is the second of eight Department of Defense (DOD) installations supporting the resettlement of Afghan nationals that are also known as "safe havens" to complete operations. To date, more than 49,000 Afghan evacuees have been resettled in communities across our country. These resettlement efforts are led by the Department of State in close coordination with more than 290 local resettlement affiliates.

"As another one of our safe haven locations completes operations, we remain steadfast in our commitment to safely welcome our Afghan allies to the United States," . "With operations now completed at Marine Corps Base Quantico, I would like to thank all the federal staff, servicemembers, and volunteers who made it possible for more than 49,000 Afghan evacuees to begin to rebuild their lives in America. We are grateful for the support the local community has shown our Afghan allies and the staff working with them throughout this historic effort." 

DOD continues to provide temporary housing facilities for the remaining approximately 25,000 vulnerable Afghans who are in the process of completing their resettlement while at the following six safe havens: Camp Atterbury, Indiana; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Pickett, Virginia; and Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. While on these military installations, Afghan evacuees have access to a range of services, including medical care and resettlement services, and they can apply for work authorization.

"Over the past four months, the men and women in uniform at Task Force Quantico have provided unflagging support to Operation Allies Welcome, working with myr

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 21, 2021

ICE Announces Use of Body Worn Cameras in New Pilot Program
WASHINGTON - Today, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a pilot program in select cities where ICE law enforcement officers will begin to wear body worn cameras for pre-planned operations.

"With its body worn camera pilot, ICE is making an important statement that transparency and accountability are essential components of our ability to fulfill our law enforcement mission and keep communities safe,"   "The Department will continue to seek ways to ensure the safety and security of our workforce, our state and local partners, and the public, while at the same time building confidence with the communities we serve."

The deployment of body worn cameras will occur in phases throughout the United States, beginning with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents and to be followed by Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers at a later date.  The HSI pilot locations are Houston, TX; New York City, N.Y.; and Newark, N.J.  The HSI phase of the pilot will be conducted with members of the special response teams (SRT) that operate as a federal special weapons and tactics (SWAT) element for the office's area of responsibility.

"The body worn camera pilot is an effort to increase transparency between ICE and the communities we serve, enhance officer safety, and deliver on our commitment to accountability,"   "Safety of both ICE personnel and the public are the primary consideration when implementing these new technologies and tools."

ICE personnel participating in the pilot program received training on the proper use of the devices, adherence to the ICE Directive outlining the pilot program, legal considerations, and privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties safeguards, as well as training on data uploading, storage, retention, and tagging.  The body worn camera will be mounted on an officer's or agent's outerwear (e.g., vest, shirt, o

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 21, 2021

DHS Statement on the Importance of Seeking Safety and Support Regardless of Immigration Status Following Recent Severe Weather in the South and Midwest
WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working with its federal, state, local, and non-governmental partners to support the needs of the areas affected by the devastating severe weather and tornadoes in Kentucky and throughout the South and Midwest. DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell traveled to Kentucky on Sunday, December 12, 2021, and Wednesday, December 15, 2021, to meet with local and commonwealth officials and survey the damaged areas. 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) remind the public that sites that provide emergency response and relief are considered protected areas for purposes of ICE and CBP enforcement actions. To the fullest extent possible, ICE and CBP do not conduct enforcement activities at protected areas such as along evacuation routes, sites used for sheltering or the distribution of emergency supplies, food or water, or registration sites for disaster-related assistance or the reunification of families and loved ones. 

At the request of FEMA or local and state authorities, ICE and CBP may help conduct search and rescue, air traffic de-confliction, and other public safety missions. ICE and CBP provide emergency assistance to individuals regardless of their immigration status and are not also conducting immigration enforcement in these roles. DHS officials do not and will not pose as individuals providing emergency-related information as part of any immigration enforcement activities. 

DHS encourages all eligible individuals to apply for and seek out assistance. Please go to https://www.disasterassistance.gov/get-assistance/forms for instructions on how to apply for FEMA disaster assistance.  

D

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 20, 2021

DHS to Address Life, Safety, Environmental, and Remediation Requirements for Border Barrier Projects Previously Undertaken by DoD
WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas authorized U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to move forward with activities necessary to address life, safety, environmental, and remediation requirements for border barrier projects previously undertaken by the Department of Defense (DoD) and located within the Border Patrol's San Diego, El Centro, Yuma, Tucson, El Paso, and Del Rio Sectors.  The activities will be undertaken in accordance with the Department's plan for the use of border barrier funds.  

In furtherance of Presidential Proclamation 10142, the Deputy Secretary of Defense directed the cancellation of all DoD 284 Projects.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), on behalf of DoD, is in the process of terminating the construction contracts for these projects.  As part of that process, DoD will turn over unfinished projects to DHS in various stages of completion to undertake activities necessary to address urgent life, safety, environmental, or other remediation required to protect border communities. 

Activities include but are not limited to: 

Completing and/or installing drainage to prevent flooding.  Installing and completing permanent erosion control and slope stabilization measures to ensure the safety and stability of structures in the region.  Completing prior construction of patrol, maintenance, and access roads by adding guardrails, signage, and integrating existing roadways to address safety concerns. Remediating temporary use areas such as laydown yards, haul roads, and project areas impacted by construction. Disposing of residual materials not required for completion of the work as identified above.   Closing small gaps that remain open from prior construction activities and remediating incomplete gates. The type

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 20, 2021

For First Time, DHS to Supplement H-2B Cap with Additional Visas in First Half of Fiscal Year
—The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) today announced the forthcoming publication of a joint temporary final rule to make available an additional 20,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for fiscal year (FY) 2022.  These visas will be set aside for U.S. employers seeking to employ additional workers on or before March 31, 2022.

This supplemental cap marks the first time that DHS is making additional H-2B visas available in the first half of the fiscal year.  Earlier this year, USCIS received enough petitions for returning workers to reach the additional 22,000 H-2B visas made available under the FY 2021 H-2B supplemental visa temporary final rule. 

The supplemental H-2B visa allocation consists of 13,500 visas available to returning workers who received an H-2B visa, or were otherwise granted H-2B status, during one of the last three fiscal years.  The remaining 6,500 visas, which are exempt from the returning worker requirement, are reserved for nationals of Haiti and the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

"At a time of record job growth, additional H-2B visas will help to fuel our Nation's historic economic recovery,"   "DHS is taking action to protect American businesses and create opportunities that will expand lawful pathways to the United States for workers from the Northern Triangle countries and Haiti.  In the coming months, DHS will seek to implement policies that will make the H-2B program even more responsive to the needs of our economy, while protecting the rights of both U.S. and noncitizen workers."

DHS intends to issue a separate notice of proposed rulemaking that will modernize and reform the H-2B program.  The proposed rule will incorporate program efficiencies and protect against the exploitation of H-2B workers.

The H-2B program permits employers to temporarily hire noncitizens to perfo

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 16, 2021

Joint U.S.-EU statement following the U.S.-EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting
On 16 December 2021, the U.S.-EU Ministerial Meeting on Justice and Home Affairs took place in Washington D.C. The United States was represented by Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. The European Union was represented by Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders, Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson, Slovenian Ministers for Justice Marjan Dikaucic and for Home Affairs Aleš Hojs, on behalf of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator Ilkka Salmi, Executive Director of Europol Catherine de Bolle, and President of Eurojust Ladislav Hamran.
 Following the commitments to renew the transatlantic partnership made at the U.S.-EU Ministerial in Lisbon in June 2021, the United States and the European Union reiterated the importance of seeking common solutions to shared challenges and continuing to uphold democracy and respect for the rule of law.
 The United States and the European Union stated their determination to preserve the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime as the primary instrument for international cooperation on cybercrime and expressed support for its recently adopted Second Additional Protocol to enhance cooperation on cybercrime and e-evidence. They further committed to consult each other and cooperate closely in the negotiations on a future United Nations international legal instrument on cybercrime.
 The United States and the European Union also reiterated their determination to increase their cooperation in building resilience against as well as preventing, investigating, and prosecuting all forms of cybercrime, including, in particular, child sexual abuse and ransomware. They expressed support for the outcome of the Ministerial Conference organised on 12 November 2021 by the Slovenian Presidency on the prevention and investigation of child sexual abuse, and also agreed to intensify cooperation with i

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 15, 2021

DHS Announces Commitment to Enhance Protections for Stateless Individuals in the United States
WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security announced its commitment to adopt a definition of statelessness for immigration purposes and enhance protections for stateless individuals living in the United States.  Through the adoption of a standardized definition of statelessness, the Department will ensure it can recognize unique barriers encountered by stateless persons and better identify and protect such individuals.

"Statelessness presents significant humanitarian concerns that require a careful and thoughtful response specifically tailored to the distinct and diverse needs of stateless persons,"   "DHS is committed to pursuing initiatives to enhance recognition of, and protections for, vulnerable populations, including stateless individuals within the United States."

DHS recognizes that a significant number of stateless individuals reside in the United States and that such individuals face an assortment of serious challenges and obstacles, such as a lack of identity documents.  The actions announced today will reduce barriers to accessing legal immigration status and associated benefits.

As an initial step, DHS will adopt a definition of statelessness for immigration purposes and build a process for making statelessness determinations.  In coordination with the Department of State, DHS will work to identify and catalogue barriers to legally available immigration relief and benefits faced by stateless persons.  DHS will explore possible avenues to reduce or eliminate such barriers.  DHS also commits to establishing a process to increase the data available on stateless persons in the United States and will examine the means through which DHS could facilitate work and travel for stateless persons. 

DHS will engage on a continuing basis with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), interagency partners, and the public to communicate its commitments, to receive feedback on proposed init

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 14, 2021

DHS Announces "Hack DHS" Bug Bounty Program to Identify Potential Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities
- Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the launch of "Hack DHS," a bug bounty program to identify potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities within certain DHS systems and increase the Department's cybersecurity resilience.  Through Hack DHS, vetted cybersecurity researchers who have been invited to access select external DHS systems ("hackers") will identify vulnerabilities ("bugs") that could be exploited by bad actors so they can be patched.  These hackers will be rewarded with payments ("bounties") for the bugs they identify. 

"As the federal government's cybersecurity quarterback, DHS must lead by example and constantly seek to strengthen the security of our own systems," said.  "The Hack DHS program incentivizes highly skilled hackers to identify cybersecurity weaknesses in our systems before they can be exploited by bad actors.  This program is one example of how the Department is partnering with the community to help protect our Nation's cybersecurity." 

Hack DHS will occur in three phases throughout Fiscal Year 2022, with the goal of developing a model that can be used by other organizations across every level of government to increase their own cybersecurity resilience.  During phase one, hackers will conduct virtual assessments on certain DHS external systems.  During the second phase, hackers will participate in a live, in-person hacking event.  During the third and final phase, DHS will identify and review lessons learned, and plan for future bug bounties.

Hack DHS, which will leverage a platform created by the Department's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), will be governed by several rules of engagement and monitored by the DHS Office of the Chief Information Officer.  Hackers will disclose their findings to DHS system owners and leadership, including what the vulnerability is, how they exploited it, and how it might allow other actor

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 13, 2021

Statement from Secretary Mayorkas on President Biden's Customer Experience Executive Order
WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement on President Biden's Executive Order, Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government:

"Today's Executive Order is a historic step forward in ensuring that all Americans who interact with the federal government can more easily access its programs and services.  The Department of Homeland Security is committed to ensuring the public can seamlessly interact with its agencies and offices and is taking key steps to reduce administrative burdens and improve efficiency, equity, and accessibility throughout the customer experience."

The President's Executive Order, explicitly designed to reduce the "time tax" imposed on people who interact with federal agencies, builds on a long list of initiatives launched by DHS this year to eliminate unnecessary administrative barriers and burdens related to disaster assistance, immigration, trade and travel facilitation, and much more.

Under today's Executive Order, the Department's Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will:

develop a streamlined, online disaster assistance application;work with states to proactively update existing rules and policies on supporting documentation needed for disaster assistance to reduce burdens to applicants and increase accessibility;test the use of innovative technologies at airport security checkpoints to reduce passenger wait times; and,provide new opportunities for the public to more efficiently connect with TSA, including through online chat options, improved communication during additional screenings, and other mechanisms to receive customer feedback to inform future improvements to the customer experience.DHS interacts more frequently on a daily basis with the American public than any other federal agency, from trav

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 13, 2021

Secretary Mayorkas Swears in Chris Magnus as CBP Commissioner
WASHINGTON - Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas today delivered the Oath of Office to Chris Magnus, the fifth Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). 

"Chris Magnus has decades of experience as a law enforcement officer and I am pleased he will now serve as the Commissioner of CBP,"   "He is assuming the leadership of an extraordinary organization that fulfills the vital mission of protecting our borders and advancing lawful trade and travel.  I am immensely grateful to Troy Miller, who has served as the Acting Commissioner with tremendous skill and integrity.  Mr. Miller will serve as CBP's Deputy Commissioner.  Commissioner Magnus and Deputy Commissioner Miller, along with the entire CBP leadership team and its great workforce, will propel the agency forward with dignity, integrity, transparency, and accountability." 

 In addition to Secretary Mayorkas, Commissioner Magnus was joined by his husband, Terrance Cheung, Deputy Commissioner Troy Miller, Executive Assistant Commissioner Benjamine Huffman, CBP Chief of Staff Lise Clavel, and members of the DHS and CBP workforce.

Prior to joining CBP, Commissioner Magnus served as the Police Chief of Tucson, Arizona.  Commissioner Magnus has also served as police chief in Fargo, ND and Richmond, CA.  Commissioner Magnus grew up in Lansing, MI.  He earned his bachelor's degree in criminal justice and his master's degree in labor relations from Michigan State University. 

Magnus was confirmed on December 7, 2021.





Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 10, 2021

Secretary Mayorkas Congratulates Department Recipients of 2021 Presidential Rank Award
WASHINGTON - Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas today congratulated the 27 members of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) workforce who received the 2021 Presidential Rank Award (PRA).  

"Congratulations to the DHS recipients of the prestigious 2021 Presidential Rank Award, the Nation's highest civil service recognition, for their exceptional displays of leadership and service,"  "Every single recipient of this award has made a lasting impact on our Department and the Federal government through their talent, integrity, and dedication to our critical mission.   In recognizing these incredible public servants for their transformative work, we also celebrate the colleagues who support them. The accomplishments of one are made possible by the contributions of all." 

DHS employees selected by President Biden to receive the prestigious awards include:  

Distinguished Senior Executive Service (SES) Rank Awards  

The Distinguished Rank Award is presented to leaders who achieve sustained extraordinary accomplishments and is given to only one percent of career SES members. 

Angela S. Bailey, Management Directorate Stacey Fitzmaurice, Transportation Security Administration David M. Kohl, Transportation Security Administration Joseph Maher, Office of the General Counsel Gary C. Rasicot, U.S. Coast Guard  Keith Turi, Federal Emergency Management Agency Meritorious Senior Executive Service (SES) Rank Awards 
The Meritorious Rank Award is presented to leaders for sustained accomplishments and is awarded to only 5 percent of career SES members and SL/ST employees.  

Jerry W. Agnew, Transportation Security Administration Alexis Amparo, Federal Emergency Management Agency David F. Bassett, Transportation Security Administration Robert P. Burns, Science and Technology Directorate    K

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 09, 2021

DHS to Request Public Input on How the U.S. Government Can Prevent Family Separations at the U.S. Border
WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced its request that the public provide recommendations on how to permanently protect against the prior administration's practice of intentionally separating families at the border to deter others from migrating to the United States.

"It is unconscionable to separate children from their parents as a means to deter migration," said Secretary Mayorkas.  "I have met with separated families and heard firsthand of the immense trauma they have suffered.  We have an obligation to reunite separated families and ensure this cruel practice never happens again."

The Request for Public Input will publish in the Federal Register on Friday, December 10.  Comments will be accepted for 30 days until January 10, 2022.  Individuals may submit comments by following the instructions in the Federal Register notice.  Public feedback will be used to help develop recommendations to President Biden on how to prevent the Federal Government from implementing in the future the cruel and inhumane practice of intentionally separating families at the border as a tool of deterrence.

President Biden issued an Executive Order in February 2021 establishing the Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families.  The Task Force, in coordination with non-governmental organizations and interagency partners, has established a process to identify families separated under the prior administration's Zero-Tolerance policy—pursuant to which families were intentionally separated—and reunify them in the United States.  Families reunified in the United States, or those seeking to enter the United States for the purposes of reunification, are eligible for humanitarian parole and to receive support services.

The Task Force is

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 07, 2021

Homeland Secretary and Top Cybersecurity Officials Meet with Silicon Valley Leaders to Stress Cybersecurity Priorities
SAN FRANCISCO - Secretary of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas, National Cyber Director Chris Inglis, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Jen Easterly, and DHS Under Secretary for Policy Rob Silvers met yesterday with industry leaders in technology, business, and cybersecurity to discuss how the federal government and the private sector can better and more proactively partner to tackle the most pressing cybersecurity challenges.

"Cybersecurity threats impact individuals, communities, and organizations of all sizes.  Increasing nationwide cybersecurity resilience is a top priority for DHS and the Biden-Harris Administration," said Secretary Mayorkas.? "We are taking proactive steps to elevate our operational cooperation with the private sector to new heights, prioritizing our shared goal of defending a secure digital future."

"Cybersecurity is a team sport and we each have a vital role to play," said National Cyber Director Chris Inglis.? "Collaborating with the private sector is instrumental in the Administration's holistic approach to tackling some of the Nation's challenging cybersecurity issues.? That is why I welcomed the opportunity to meet with government and industry leaders in Silicon Valley to build those relationships and identify areas and opportunities for collaboration.  I look forward to continued participation in this important effort."

Yesterday's meeting included substantive discussions aimed at improving cybersecurity-related public-private partnerships, including by strengthening operational collaboration and defining metrics of success.  The discussion, which was rooted in a comprehensive analysis of the evolving threat environment, focused on what government and industry can do together to build global cybersecurity resilience.

"CISA's Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC) is uniquely positioned to be the front door to government for cybersecurity defense.  The JCDC bring

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 07, 2021

DHS Announces Deadline Extension for National Climate Resilience Prize Competition
WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the deadline for submissions for the DHS Cooling Solutions Challenge has been extended to February 24, 2022.

DHS first announced the prize competition in September 2021.  The competition is the first of a new series of prize competitions focused on strengthening nationwide resilience to climate change.  American innovators are encouraged to develop groundbreaking solutions for climate change-related hazards facing communities across our country.  Winners will receive cash prizes from a total pool of $195,000 for their innovative solutions.

The cooling challenge is being led by DHS's Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  The challenge incentivizes American innovators to find new ways to protect people at risk of heat-related illness or death during extreme heat events or in connection with other disasters.  Extreme heat is the Nation's leading cause of weather-related deaths, and as extreme heat disproportionately harms underserved communities, developing new and better ways to protect people on the hottest days will advance equity in disaster preparedness and response efforts.

DHS administers prize competitions using authority provided under the America COMPETES Act.  Challenges are open to individuals who are over the age of 18 and are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents at the time of submission, as well as to U.S. entities that are incorporated in and whose primary place of business is in the United States.  Federal entities or federal employees acting within the scope of their federal employment are not eligible to participate.  Eligibility is subject to verification by DHS.  This verification occurs before cash prizes are awarded.

Visit Challenge.gov for i

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 03, 2021

DHS Highlights Efforts to Address Human Trafficking
Combating human trafficking is a top priority for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Biden-Harris Administration. Today, the White House released an updated National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking, which focuses on four key U.S. and global anti-trafficking efforts: prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships. DHS, a leader in the fight against human trafficking, helped develop the White House whole-of-government National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking.

DHS is supporting and implementing the National Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking byBuilding DHS capacity and bolstering partnerships with industry to prohibit forced labor in supply chains.Developing improvements to prevent human trafficking of foreign workers and students.Strengthening efforts by DHS personnel to identify and respond to human trafficking they may encounter in daily work. For example, Transportation Security Officers and U.S. Custom and Border Patrol agents are trained to identify indicators of human trafficking- while interacting with the traveling public at airports and ports of entry.Improving access to immigration assistance programs for victims of human trafficking.Increasing coordination with law enforcement agencies and the social media and technology industry to hold traffickers accountable and dismantle human trafficking networks.Enhancing initiatives that combat forced labor and traffickers' illicit use of financial systems.DHS has a long-standing commitment to combat human trafficking. In the last fiscal year, DHS has made tremendous progress on this issue.

DHS Fiscal Year 2021 Highlights to Combat Human TraffickingDHS established the Center for Count

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 02, 2021

DHS Statement on Operational Implementation of MPP
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is closely coordinating the court-mandated reimplementation of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) with the Government of Mexico (GOM).

DHS is working with the Department of State and GOM to provide safe transport to and from certain locations in Mexico to U.S. ports of entry to attend court hearings and to facilitate access to safe and secure shelters in Mexico. 

DHS will begin the court-mandated reimplementation in one location on December 6, and quickly expanding across the Southwest Border based on discussions with the GOM to address security concerns and operational constraints.

Keywords: Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP)
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 02, 2021

DHS Announces New Cybersecurity Requirements for Surface Transportation Owners and Operators
- DHS's Transportation Security Administration (TSA) today announced two new Security Directives and additional guidance for voluntary measures to strengthen cybersecurity across the transportation sector in response to the ongoing cybersecurity threat to surface transportation systems and associated infrastructure. These actions are among several steps DHS is taking to increase the cybersecurity of U.S. critical infrastructure.

"These new cybersecurity requirements and recommendations will help keep the traveling public safe and protect our critical infrastructure from evolving threats," said   "DHS will continue working with our partners across every level of government and in the private sector to increase the resilience of our critical infrastructure nationwide."

TSA is increasing the cybersecurity of the transportation sector through Security Directives, appropriately tailored regulations, and voluntary engagement with key stakeholders.  In developing its approach, including these new Security Directives, TSA sought input from industry stakeholders and federal partners, including the Department's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which provided expert guidance on cybersecurity threats to the transportation network and countermeasures to defend against them.

The TSA Security Directives announced today target higher-risk freight railroads, passenger rail, and rail transit, based on a determination that these requirements need to be issued immediately to protect transportation security.  These Directives require owners and operators to: 

designate a cybersecurity coordinator; report cybersecurity incidents to CISA within 24 hours; develop and implement a cybersecurity incident response plan to reduce the risk of an operational disruption; and,  complete a cybersecurity vulnerability assessment to identify p

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 02, 2021

DHS, Justice, and State Prepare for Court-Ordered Reimplementation of MPP
WASHINGTON - As required by a federal court order, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been working in good faith to re-implement the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program.  Today, in coordination with the Departments of State and Justice, DHS announced key changes to MPP to address humanitarian concerns raised by the Government of Mexico and shared by the U.S. Government.  Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas has repeatedly stated that MPP has endemic flaws, imposed unjustifiable human costs, pulled resources and personnel away from other priority efforts, and failed to address the root causes of irregular migration. 

To comply with the court order, however, DHS will be ready to reimplement MPP once the Government of Mexico makes a final and independent decision to accept the return of individuals enrolled in the program, subject to certain humanitarian improvements.  These key changes include a commitment that proceedings will generally be concluded within six months of an individual's initial return to Mexico; opportunities for enrollees to secure access to, and communicate with, counsel before and during non-refoulement interviews and immigration court hearings; improved non-refoulement procedures; and an increase in the amount and quality of information enrolled individuals receive about MPP.  DHS will exclude particularly vulnerable individuals from being enrolled in MPP.  In addition, DHS will provide COVID-19 vaccinations for all persons enrolled in MPP.

The U.S. Government will work closely with the Government of Mexico to ensure that there are safe and secure shelters available for those enrolled in MPP; that individuals returned under MPP have secure transportation to and from U.S. ports of entry; and that MPP enrollees are able to seek work permits, healthcare, and other services in Mexico. 

On October 29, 2021, Secretary Mayorkas

Department of Homeland Security News
Dec 01, 2021

Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman Publishes New Resources to Expand Community Outreach Efforts
The Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (CIS Ombudsman) recently published new resources on its website to raise awareness of the office's mission and to reach a broader population of stakeholders. The CIS Ombudsman is dedicated to improving the quality of citizenship and immigration services delivered to the public by providing individual case assistance, identifying systemic issues, and making recommendations to improve the administration of immigration benefits by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

"I applaud the Administration's commitment to identifying barriers that impede access to immigration services and benefits, a focus closely aligned with the CIS Ombudsman's statutory mission," said Phyllis A. Coven, CIS Ombudsman. "The President's recent executive orders open the door for enhanced collaboration with USCIS and opportunities to maximize our office's contributions to creating a more responsive and transparent immigration system."

The CIS Ombudsman is committed to engaging with the public through a multilayered outreach approach, with an emphasis on outreach to vulnerable and underserved populations. The CIS Ombudsman engages regularly with a broad range of stakeholders across the country to understand their concerns and identify trends and areas in which individuals and employers encounter problems when seeking immigration benefits from USCIS. The CIS Ombudsman has also released new resources to assist customers who contact USCIS for assistance.  These resources include:

A tip sheet on how to communicate effectively with the USCIS Contact Center;An informational

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 29, 2021

DHS Begins Implementation of Immigration Enforcement Priorities
WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security today announced it will begin implementation of the Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law signed by Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas on September 30.  

"Today is an important step forward in ensuring that our workforce is empowered to exercise its prosecutorial discretion and focus its enforcement efforts on those who pose a threat to our national security, public safety, and border security," said .  "DHS will carry out our mission to safeguard our country justly and humanely.  In making our enforcement decisions, we will focus our efforts on the greatest threats while also recognizing that the majority of undocumented noncitizens, who have been here for many years and who have contributed positively to our country's well-being, are not priorities for removal."  

With the new guidelines, officers will, to the fullest extent possible, obtain and review the entire criminal record, administrative record, and any other investigative information available, to include both aggravating and mitigating factors, in making their enforcement decisions.  This will ensure a thorough and case-by-case assessment of whether enforcement action is warranted and appropriate, thus allowing DHS to focus its limited resources on cases of greatest importance to the national interest. 

Officers are receiving continuous training on the guidelines and participating in small group sessions to ensure consistent application of the guidelines nationwide.  Officers also are receiving ongoing web-based and in-person training to ensure effective implementation.  

As described in the September 30th memo announcing the new guidelines, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will ensure there is a fair and equitable case review process that affords noncitizens and their r

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 17, 2021

Operation Allies Welcome Announces Departure and Resettlement of Last Afghan Nationals from Fort Lee, Virginia
WASHINGTON — Today, Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) resettled the last group of Afghan nationals from Fort Lee, Virginia, the first of eight Department of Defense (DOD) installations established to temporarily house vulnerable Afghans, including those who are Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants. To date, more than 25,000 Afghan evacuees have been resettled in communities across our country. These resettlement efforts are led by the Department of State in close coordination with more than 200 local resettlement affiliates across the United States.

"This historic milestone highlights the ongoing commitment and perseverance we have witnessed to safely welcome our Afghan allies to the United States through a whole-of-society effort," . "As we complete operations at Fort Lee, we are incredibly proud of the collaboration that has led to the resettlement of more than 25,000 vulnerable Afghans, including those who worked on behalf of the United States, into local communities across our country."

DOD continues to provide temporary housing facilities for the remaining approximately 45,000 vulnerable Afghans who are in the process of completing their resettlement while at the following seven military installations: Camp Atterbury, Indiana; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Pickett, Virginia; Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia; and Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. While on these installations, Afghan evacuees have access to a range of services, including medical care and resettlement services, and they can apply for work authorization.

"Our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Guardians have given - and continue to give - steadfast support as part of Operation Allies Welcome," . "Last summer, Fort Lee was the first of eig

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 16, 2021

DHS Update Regarding the Investigation of Horse Patrol Activity in Del Rio, Texas on September 19, 2021
WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provides this update regarding the investigation of horse patrol activity in Del Rio, Texas on September 19, 2021.  The activity under investigation, which was captured in photographs and video that circulated nationwide, occurred during the large gathering of Haitian and other migrants near the International Bridge. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) initially referred the investigation to DHS's Office of Inspector General (OIG).  The OIG declined to investigate and referred the matter back to CBP's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).  OPR then immediately commenced investigative work, including its review of videos and photographs and the interview of witnesses, employees, and CBP leadership.  OPR has followed customary process in its investigation of this matter. 

Once completed, the results of the investigation will be provided to CBP management to determine whether disciplinary action is appropriate and, if so, the specific discipline to be imposed.  At that time, the employees will be afforded due process, including an opportunity to respond, and any corrective actions will comport with applicable laws and regulations.  The disciplinary process, which is separate from the fact-finding investigation, is subject to certain timelines established in CBP's labor-management agreement with the employees' union of the United States Border Patrol. 

DHS remains committed to conducting a thorough, independent, and objective investigation.  DHS will share information, as available, consistent with the need to protect the integrity of the investigation and individuals' privacy.  

Set forth below is a more detailed overview of the key steps of the investigative and disciplinary processes that govern this kind of matter: 

CBP's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) is the office charged with investigating alleged misconduct of CBP employees.  In accorda

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 15, 2021

Statement from Secretary Mayorkas on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
Today, President Biden signed into law the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.  This infrastructure bill delivers historic investments in our Nation's crumbling infrastructure and, in doing so, creates millions of jobs and provides much-needed relief to disadvantaged communities across our country.

I was honored to be present at the President's signing ceremony today.  Our Department of Homeland Security will receive significant funds to advance our work on behalf of the American people.  The bipartisan bill delivers almost $8 billion to our Department, including:

$430 million to CBP for the construction and modernization of our land ports of entry and equipment and fixtures for operations.
 $434 million to the Coast Guard for better housing for service members, safety and training facilities, family support and child development centers, and shore construction.
 Almost $6.8 billion to FEMA, to be allocated as follows:$67 million for dam safety and assistance to states;$2.2 billion for federal assistance through grants and programming;$1 billion for disaster relief funding over the next five years; and$3.5 billion for the National Flood Insurance Program.$135 million to CISA for risk management operations, stakeholder engagement, and cyber response and recovery efforts over the next five years.
 $157.5 million to S&T for critical infrastructure security and resilience research and development.In addition, GSA will receive more than $3 billion for critical investments in CBP's Border Patrol stations and land ports of entry.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will have a profound impact on our Department and our ability to execute our mission.  The funds we receive will support and advance your incredible work to keep our homeland secure.

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Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 15, 2021

DHS Launches Innovative Hiring Program to Recruit and Retain World-Class Cyber Talent
WASHINGTON -?Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)?launched the Cybersecurity Talent Management System (CTMS), a new personnel system that will enable DHS to more effectively recruit, develop, and retain our Nation's top cybersecurity professionals. CTMS will enable DHS to fill mission-critical cybersecurity positions by screening applicants based on demonstrated competencies, competitively compensating employees, and reducing the time it takes to be hired into the Department. Employees hired through this system will join the new DHS Cybersecurity Service, the Nation's preeminent federal cybersecurity team working to protect U.S. critical infrastructure and the American people from cybersecurity threats, and increase nationwide resilience.

"The DHS Cybersecurity Talent Management System fundamentally re-imagines how the Department hires, develops, and retains top-tier and diverse cybersecurity talent," "As our Nation continues to face an evolving threat landscape, we cannot rely only on traditional hiring tools to fill mission-critical vacancies. This new system will enable our Department to better compete for cybersecurity professionals and remain agile enough to meet the demands of our critical cybersecurity mission."

Federal hiring practices need to meet mission and market demands in the dynamic field of cybersecurity. CTMS is one tool that will help DHS overcome challenges related to recruiting, developing, and retaining top-tier cybersecurity talent.

DHS will initially leverage CTMS to fill high-priority jobs at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and DHS Office of the Chief Information Officer. Beginning in 2022, DHS Cybersecurity Service jobs will be available across several DHS agencies with a cybersecurity mission.

CTMS builds on the Department's efforts to create a robust, diverse cybersecurity workforce and fill critical position

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 10, 2021

DHS Issues National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin
WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas issued a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin regarding the current heightened threat environment across the United States.  This NTAS Bulletin replaces the current Bulletin, which was set to expire tomorrow at 2:00 pm. 

As of November 10, 2021, DHS is not aware of an imminent and credible threat to a specific location in the United States.  The United States continues to face a diverse and challenging threat environment as we approach several religious holidays and associated mass gatherings that in the past have served as potential targets for acts of violence.  Through the remainder of 2021 and into 2022, domestic violent extremists (DVEs), including racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists and anti-government/anti-authority violent extremists, will continue to pose a significant threat to our homeland.  Of note, DVEs and those inspired or motivated by foreign terrorists and other malign foreign influences will continue to exploit online forums to influence and spread violent extremist narratives and promote violent activity.  The ongoing global pandemic continues to exacerbate these threats.  Further, foreign terrorist organizations and DVEs continue to attempt to inspire potential followers to conduct attacks in the United States, including by exploiting recent events in Afghanistan.  

"DHS has renewed its commitment to work with our partners across every level of government, the private sector, and local communities to?combat?all forms of terrorism and targeted violence. We have also renewed our commitment to communicate with the American public often about the evolving threat landscape," said .  "Today, we are issuing the fourth NTAS Bulletin since January 2021.  The threat stream has not changed signifi

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 09, 2021

DHS Announces Six New Countries Eligible for the H-2A and H-2B Visa Programs
WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Department of State, has announced six new countries whose nationals are eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs in the coming year.  The notice listing the eligible countries will be published in the Federal Register on Nov. 10, 2021.

"The Department of Homeland Security is committed to working with our interagency partners to ensure that companies in the United States can fill temporary or seasonal jobs for which U.S. workers are not available," said .  "Adding these six new countries will enable their nationals to apply for temporary work in the United States."

With this Notice, the Secretary of Homeland Security, with concurrence of the Secretary of State, has decided to:

Add Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Cyprus, the Dominican Republic (currently only eligible for H-2A), Haiti, Mauritius, and Saint Lucia to the list of countries eligible to participate in the H-2A and H-2B programs; andRemove Moldova as an eligible country for the H-2A visa program because it no longer meets the regulatory standards for that program.  However, Moldova's eligibility for the H-2A program remains effective until Jan. 18, 2022, a full year from the last designation.In total, nationals from 85 countries will be eligible to participate in the H-2A program and nationals from 86 countries will be eligible to participate in the H-2B program in the coming year.

USCIS may, in its discretion, approve H-2A and H-2B petitions (including those that were pending as of the date of the Federal Register notice), for nationals of countries on the list of approved countries on a case-by-case basis if doing so would be in the interest of the United States, in accordance with DHS regulations. Eligibility determinations will be made according to all the relevant factors and evidence presented in the

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 08, 2021

DHS Announces Fee Exemptions, Streamlined Processing for Afghan Nationals as They Resettle in the U.S.
WASHINGTON — Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will exempt filing fees and streamline application processing for Afghan nationals who were paroled into the United States for humanitarian reasons on or after July 30, 2021.  These actions will help facilitate their resettlement in the U.S. by streamlining the processing of requests for work authorization, Green Cards, and associated services.  DHS is the lead federal agency coordinating Operation Allies Welcome, the ongoing all-of-government effort to resettle vulnerable Afghans, including those who worked on behalf of the United States.

"By providing these evacuees with access to streamlined processing and fee exemptions, we will open doors of opportunity for our Afghan allies and help them begin to rebuild their lives in communities across our country more quickly," .  "These actions demonstrate our ongoing commitment to Afghan nationals who provided valuable assistance to the United States over the past two decades as well as other Afghans at risk."

Approximately 70,000 Afghans have arrived in the United States as part of Operation Allies Welcome. Following the biggest airlift in U.S. history, DHS exercised its discretion to parole many Afghan nationals, on a case-by-case basis, into the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons.  Parolees may apply for work authorization using Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, on the basis of their parole.  Afghan nationals will also have the opportunity to apply for immigration benefits such as Afghan special immigrant status, lawful permanent residence, and asylum. 

Additional information for Afghans can be found on USCIS's website.

Afghan nationals who were paroled into the United States on or after July 30, 2021 are eligible for the following fee exempt

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 08, 2021

Starting Today Fully Vaccinated Travelers Permitted to Enter U.S. via Land and Ferry Border Crossings
WASHINGTON - Starting today, foreign nationals who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and have appropriate documentation will be permitted to enter the United States via land ports of entry (POEs) and ferry terminals for non-essential reasons such as tourism.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reminds these travelers to be prepared to (1) provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination, as outlined on the?Centers for Disease Control (CDC)?website; and (2) verbally attest to their reason for travel and COVID-19 vaccination status during a border inspection.  

"Today, after more than 18 months of pandemic-related travel restrictions, DHS is taking a critical step toward resuming normal travel," said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas.  "Travelers who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and have appropriate documentation are now permitted to enter the United States via our land and ferry border crossings for non-essential reasons such as visiting friends and family and engaging in tourism. DHS continues to work closely with our international partners and domestic public health experts to sustainably resume travel while protecting our communities and economic security." 

DHS's U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is working to prevent long lines at land POEs and ferry terminals as normal travel resumes.  However, long lines are expected in the initial days following pent-up demand, and CBP will adjust resources as needed, while continuing to facilitate lawful trade and travel and protect our national security.  Travelers are advised to expect longer-than-normal wait times, familiarize themselves with the new guidelines, and have appropriate documentation ready during a border inspection. 

U.S. citizens are

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 05, 2021

Statement by Secretary Mayorkas on the Nomination of Kenneth L. Wainstein to Lead the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis
WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement on the nomination of Kenneth L. Wainstein to serve as Under Secretary for Intelligence and Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security:

"President Biden has nominated a dedicated public servant, Kenneth L. Wainstein, to lead DHS's Office of Intelligence and Analysis.  Ken has decades of government experience at the highest levels.  His deep expertise in national security, counterterrorism, and intelligence matters will benefit our Department and our Nation if he is confirmed.  I urge the Senate to swiftly confirm Ken to this critical leadership role."

Keywords: Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: Intelligence and Analysis

Department of Homeland Security News
Nov 03, 2021

DHS Selects Northeastern University to Lead Center of Excellence for Engineering Secure Environments from Targeted Attacks
WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced the selection of Northeastern University to lead a consortium of U.S. academic institutions and other partners for a new Center of Excellence for Engineering Secure Environments from Targeted Attacks (ESE).  S&T will provide ESE with a $3.6 million grant for its first operating year of a ten-year grant period.  

 "Researching and developing science and technology solutions to combat emerging threats is a top priority for DHS, and I am looking forward to continuing this important work in partnership with Northeastern University,"  "The new Center of Excellence will provide improved access to high-quality, university-led research and education resources for the Department and the broader homeland security enterprise, while at the same time training our Nation's next generation of homeland security leaders."

Each Center of Excellence is led by a U.S. college or university in partnership with other academic institutions, industry, National Laboratories, and other Federally Funded Research and Development Centers.  Additionally, Centers of Excellence partner with other federal agencies; state, local, and tribal governments; non-profits; and first responder organizations.  

"ESE's research agenda will foster a culture of ‘security by design' to integrate novel engineering design concepts, technologies, and capabilities to detect, deter, mitigate, and respond to targeted attacks."   "By partnering with universities, S&T delivers innovative, practical, multidisciplinary, customer-driven solutions." 

The ESE research portfolio brings together the best across the nation to en

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 29, 2021

DHS Releases Details for Fully Vaccinated, Non-Citizen Travelers to Enter the U.S. at Land and Ferry Border Crossings
WASHINGTON— Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that non-citizen travelers who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and have appropriate documentation will be permitted to enter the United States via land ports of entry (POE) and ferry terminals starting on November 8, 2021. This shift eases long-standing restrictions on non-essential travel, consistent with public health guidance. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will soon share additional information about the steps eligible travelers will need to take to enter the United States under the new rules.   

"We are pleased to take another step toward easing travel restrictions at our borders in a manner that strengthens our economy and protects the health and safety of the American public," said . "We continue working closely with our international partners to sustainably implement new rules for resuming travel."  

Starting November 8, when arriving at a U.S. land POE or ferry terminal, non-citizen travelers should be prepared to (1) provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, as outlined on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website; and (2) verbally attest to their reason for travel and COVID-19 vaccination status during a border inspection.     

Any non-citizen attempting to enter the United States through illegal means or without appropriate documentation may be subject to expulsion or removal. Travelers arriving at a U.S. land POE or ferry terminal should be prepared to present any other relevant documents as requested by a CBP Officer. U.S. citizens are reminded to bring a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) document, such as a valid U.S. passport, Trusted Traveler Program card, Enhanced Driver's License, or Enhanced Tribal Card, when

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 29, 2021

Fact Sheet: Guidance for Travelers to Enter the U.S. at Land Ports of Entry and Ferry Terminals
Starting Monday, November 8, 2021, new requirements will go into effect for travelers entering the United States at land ports of entry (POEs) and ferry terminals.  

For the first time since March 2020, non-citizen travelers will be permitted to enter the U.S. through a land border or ferry terminal for a non-essential reason (i.e., tourism), provided they are fully vaccinated and can present proof of COVID-19 vaccination status.  Unvaccinated travelers may continue to cross the border for essential travel, including lawful trade, emergency response, and public health purposes.

RequirementsAs travel begins to resume, travel volumes and wait times are expected to increase. The resources below are intended to prepare travelers and equip them with the information they need to improve their cross-border travel experience. Travelers should plan for longer than normal wait times and long lines at U.S. land border crossings when planning their trip and are reminded to exercise patience.  

To help reduce wait times and long lines, travelers can take advantage of innovative technology, such as facial biometrics and the CBP OneTM mobile application, which serves as a single portal for individuals to access CBP mobile applications and services.

Arrival at Land Port of Entry or Ferry Terminal

Fully vaccinated, non-citizen travelers with a

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 29, 2021

DHS Issues A New Memo to Terminate MPP
WASHINGTON - Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas today issued a new memorandum announcing and explaining his decision to terminate the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program.

"This Administration is tackling longstanding problems that have plagued our immigration system for decades in order to achieve needed systemic change.  MPP does not help meet this goal," "MPP had endemic flaws, imposed unjustifiable human costs, pulled resources and personnel away from other priority efforts, and did not address the root causes of irregular migration. MPP not only undercuts the Administration's ability to implement critically needed and foundational changes to the immigration system, it fails to provide the fair process and humanitarian protections that individuals deserve under the law."

Secretary Mayorkas conducted an extensive review to assess whether MPP should be maintained, terminated, or modified. He studied court documents, relevant data, internal reviews, and publicly available materials, and met with a broad and diverse array of internal and external stakeholders, including DHS personnel as well as state and local officials and community leaders across the country. Secretary Mayorkas concluded that the benefits do not justify the costs, particularly given the way in which MPP detracts from other regional and domestic goals and policy initiatives that better align with this Administration's values. MPP distracts from efforts to achieve regional solutions that address the root causes driving migrants to leave their countries and that tackle this challenge before vulnerable individuals have taken the perilous journey to our border.

"We must invest in durable policies that disincentivize irregular migration while promoting safe, orderly, and humane pathways," "In addition to develo

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 27, 2021

Secretary Mayorkas Issues New Guidance for Enforcement Action at Protected Areas
WASHINGTON - Continuing with a series of enforcement reforms, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas today issued a new, comprehensive policy to guide Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) enforcement actions in or near protected areas, replacing previous sensitive locations guidance.  The first-ever policy for both ICE and CBP provides an expanded and non-exhaustive list of protected areas, including new designations such as places where children gather, disaster or emergency relief sites, and social services establishments.

"In our pursuit of justice, including in the execution of our enforcement responsibilities, we impact people's lives and advance our country's well-being in the most fundamental ways.  As a result, when conducting an enforcement action, ICE and CBP agents and officers must first examine and consider the impact of where actions might possibly take place, their effect on people, and broader societal interests," said Secretary Mayorkas.  "We can accomplish our law enforcement mission without denying individuals access to needed medical care, children access to their schools, the displaced access to food and shelter, people of faith access to their places of worship, and more.  Adherence to this principle is a bedrock of our stature as public servants." 

The new policy, which is effective immediately, supersedes and rescinds all previous sensitive locations guidance and establishes that enforcement actions should not be taken in or near a location that would restrain people's access to essential services or engagement in essential activities. 

DHS officers and agents will use their judgment to determine whether a location is a "protected area" taking into consideration the activities that take place there, the importance of those activities to the well-being of peopl

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 21, 2021

DHS Releases New Strategic Framework for Addressing Climate Change
WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its first Strategic Framework for Addressing Climate Change to govern the Department's efforts to combat the climate crisis.  DHS is at the forefront of national initiatives to address the impacts of climate change, including by leading efforts to build resilience in communities across our country.   

"From extreme weather events to record heat, the DHS workforce is on the front lines of the climate emergency every day,"   "With the release of our new climate framework, we are building on our commitment to combat climate change by strategically leveraging relevant resources, authorities, and expertise to maximize sustainability and resilience."

The Strategic Framework builds on the DHS Climate Action Plan, which was released on October 7, 2021 and outlines several steps the Department is taking to combat the climate crisis, including bolstering DHS's ability to adapt to climate change, further increasing national resilience, undertaking mitigation measures, and addressing key vulnerabilities.  Together, these documents reflect the urgency with which the Department is tackling climate change, which poses an existential threat to our country and the world. 

The Strategic Framework will guide DHS's implementation of President Biden's Executive Order on addressing the impacts of climate change at home and abroad, and includes the following five lines of effort:

empowering individuals and communities to develop climate resilience; building readiness to respond to increases in climate-driven emergencies; incorporating climate science into strategy, policy, programs, and budgets;investing in a sustainable and resilient DHS; and, ensuring the DHS workforce is informed on climate change. 

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 20, 2021

DHS Takes Victim-Centered Approach on First Anniversary of Center for Countering Human Trafficking
WASHINGTON - Today marks the first anniversary of the creation of the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT). The CCHT, led by ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), is a DHS-wide effort dedicated to bringing human traffickers to justice, protecting victims of sex trafficking and forced labor, and preventing these terrible crimes from occurring.  

In recognition of the CCHT and to continue to advance its critical work, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas directed DHS components to incorporate a victim-centered approach into all policies, programs, and activities governing DHS interactions with victims of crime.  

"The victim-centered approach is critical to the work of the DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking and to the Department's fight against all crimes involving severe abuse and exploitation," said  "Safeguarding, supporting, and respecting victims of human trafficking is not just the right thing to do. It also enables law enforcement to better detect, investigate, and prosecute perpetrators of human trafficking."   

DHS also announced a number of new initiatives across components to combat sex trafficking and forced labor: 

ICE HSI issued a directive underscoring HSI personnel's responsibility to identify and assist victims of crime. The CCHT launched a new public website at DHS.Gov/CCHT to bring together all DHS anti-human trafficking resources in one easily accessible place. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the first ever standalone T-Visa Resource Guide for law enforcement and certifying agencies.  The T-Visa Resource Guide provides information to certifying agencies, including law enforcement, on how to support victims of human trafficking while law enforceme

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 12, 2021

Secretary Mayorkas to Allow Fully Vaccinated Travelers from Canada and Mexico to Enter U.S. at Land Borders and Ferry Crossings
WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced that, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health experts, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will amend Title 19 regulations to allow non-essential travelers who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and have appropriate documentation to enter the United States via land and ferry ports of entry (POEs) across the U.S. border.

"In alignment with the new international air travel system that will be implemented in November, we will begin allowing travelers from Mexico and Canada who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to enter the United States for non-essential purposes, including to visit friends and family or for tourism, via land and ferry border crossings,"   "Cross-border travel creates significant economic activity in our border communities and benefits our broader economy. We are pleased to be taking steps to resume regular travel in a safe and sustainable manner."

The modifications to the Title 19 regulations will occur in two phases over the next few months.  First, in November, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will begin allowing fully vaccinated travelers from Mexico or Canada to enter the United States at land and ferry POEs for non-essential reasons. Travelers will be required to have appropriate paperwork that provides proof of vaccination. Individuals who have not been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 will not be allowed to travel for non-essential purposes from Canada and Mexico into the United States via land and ferry POEs. 

Second, beginning in early January 2022, DHS will require that all inbound foreign national travelers crossing U.S. land or ferry POEs - whether for essential or non-essential reasons - be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination. This approach will provide ample time for essential travelers such as trucke

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 12, 2021

DHS Releases Worksite Enforcement Strategy to Protect the American Labor Market, Workers, and Worksite Conditions
WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas directed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to take actions to promote a fair labor market by supporting more effective enforcement of wage protections, workplace safety, labor rights, and other employment laws and standards.  ? 

"The Department of Homeland Security has a critical role to ensure our Nation's workplaces comply with our laws,"?said Secretary Mayorkas.??"We will not tolerate unscrupulous employers who exploit unauthorized workers, conduct illegal activities, or impose unsafe working conditions.??Employers engaged in illegal acts compel the focus of our enforcement resources.??By adopting policies that focus on the most unscrupulous employers, we will protect workers?as well as legitimate American businesses."??

In accordance with a memorandum issued by Secretary Mayorkas on October 12, ICE, CBP, and USCIS will develop and update policies to enhance the Department's impact in supporting the enforcement of employment and labor standards.  The agencies must also develop strategies for prioritizing workplace enforcement against unscrupulous employers and, through the exercise of prosecutorial discretion, facilitate the participation of vulnerable workers in labor standards investigations.  

The memorandum also establishes an end to mass worksite enforcement operations.  Under the previous administration, these resource-intensive operations resulted in the simultaneous arrest of hundreds of workers and were used as a tool by exploitative employers to suppress and retaliate against workers' assertion of labor laws.

Lastly, the memorandum calls for broader and deeper mechanisms for coordination with interagency partners to enforce worker protections.

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Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 08, 2021

DHS to Terminate Border Barrier Contracts in Laredo and Rio Grande Valley
WASHINGTON - Consistent with the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) border barrier plan, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in coordination with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), intends to cancel the remaining border barrier contracts located within U.S. Border Patrol's (USBP) Laredo Sector and all border barrier contracts located in the Rio Grande Valley Sector. 

CBP will then begin environmental planning and actions consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for previously planned border barrier system projects located within the Rio Grande Valley, Laredo, and El Centro Sectors. 

Environmental planning activities will cover projects funded with DHS's Fiscal Year 2018-2021 barrier system appropriations where construction had not started.  These activities include additional biological, cultural, and natural resource surveys for project areas where no data have been previously collected.  CBP will also conduct comprehensive and targeted outreach with interested stakeholders, including impacted landowners, tribes, state and local elected officials, and federal agencies. 

These activities will not involve any construction of new border barrier or permanent land acquisition. 

The Administration continues to call on Congress to cancel remaining border wall funding and instead fund smarter border security measures, like border technology and modernization of land ports of entry, that are proven to be more effective at improving safety and security at the border.  Until and unless Congress cancels those funds, the law requires DHS to use the funds consistent with their appropriated purpose, and beginning environmental planning activities is part of the Department's plan to do so. 

This announcement has no impact on

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 07, 2021

DHS Releases New Climate Action Plan to Address the Impacts of Climate Change and Ensure the Department's Climate Resilience
Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a new Climate Action Plan outlining the steps the Department is taking to tackle the climate crisis, including bolstering the Department's ability to adapt to climate change, building national resilience, undertaking mitigation measures, and addressing key vulnerabilities. This plan is part of President Biden's whole-of-government approach to confronting the climate crisis.

"Our world is facing a climate crisis that poses existential threats and demands urgent action. We must act now," . "The DHS Climate Action Plan outlines how our Department will remain mission-resilient to climate change while reducing our own impact on the environment, including by electrifying our vehicle fleet, educating our workforce on the importance of adaptation and resilience, and leveraging grant programs to incentivize investments in disaster resiliency."

President Biden prioritized the revitalization of federal agency climate adaptation and resilience planning efforts after a four-year pause. Through this approach, large federal agencies like DHS developed individual adaptation and resilience plans, called "Climate Action Plans," to address their most significant climate risks and vulnerabilities. The DHS Climate Action Plan includes five priority actions:

, including through the continuation of the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program - the funding for which President Biden doubled to $1 billion - to provide incentives for state, local, tribal, and territorial governments to adopt modern, disaster-resistant building codes. DHS initial BRIC selections include wildfire resilience programs, flood control programs, and small-town coastal hazard mitigation plans.

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 04, 2021

Operation Allies Welcome Completes Vaccination Campaign for Measles and Varicella for Afghan Evacuees
OAW flights from abroad will resume this week

- Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) has completed a historic and nationwide vaccination campaign for measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), and varicella (chickenpox) to Afghan evacuees who are temporarily staying at eight military installations in the United States. As a result of this effort, more than 49,000 Afghan evacuees nationwide are now vaccinated.  Evacuees are also receiving vaccinations at staging areas in Europe and the Middle East.  OAW flights from staging areas will resume this week. 

Arriving eligible Afghans receive the MMR, varicella, polio, COVID-19, and other age appropriate vaccinations, as well as medical exams and health screenings, as a condition of their humanitarian parole.  Pursuant to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Afghan guests will remain at domestic military installations for at least 21 days after the MMR vaccine is administered.  In some cases, persons who have special medical needs may be relocated more quickly, after vaccinations and other medical requirements are completed. 

"The success of this vaccination campaign demonstrates our commitment to the health and well-being of arriving Afghan evacuees, the personnel assisting this mission, and the American people," said Dr. Pritesh Gandhi, the DHS Chief Medical Officer and lead medical advisor of OAW.  "Operation Allies Welcome reflects the best of our country and this vaccination effort could not have been achieved without the dedication of local health care facilities and partnership between the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, State, and Homeland Security." 

"The ultimate goal of Operation Allies Welcome is to successfully resettle our Afghan allies into local communities while prioritizing national security and public health," said Robert Fenton, Senior Response Official for OAW.  "This historic effort is part o

Department of Homeland Security News
Oct 04, 2021

DHS Releases Guidance to Mitigate Security Risks with the Advancement of Quantum Computing
WASHINGTON -?Today,?the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in?partnership with?the?Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards?and?Technology (NIST), released a roadmap to help organizations protect their data and systems and to reduce risks? related to the advancement of quantum computing technology.  

While quantum computing promises unprecedented speed and power in computing, it also poses new risks.? As this technology advances over the next decade, it is expected to break some encryption methods that are widely used to protect customer data, complete business transactions, and secure communications.? DHS's new guidance will help organizations prepare for the transition to post-quantum cryptography by identifying, prioritizing, and protecting potentially vulnerable data, algorithms, protocols, and systems. 

"Quantum computing will be a scientific breakthrough.? It is also expected to pose new data privacy and cybersecurity risks," said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas.? "Now is the time for organizations to assess and mitigate their related risk exposure.? As we continue responding to urgent cyber challenges, we must also stay ahead of the curve by focusing on strategic, long-term goals.? This new roadmap will help protect our critical infrastructure and increase cybersecurity resilience across the country."?  

In March, Secretary Mayorkas?outlined his vision for cybersecurity resilience?and?identified the transition to post-quantum encryption as a priority.? DHS also issued internal policy guidance to drive the Department's own preparedness efforts and is conducting a macro-level analysis to inform the government's action and ensure a smooth and equitable transition.  

For more information and resources, visit DHS.gov/quantum. 

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Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 30, 2021

Secretary Mayorkas Announces New Immigration Enforcement Priorities
Guidelines focus on national security, public safety, and border security; emphasize prosecutorial discretion 

WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced new Guidelines for the Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law to better focus the Department's resources on the apprehension and removal of noncitizens who are a threat to our national security, public safety, and border security and advance the interests of justice by ensuring a case-by-case assessment of whether an individual poses a threat.  In the last six months, Secretary Mayorkas held multiple engagements with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) workforce and leadership across the country, as well as with a range of stakeholders including law enforcement, civic, and community leaders to inform the new guidance.   

"For the first time, our guidelines will, in the pursuit of public safety, require an assessment of the individual and take into account the totality of the facts and circumstances," said Secretary Mayorkas.  "In exercising this discretion, we are guided by the  knowledge that there are individuals in our country who have been here for generations and contributed to our country's well-being, including those who have been on the frontline in the battle against COVID, lead congregations of faith, and teach our children. As we strive to provide them with a path to status, we will not work in conflict by spending resources seeking to remove those who do not pose a threat and, in fact, make our Nation stronger."  

Enforcement priorities for apprehension and removal remain focused on noncitizens who are a threat to our national security, public safety, and border security.  But the guidelines are a break from a categorical approach to enforcement.  They require an assessment of the individual and the totality of

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 29, 2021

DHS Announces Intention to Issue New Memo Terminating MPP
The Department of Homeland Security intends to issue in the coming weeks a new memorandum terminating the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).  Although the Department issued a June 2021 memorandum that terminated MPP, a Texas district court vacated that prior termination determination and issued an injunction that requires the Department to work in good faith to re-start MPP.  The Department has appealed that injunction.   

A new memorandum terminating MPP will not take effect until the current injunction is lifted by court order.  In issuing a new memorandum terminating MPP, the Department intends to address the concerns raised by the courts with respect to the prior memorandum. 

In the meantime, while the court injunction remains in effect, the Department has been working in good faith to re-start MPP in compliance with the order, and it will continue to do so.  To that end, the Department, working with the Department of State, is engaged in ongoing and high-level diplomatic discussions with Mexico.  Simultaneously, the Department has instituted an interagency Task Force to efficiently rebuild the infrastructure and reapportioning the staffing that will be needed to restart MPP once that concurrence has been obtained.  Among many other steps, the Task Force is updating policies and procedures to account for COVID-19 and preparing to put in place contracts to rebuild the soft-sided Immigration Hearing Facilities used for court proceedings associated with MPP.   

The Department remains committed to building a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system that upholds our laws and values.  The Department also continues to process individuals in accordance with U.S. law and our mission. 

Keywords: Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP)
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 29, 2021

Readout of Secretary Mayorkas's Meeting with Haitian Ambassador to the United States Edmond
WASHINGTON - Yesterday, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas met with Haitian Ambassador to the United States Bocchit Edmond to discuss our nations' continued cooperation.  

"I appreciated the opportunity to speak directly with Ambassador Edmond about our shared commitment to ensuring that Haitian migrants are treated with dignity and respect," said Secretary Mayorkas.  "I look forward to continuing to work with the government of Haiti and other partners throughout the hemisphere as we work toward safe, orderly, and humane management of migration in the region." 

Secretary Mayorkas thanked the Government of Haiti for supporting the safe return and re-integration of Haitian nationals.? Secretary Mayorkas and Ambassador Edmond agreed that much work remains to be done to address the drivers of migration, and both acknowledged that the displacement of people is a global crisis and needs worldwide attention.? 

Secretary Mayorkas assured the Ambassador that the dignified and humane treatment of all individuals, regardless of their immigration status, is his top priority.  Secretary Mayorkas shared that the investigation into mistreatment of migrants in Del Rio is ongoing. 

The Department of Homeland Security continues its engagement with partners in the hemisphere, including Brazil and Chile, to ensure they too are doing their part to offer protection for vulnerable populations and receive individuals who had legal status there.

Keywords: Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 29, 2021

DHS Announces Continued Efforts, Outlines Steps Taken to Address Best Practices in Law Enforcement Efforts
WASHINGTON - Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the formation of the Law Enforcement Coordination Council (LECC) - the Department's first unified law enforcement coordination body - to comprehensively assess a broad range of law enforcement matters, including its law enforcement policies and training.  The LECC, which will be chaired by Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas, will immediately begin comprehensive reviews that ensure more fair, equitable, and impartial policing, as well as officer and community safety.  The LECC builds on several steps undertaken by DHS during the Biden-Harris Administration to promote best practices in its law enforcement activities.

"Law enforcement is a noble profession.  Its personnel honorably protect and serve our communities across the country, and they do so at great personal risk," said .  "DHS is committed to ensuring our law enforcement personnel and our law enforcement partners have the training and tools to execute their mission, including by protecting civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy.  The Law Enforcement Coordination Council will better enable the Department to combat current and future threats to our country, while ensuring the safety of both our law enforcement personnel and the diverse communities we serve."

The LECC includes the leadership of every DHS law enforcement Component, as well as leadership of DHS Headquarters offices with advisory and oversight roles, including the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), Privacy Office, and Office of the General Counsel.  The LECC will evaluate and respond to emerging law enforcement challenges and opportunities, comprehensively assess potential policy changes, facilitate information sharing, and promote best practices.  The LECC will also coordinate closely with partners across every level of government, as well as with other key?stakeholders.

The LECC will immediately form

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 28, 2021

Secretary Mayorkas Announces Designation of Croatia as a New Participant in the Visa Waiver Program
WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas, in coordination with Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, designated Croatia as a new participant in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).  Starting no later than December 1, 2021, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) will be updated to allow citizens and nationals of Croatia to apply to travel to the United States for tourism or business for up to 90 days without obtaining a U.S. visa.  Croatia's designation as a participant in the VWP is an important step toward further strengthening  long-standing economic and security cooperation between the United States and Croatia.    

"Today's designation of Croatia as a new participant in the Visa Waiver Program is an important recognition of our countries' shared economic and security interests," said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas.  "I congratulate Croatia for becoming the 40th member of the VWP after having met strict requirements, and I look forward to our continued close cooperation on key priorities."   

The VWP is a comprehensive security partnership between the United States and designated countries that facilitates international travel to the United States for business or tourism without a visa for up to 90 days, while protecting national security.  To participate in the VWP, a country must meet requirements related to counterterrorism, law enforcement, immigration enforcement, document security, and border management on an ongoing basis.  These requirements include having a rate of nonimmigrant visa refusals below three percent, issuing secure travel documents, and working closely with U.S. law enforcement and counterterrorism authorities.   

ESTA authorizations are generally valid for two years.  Travelers with valid B1/B2 visas should continue to use their visa for travel to the United States.  For more information on ESTA applications, please visit the

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 27, 2021

DHS Provides $20 Million to Local Communities to Prevent Targeted Violence and Terrorism
- Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the awarding of 37 grants, totaling $20 million, under the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention (TVTP) Grant Program.  The TVTP Grant Program is managed by DHS's Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3) and is the only federal grant program dedicated to enhancing the capabilities of local communities to prevent targeted violence and terrorism.  This year's grant program prioritized the prevention of domestic violent extremism, including through efforts to counter online radicalization and mobilization to violence.

"Domestic violent extremism and targeted violence pose significant and persistent threats to our homeland," said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas.  "Attacks on schools, houses of worship, workplaces, and public gatherings threaten Americans' lives and inflict trauma on our communities.  The Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Grant Program prioritizes investments that empower and equip communities across our country to prevent acts of violence before they occur."

The FY21 TVTP grants expand on the Department's new approach to prevention, which centers on providing local communities with evidence-based tools to help prevent violence, while protecting civil rights and civil liberties and privacy rights.  These grants will help local communities strengthen online and in-person prevention efforts, including by addressing early-risk factors that can lead to radicalization and violence. 

The FY21 TVTP Grant Program is open to state, local, tribal, and territorial government agencies; institutions of higher education; and nonprofit organizations.  DHS anticipates the next round of funding will become available for competition in late Winter/early Spring 2022.  To ensure more equitable access to this grant program, CP3 provides technical assistance to interest

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 27, 2021

DHS to Publish Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on DACA
WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would preserve and fortify the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.  DHS will open a 60-day public comment period for the public to submit comments relevant to the proposed rule.

"The Biden-Harris Administration continues to take action to protect Dreamers and recognize their contributions to this country," said Secretary Mayorkas.  "This notice of proposed rulemaking is an important step to achieve that goal.  However, only Congress can provide permanent protection.  I support the inclusion of immigration reform in the reconciliation bill and urge Congress to act swiftly to provide Dreamers the legal status they need and deserve."

The rule addresses the DACA policy as announced in the 2012 Napolitano Memorandum and based on longstanding USCIS practice.  The rule embraces the consistent judgment that has been maintained by the Department—and by three presidential administrations since the policy first was announced—that DACA recipients should not be a priority for removal.

The NPRM will publish on Tuesday, September 28.  The NPRM also modifies and improves the existing filing process, while codifying and clarifying DHS's longstanding information sharing and use policy regarding DACA requests.

DHS welcomes public comments on the proposed rule, including legal and policy considerations, and suggestions for alternative approaches.  Following the completion of the public comment period, DHS will review and carefully consider all properly submitted comments before issuing a final rule.

DHS is complying with the July 16, 2021 order issued by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, which prohibits DHS from granting initial DACA requests.  DHS continues to accept and process DACA renewal requests based on the terms of DACA policy, as permitted by the court's order.  The Biden-Harris Administr

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 23, 2021

DHS Launches National Climate Resilience Prize Competitions
S&T and FEMA to partner on challenge aimed at protecting people from heat-related illnesses and deaths

WASHINGTON - Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a new series of prize competitions focused on strengthening nationwide resilience to climate change.  Through these competitions, American innovators are encouraged to develop groundbreaking solutions for climate change-related hazards facing communities across our country.  Winners will receive cash prizes from a total pool of $195,000 for their innovative solutions.

"I am proud to announce the first-ever DHS prize competition series focused on combatting the climate crisis," said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas.  "Through this competition, DHS will increase access to tools that help communities increase their resilience and address the existential threat of climate change."

The first series of competitions will be led by DHS's Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and will focus on the "Cooling Solutions Challenge," which incentivizes American innovators to find new ways to better protect people at risk of heat-related illness or death during extreme heat events or in connection with other disasters.  Extreme heat is the Nation's leading cause of weather-related deaths.  Through this challenge, DHS will work to further increase equity in its disaster preparedness and response efforts as underserved communities are disproportionately impacted by extreme heat.

DHS administers prize competitions using authority provided under the America COMPETES Act.  Challenges are open to individuals who are over the age of 18 and are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents at the time of submission, as well as to U.S. entities that are incorporated in and whose primary place of business is in the United States.

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 23, 2021

Department of Homeland Security Partners with Environmental Protection Agency to Enforce Phasedown of Climate-Damaging HFCs
WASHINGTON - Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new interagency task force that will guard against the illegal importation of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).  HFCs are potent greenhouse gases with global warming potential that can be thousands of times greater than carbon dioxide.  A global phasedown of HFCs could meaningfully prevent the development of adverse global warming effects over the next century.  

"Using an all-hands-on-deck approach, we must urgently address the climate crisis that is threatening both our national and economic security, and our way of life," said   "We look forward to working with the EPA and our other government partners to ensure that importers do not undermine our emissions-reduction targets or put businesses who are complying with the rules at a competitive disadvantage."  

"President Biden has made it clear, it's going to take a whole-of-government approach to tackle the climate crisis and curb global warming," said .  "That's why this partnership with DHS is so important as we work to cut these climate super pollutants, protect our environment, foster American innovation and boost our economy."

The American Innovation and Manufacturing Act (AIM Act), enacted in 2020, directs the EPA to address the adverse environmental effects of HFCs by, among other things, phasing down HFC production, consumption, and importation. Earlier today, the EPA issued its first regulations to implement the AIM Act's phasedown.  DHS, through U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, will work with the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation and Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance to stop illegal HFC imports into the United States, including by preventing the exploitation of U.S. customs laws.   

The launch of this joint initiative to enforce the

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 22, 2021

Joint Statement by Secretaries Mayorkas and Raimondo on President Biden's National Security Memorandum to Strengthen Nation's Cybersecurity Infrastructure
Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo released a joint statement on the issuance of preliminary cybersecurity performance goals as directed by President Biden's National Security Memorandum, "Improving Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Control Systems." 

"Today, we are delivering on the first step of the President's National Security Memorandum (NSM) objectives to strengthen the cybersecurity of our Nation's critical infrastructure control systems.  DHS's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), in coordination with the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), developed preliminary cybersecurity performance goals based on nine categories of best practices.  These goals are part of a long overdue, whole-of-government effort to meet the scale and severity of the cybersecurity threats facing our country.  It is vital that critical infrastructure owners and operators immediately take steps to strengthen their cybersecurity posture toward these high-level goals.  The safety and security of the American people relies on the resilience of the companies that provide essential services such as power, water, and transportation.  We look forward to further engaging with key industry stakeholders to promote these efforts to protect our national and economic security." 

Read the preliminary performance goals and objectives on CISA.gov.

Keywords: Critical Infrastructure, Cybersecurity,

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 20, 2021

DHS Awards FY 2021 Citizenship and Integration Grants
 

Nearly $10 Million Awarded to Expand Citizenship Preparation Services in 25 States

— Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded nearly $10 million in grants to 40 organizations in 25 states to help prepare lawful permanent residents (LPRs) for naturalization.  The fiscal year (FY) 2021 grants will run through September 2023 and provide funding to organizations that prepare LPRs for naturalization and promote civic integration through increased knowledge of English, U.S. history, and civics.

"DHS is proud to support organizations that help individuals prepare to become citizens and promote their successful integration in our communities," said Secretary Mayorkas.  "These organizations help strengthen our identity as a welcoming nation of immigrants."

"USCIS is committed to providing information about the benefits, responsibilities and opportunities of citizenship, and the naturalization process," said USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou.  "Through the USCIS grants program, we ensure that community organizations can equip the immigrants they serve with the tools they need to be successful."

USCIS awarded the grants through two competitive funding opportunities.  The first funding opportunity supports organizations that provide citizenship instruction and naturalization application assistance to LPRs.  The second funding opportunity supports organizations that provide extended integration services to LPRs who have entered the United States as refugees or who have been granted asylum.  In making final award decisions, USCIS considered grantees' past performance, when applicable.  

USCIS seeks to expand availability of high-quality citizenship and integration services throughout the country under the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program:

This opportunity will fun

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 20, 2021

Secretary Mayorkas Participates in Roundtable with Members of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Community
Mayorkas Outlines Steps DHS Has Taken to Continue Advancing Equity for Members of the AANHPI Community

WASHINGTON - On Friday, September 17, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas and members of the DHS Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Task Force met with leaders of the AANHPI community to reiterate the Department's commitment to racial equity and civil rights and civil liberties.  

"Six months ago, following the tragic events that unfolded in Atlanta, I had the opportunity to hear from members of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community," "It is a priority for me to meet with community leaders and discuss the important work we have done to combat domestic violent extremism and targeted violence in communities across the country.  While we have made progress, these accomplishments are just the first step as we continue the important work of keeping our communities safe for all."  

"It was devastating to see the violence against members of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander community in Atlanta in March," said   "The Department of Homeland Security is committed to protecting all Americans, and I am proud to be a part of the team working tirelessly to combat domestic violent extremism and targeted violence." 

Secretary Mayorkas previously met with AANHPI community leaders in Atlanta in March 2021 and, following that meeting, formed the DHS AANHPI Task Force to coordinate DHS efforts in advancing equity for members of the AANHPI community. 

During Friday's meeting, Task Force members outlined the Department's actions on preventing and addressing domestic violent extremism, including:  

Release of two threat assessments conducted by the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis that address threats specific to the AANHPI community. 

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 18, 2021

DHS Outlines Strategy to Address Increase in Migrants in Del Rio
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is immediately implementing a new, comprehensive strategy to address the increase in migrant encounters in the Del Rio sector of South Texas.  It has six key components.

First, within the next 24-48 hours, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will have surged 400 agents and officers to the Del Rio sector to improve control of the area.  If additional staff is needed, more will be sent. The Del Rio Port of Entry has temporarily closed, and traffic is being re-routed from Del Rio to Eagle Pass to more effectively manage resources and ensure uninterrupted flow of trade and travel.

Second, U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) is coordinating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard to move individuals from Del Rio to other processing locations, including approximately 2,000 yesterday, in order to ensure that irregular migrants are swiftly taken into custody, processed, and removed from the United States consistent with our laws and policy. 

Third, DHS will secure additional transportation to accelerate the pace and increase the capacity of removal flights to Haiti and other destinations in the hemisphere within the next 72 hours.

Fourth, the Administration is working with source and transit countries in the region to accept individuals who previously resided in those countries. 

Fifth, DHS is undertaking urgent humanitarian actions with other relevant federal, state, and local partners to reduce crowding and improve conditions for migrants on U.S. soil.  DHS has already taken a number of steps to ensure the safety and security of individuals as they await processing, including having Border Patrol emergency medical technicians on hand and providing water, towels, and portable toilets.

Finally, the White House has directed appropriate U.S. agencies to work with the Haitian and other regional governments to provide assistance and support to returnees. 

The majority of migran

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 13, 2021

DHS Statement on Safety and Immigration Enforcement During Tropical Storm Nicholas
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is closely monitoring the potential impact of Tropical Storm Nicholas. Our highest priority remains the preservation of life and safety.

Absent exceptional circumstances, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will not conduct immigration enforcement at locations where disaster and emergency relief related to this storm is being provided, such as along evacuation routes, sites used for sheltering or the distribution of emergency supplies, food or water, or registration sites for disaster-related assistance or the reunification of families and loved ones.

DHS officials do not and will not pose as individuals providing emergency-related information as part of any enforcement activities.

Read this statement translated into various languages Keywords: Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL)
Topics: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 09, 2021

Secretary Mayorkas Delivers Remarks at the National Press Club
On September 9, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas delivered remarks at the National Press Club.  See below for the Secretary's delivered remarks:

Thank you so much, Lisa, and thank you all for giving me the opportunity to share some remarks. I want to start on a note of solemnity and resilience, and end on a note of generosity and hope, and in between speak of the challenges that we are facing and how we are addressing them, and what it says about who we are and who we want to be. And I want to make brief remarks so we leave as much time as possible for a conversation.

Yesterday at the Department of Homeland Security's headquarters in St. Elizabeths we had a special ceremony. Shortly after 9/11, in the aftermath of that tragic day, amidst the rubble, a tree was found that was struggling, but still alive. And it was a Callery pear tree and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation took custody of the tree and rehabilitated it over the ensuing weeks and months and years, and it was termed the "survivor tree." And when it produced a seed, a seed would be distributed to a community or a town that had unfortunately also suffered tremendous tragedy and loss.

Sadly, there are many of them, and the seeds have been distributed to them, whether it be Orlando, Newtown, Boston, Las Vegas, and many others. The seeds of that survivor tree have also been distributed to places of tribute and honor and memory. And we in the Department of Homeland Security, we're extraordinarily privileged to receive a seed planted yesterday. And it speaks to the resilience of our country. And to that, to the fact that that resilience is born of the work and dedication of people across the country, including those in the Department of Homeland Security.

At this time in our country, two days from 9/11, we think, of course, of the lives that were lost on 9/11 2001 as a result of the tragedy, and we really doubled down on our commitment to e

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 09, 2021

DHS to Increase Civil Penalties for Violations of the Federal Face Mask Requirement
WASHINGTON - Today, the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will increase the range of civil penalties that may be imposed on individuals who violate the federal mask mandate at airports, on commercial aircraft, and in various modes of surface transportation, including passenger railroads, intercity bus services, and other public transportation.  The federal mask mandate for transportation, which was implemented by TSA on February 2, 2021, will remain in effect until January 18, 2022. 

The new range of penalties, which take effect Friday, September 10, 2021, will be $500-$1000 for first offenders and $1000-$3000 for second offenders. 

"Wearing a mask protects the traveling public and all of the personnel who make the travel experience safe, secure, and comfortable," said .  "We will continue to enforce the mask mandate as long as necessary to protect public health and safety."

"We appreciate the majority of travelers each day who voluntarily follow the requirement, but find this action necessary to maximize the protections for those who use and work within the transportation system, and to contain COVID-19," said . "By doubling the range of penalties, we seek to reinforce the importance of voluntary adherence."  

TSA will provide updated signage at airports regarding these increased civil penalties.  For more information about the federal face mask requirement, visit the TSA Coronavirus webpage.

These federal mask mandate-related civil penalties are separate from the civil penalties the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issues for individuals who engage in unruly and unsafe behavior.

Keywords: Coronavi

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 03, 2021

Secretary Mayorkas Delivers Remarks on Operation Allies Welcome
On September 3, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas and Senior Response Official of the Unified Coordination Group Robert J. Fenton, Jr. delivered remarks on Operation Allies Welcome, the all-of-government effort to support vulnerable Afghans, including those who assisted the United States in Afghanistan, as they safely resettle in the United States.  President Biden has directed the Department of Homeland Security to lead these ongoing efforts. 

 



Good morning.  Thank you for joining us today.

Before we speak about Operation Allies Welcome, I want to give you a brief update on our response to Hurricane Ida.  First and foremost, our hearts break for the families and loved ones that we lost in Hurricane Ida and its aftermath, from landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi, to the more recent flooding in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.  We offer our prayers and our support to your communities.  We share in your grief, and your resolve to rebuild and recover.

President Biden is visiting Louisiana today and I want to reiterate what he, our FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, and all of us have made clear from the start: Our federal government said that we would be ready to respond to this massive and catastrophic storm, and we were.  We pre-positioned personnel, assets, and resources on the Gulf Coast and in key areas ahead of time.  We had meals and water in place for anyone forced from their home.    We secured generators for hospitals, so they could continue to treat patients no matter what. We continue working to provide the states with fuel to cover any shortages. Right now, we encourage people to stay away from flooded and damaged areas for their own safety.  And I make this pledge, thanks to the extraordinary team at FEMA and our partners in state and local government, just as we were there before and during the storm,

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 03, 2021

Readout of Secretary Mayorkas's Engagement with Community Leaders Regarding Operation Allies Welcome
WASHINGTON - In executing the Department of Homeland Security's leadership role in Operation Allies Welcome - the  ongoing all-of-government effort to resettle vulnerable Afghans in the United States, including those who worked on behalf of the United States - Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas met yesterday with more than 20 leaders of the Afghan-American community to hear their views and recommendations for how to successfully accomplish this resettlement.

Yesterday's meeting follows another recent engagement that Secretary Mayorkas held with leaders of more than 35 national organizations to discuss ongoing resettlement operations. Participants in these wide-ranging discussions included Afghan-American organizations, resettlement agencies, domestic and international human rights organizations, and others.  Participants spoke of the need for timely communication, individuals' needs assessments, cultural competency, language access, access to counsel, provisions of supplies, financial assistance, and other critical resources to support this challenging undertaking. 

During these engagements, Secretary Mayorkas heard directly from members of the Afghan-American community about how the federal government can continue working closely with this community to ensure Operation Allies Welcome is undertaken efficiently and in a way that is informed by cultural competency.  The Secretary also spoke with participants about the moral imperative to protect vulnerable Afghans, while protecting our national security and preserving our public safety.  All participants recognized the unprecedented and complex nature of this resettlement effort. Secretary Mayorkas recognized that this historic Operation reflects our Nation's commitment to supporting those who assisted our country often at great risk to themselves and their families.  Secretary Mayorkas expressed his commitment to executing Operation Allies Welcome through collaborative and transparent

Department of Homeland Security News
Sep 02, 2021

DHS Announces Changes to Individual Assistance Policies to Advance Equity for Disaster Survivors
FEMA will now accept additional forms of documentation to verify occupancy and ownership requirements, improving access to disaster assistance for underserved communities

WASHINGTON - DHS today announced three immediate steps FEMA is taking to reduce barriers to access experienced by underserved populations through programs that provide individual assistance to disaster survivors.  FEMA will now accept a broader range of homeownership and occupancy documentation, and expand the forms of assistance offered to survivors.  These changes to FEMA's Individual Assistance program will help to ensure equal access is available to all survivors through FEMA programs.

"Our Department has an obligation to ensure we provide equal access to disaster relief and assistance to all survivors who are in need," said .  "Equity is a cornerstone of our homeland security mission and in all of our work we must reach minority communities, the disadvantaged, and the otherwise disenfranchised.  The changes we are announcing today reflect our commitment to always do better in achieving this moral imperative."

"This is a culture shift for the agency and we are only just beginning," said .  "These new changes reduce the barriers to entry for our Individual Assistance program and will help us to provide more equitable disaster support to all survivors, specifically for underserved populations.  Heading into the peak of hurricane season with 12 named Atlantic storms to date, and as wildfires strengthen out west, FEMA continues to put equity at the forefront of how we support survivors before, during, and after disasters."

To better support survivors seeking disaster relief, FEMA is:



FEMA is required by law to verify a survivor's home occupancy or ownershi

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 29, 2021

DHS to Serve as Lead Federal Agency Coordinating Efforts to Resettle Vulnerable Afghans
Secretary Mayorkas Announces Robert J. Fenton, Jr. as Senior Response Official  

WASHINGTON - President Biden has directed the Secretary of Homeland Security to have his department serve as the lead agency coordinating ongoing efforts across the federal government to resettle vulnerable Afghans, including those who worked on behalf of the United States.?  

Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced that Robert J. Fenton, Jr. will lead the interagency Unified Coordination Group. The Unified Coordination Group will report directly to Secretary Mayorkas and will include a broad range of services throughout the resettlement process, from initial immigration processing, COVID-19 testing, and isolation of COVID-positive individuals for anticipated quarantine, to resettlement support for individuals who are neither U.S. citizens nor lawful permanent residents. The resettlement support will include initial processing at pre-designated U.S. military bases prior to being resettled into communities.  

"The Department of Homeland Security is prepared to serve as the lead federal agency coordinating efforts across the federal government to welcome vulnerable Afghans to our Nation in a way that is consistent with our laws and our values," said Secretary Mayorkas. "This mission reflects the best of who we are as a country and our Department is honored by the trust the President has placed in us. There is no one better than Bob Fenton to help lead our efforts.?Bob has dedicated his career to public service and has decades of experience managing complex and critically important missions. He will help lead this interagency effort with incredible adeptness and the highest standards of honor and integrity." 

The Unified Coordination Group will ensure federal resources, authorities, and expertise are utilized in a unified and synchronized manner to support the goals of the operation. This initiative will be undertaken in close c

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 27, 2021

Statement from Secretary Mayorkas on the Cyber Talent Management System
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement on DHS publishing the Cybersecurity Talent Management System (CTMS) rule in the Federal Register:    

"DHS is launching the Cybersecurity Talent Management System (CTMS) to establish an innovative way to hire and retain the very best cyber talent. We are doing so through a new regulation, as we re-envision how the federal government recruits, develops, and retains a top-tier cybersecurity workforce. The regulation also creates the DHS Cybersecurity Service, which will increase access to public service careers in cybersecurity."

"Cybersecurity is a national security and economic security imperative. Joining the DHS Cybersecurity Service will provide opportunities for better compensation, exciting career development, and the ability to shape the future of the field. The CTMS rule will be effective on November 15, 2021 and DHS will begin accepting applications for the Cybersecurity Service shortly thereafter. Cybersecurity professionals at any stage in their career can visit DHS.gov/CybersecurityService to learn more about this opportunity." 

"Earlier this week, I joined President Biden, Secretary Raimondo, Secretary Granholm, and other senior government officials for a summit at the White House with private sector, education, and workforce development leaders to discuss how we can work together to protect critical infrastructure and the American people from cyber threats. During that discussion, several participants made concrete commitments to support our shared goals, including initiatives to strengthen the Nation's cybersecurity workforce. The cyber threats we face require a whole-of-society appr

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 27, 2021

DHS Statement on Safety and Immigration Enforcement During Hurricane Ida
WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is closely monitoring the potential impact of Hurricane Ida. Our highest priority remains the preservation of life and safety.

Absent exceptional circumstances, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will not conduct immigration enforcement at locations where disaster and emergency relief related to this storm is being provided, such as along evacuation routes, sites used for sheltering or the distribution of emergency supplies, food or water, or registration sites for disaster-related assistance or the reunification of families and loved ones.

DHS officials do not and will not pose as individuals providing emergency-related information as part of any enforcement activities.

Keywords: Immigration Enforcement, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL)
Topics: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 24, 2021

DHS Statement on Supreme Court Decision on MPP
The Department of Homeland Security respectfully disagrees with the district court's decision and regrets that the Supreme Court declined to issue a stay.  DHS has appealed the district court's order and will continue to vigorously challenge it.  As the appeal process continues, however, DHS will comply with the order in good faith.  Alongside interagency partners, DHS has begun to engage with the Government of Mexico in diplomatic discussions surrounding the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP).  DHS remains committed to building a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system that upholds our laws and values.  DHS continues to process individuals in accordance with U.S. law and our mission.  Pursuant to the CDC's Title 42 public health order, DHS continues to expel single adults and families encountered at the Southwest Border. 

Keywords: Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP)
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 21, 2021

Readout of Secretary Mayorkas's Calls with Counterparts from Portugal, Spain, and Sweden
WASHINGTON -  On August 20, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas participated in three separate calls with Portuguese Minister of Internal Administration Eduardo Cabrita, Spanish Minister of Interior Fernando Grande-Marlaska, and Swedish Minister for Home Affairs Mikael Damberg to discuss the ongoing situation in Afghanistan.  Secretary Mayorkas and Minister Grande-Marlaska, Minister Cabrita, and Minister Damberg discussed efforts to facilitate the relocation and evacuation of American citizens and legal permanent residents of the United States, citizens and residents of the Ministers' respective countries, and vulnerable Afghans, including those who worked for and on behalf of the United States in Afghanistan.  In each call, they agreed on the importance of partnership and cooperation between our respective countries. 

Keywords: International Partnership, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: International Engagement

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 20, 2021

Readout of Secretary Mayorkas's Meeting with Reunited Families Separated Under the Previous Administration's "Zero-Tolerance" Policy
WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas met virtually with parents who were reunified with their families under President Biden's Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families, prior court orders, and with the support of non-governmental organizations.  Secretary Mayorkas and Family Reunification Task Force Director Michelle Brané heard directly from the families about their experiences of being cruelly separated under the previous Administration's "zero-tolerance" policy.  They discussed their efforts to locate and reunify separated families.  They acknowledged the pain and trauma these families are experiencing.  They also relayed this Administration's commitment to identifying a long-term status option for families and its efforts underway to ensure that family separations never occur again.

Keywords: Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 20, 2021

DHS Statement on Safety and Immigration Enforcement During Tropical Storm Henri
WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is closely monitoring the potential impact of Tropical Storm Henri. Our highest priority remains the preservation of life and safety.

Absent exceptional circumstances, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will not conduct immigration enforcement at locations where disaster and emergency relief related to this storm is being provided, such as along evacuation routes, sites used for sheltering or the distribution of emergency supplies, food or water, or registration sites for disaster-related assistance or the reunification of families and loved ones.

DHS officials do not and will not pose as individuals providing emergency-related information as part of any enforcement activities.

Read this statement translated into various languages Keywords: Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL)
Topics: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Disasters

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 19, 2021

Readout of Secretary Mayorkas's Visit to Miami, Florida
WASHINGTON - On Thursday, August 19, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas traveled to Miami, Florida to participate in a series of important engagements with the Cuban and Haitian diaspora communities in Miami focused on hearing from community leaders about critical issues in their countries of origin and providing updates on the latest actions from the Administration.  Secretary Mayorkas was joined by Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere Juan Gonzalez and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Principal Advisor to the Administrator Mark Feierstein.  The Secretary's meetings with community leaders were the latest engagements carried out by the White House Office of Public Engagement during these critical moments - the President met with Cuban American leaders at the White House in July, and Gonzalez met with Haitian diaspora leaders following his trip to Haiti in July. 

In Miami, Secretary Mayorkas met with Cuban American leaders at La Ermita de la Caridad to reiterate the Biden-Harris Administration's continued support for the Cuban people - including last month's historic demonstrations in Cuba and the Administration's response, which have included placing sanctions and working to get internet to the island.  

Secretary Mayorkas and Representative Frederica Wilson also engaged with Haitian American community leaders at Notre Dame D'Haiti to express the Biden-Harris Administration's steadfast commitment to and diligent work in ensuring the safety and well-being of Haitians as the country recovers from back-to-back severe political and natural disaster crises.  

While in South Florida, Secretary Mayorkas, Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava visited the site of the tragic Surfside condo building collapse to pay their respects to the nearly 100 victims lost in the June disaster.  Secretary May

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 18, 2021

Readout of Secretary Mayorkas's Call with Counterparts from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom
- On August 17, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas participated in a call with Five Eyes counterparts from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom to discuss the ongoing situation in Afghanistan.  Secretary Mayorkas and the Ministers discussed efforts to facilitate the relocation of our citizens and their families, Afghan nationals who have worked for and on behalf of the United States and our allies, and other eligible vulnerable Afghans.  The group discussed the necessity of providing safe passage in Kabul for vulnerable individuals and committed to coordinating further on relocation and resettlement efforts.  

Keywords: International Partnership, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: International Engagement

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 18, 2021

DHS and DOJ Publish Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Make Asylum Process More Efficient and Ensure Fairness
WASHINGTON In a key step toward implementing the Administration's blueprint for a fair, orderly, and humane immigration system, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) are publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would amend current regulations to improve the processing of asylum claims.  The proposed rule would allow, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) asylum officers to hear and decide applications for asylum, withholding of removal, and Convention Against Torture (CAT) protection for individuals who receive a positive credible fear determination.  These cases are currently assigned to immigration judges within DOJ's Executive Office for Immigration Review.

"These proposed changes will significantly improve DHS's and DOJ's ability to more promptly and efficiently consider the asylum claims of individuals encountered at or near the border, while ensuring fundamental fairness," said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas.  "Individuals who are eligible will receive relief more swiftly, while those who are not eligible will be expeditiously removed.  We are building an immigration system that is designed to ensure due process, respect human dignity, and promote equity."

"Today marks a step forward in our effort to make the asylum process fairer and more expeditious," said Attorney General Merrick Garland.  "This rule will both reduce the caseload in our immigration courts and protect the rights of those fleeing persecution and violence."

The current system for hearing and adjudicating asylum claims at the southwest border has long needed repair.  For nearly a decade, the number of such claims has ballooned, and the system has proved unable to keep pace, resulting in large backlogs and years-long delays i

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 17, 2021

DHS?Announces?Alternatives?to Detention?Case Management Pilot Program
Department Seeks Appointees?to Serve on the?National Board?  

WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)?today?announced?a?new Alternatives?to Detention?(ATD)?Case Management Pilot Program (CMPP),?which will provide voluntary case management and other services to?ensure that?noncitizens in removal proceedings?have access to legal information and other critical services.?Alternatives to Detention is an important tool?used by DHS?for individuals and families as they await the outcome of immigration proceedings.?This new congressionally directed pilot will supplement existing Alternatives to?Detention programs run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and will inform best practices?moving?forward.? 

"We are excited to partner with nonprofit organizations and local governments on this pilot program to improve services for noncitizens in immigration proceedings," said?, who will chair the National Board for the Case Management Pilot Program.?"I encourage?organizations working with noncitizens to apply to serve on the Case Management Pilot Program National Board?and help us make this pilot program a success."? 

Funds will be awarded to nonprofit organizations and local governments through a National Board, similar to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Emergency Food and Shelter Program.?Case Management Pilot Program?services?will include, among others:?mental health services;?human and sex trafficking screening;?legal orientation programs;?cultural orientation programs;?connections to social services;?and?departure planning and reintegration services?for individuals returning to their home countries.?? 

As part of the United States' COVID-19 mitigation efforts, DHS continues to expel the majority of single adults, and, to the extent possible, families encountered at the Southwest Border in accord

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 16, 2021

DHS Statement on Safety and Immigration Enforcement During Tropical Storm Fred
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is closely monitoring the potential impact of Tropical Storm Fred. Our highest priority remains the preservation of life and safety.

In light of these circumstances, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reminds the public that ICE and CBP focus their limited resources on national security, border security, and public safety threats.

Absent extraordinary circumstances, immigration enforcement will not be conducted at locations where disaster and emergency relief related to this storm is being provided, such as along evacuation routes, sites used for sheltering or the distribution of emergency supplies, food or water, or registration sites for disaster-related assistance or the reunification of families and loved ones.

DHS officials do not and will not pose as individuals providing emergency-related information as part of any enforcement activities.

Keywords: Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL)
Topics: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Disasters

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 13, 2021

DHS Issues New National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin
WASHINGTON - On August 13, 2021 the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, issued a new National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin regarding the heightened threat environment across the United States.  The threat environment to the Homeland is diverse and challenging, especially leading up to and following the 20th Anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks as well as religious holidays that could serve as catalyst for targeted violence.  

Threats in the Homeland include those posed by domestic terrorists, individuals and groups engaged in grievance-based violence, and those inspired or motivated by foreign terrorists and other malign foreign influences.  These actors are increasingly exploiting online forums to influence and spread violent extremist narratives and promote violent activity.  This Bulletin builds on Bulletins issued in January and May by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and provides more information about the threat landscape we face for the coming months.   

"DHS remains committed to sharing timely information with the public about the heightened threat environment in order to protect?communities across?our?country,"?.??"Today's NTAS Bulletin advises?the public about the?heightened?threat landscape we face?and how?DHS?is working with our partners, at every level of government and in the community, to?combat?domestic terrorism and targeted violence in all its forms. ?We are committed to ensuring every initiative undertaken by DHS?in response to the threat?is consistent with privacy protections, civil rights and civil liberties, First Amendment-protected rights, and other applicable?laws."? 

DHS and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will continue its close coordinating with state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement and public safety p

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 12, 2021

Readout of Secretary Mayorkas's Visit to South Texas
WASHINGTON - On Thursday, August 12, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas traveled to McAllen and Brownsville, Texas.

Secretary Mayorkas received operational briefings on frontline operations at Border Patrol processing facilities, and heard directly from Border Patrol leadership in the Rio Grande Valley and surrounding sectors.  Secretary Mayorkas also met with Border Patrol Agents and thanked them for their unwavering dedication to the mission despite the many challenges they face. 

Secretary Mayorkas also met with border sheriffs, local and federal leaders, and NGOs.  During the meetings, Secretary Mayorkas thanked them for their partnership, reiterated that the situation at the border is a priority for the Department - especially with the added challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic - and laid out how the Department is executing its plan to address the border situation. 

Speaking at the Fort Brown Border Patrol Station in Brownsville, Secretary Mayorkas outlined actions the Department of Homeland Security has taken in the past six months and the steps the Biden-Harris Administration continues to take to implement a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system. 

Keywords: Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: Border Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 12, 2021

Statement from Secretary Mayorkas on the Fourth Anniversary of the Events at Charlottesville, Virginia
"On the 4th anniversary of the events at Charlottesville, Virginia, we remember Heather Heyer and all those who were victims of the senseless violence that occurred on that tragic day.  The Department of Homeland Security continues to work closely with our partners across every level of government, the private sector, and communities throughout our country to prevent acts of targeted violence and domestic terrorism.

"Over the last four years, we have seen a rise in violence motivated by ideologies of hate, false narratives, and other extremist views targeting people because of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, or political beliefs. At the Department of Homeland Security, we have redoubled our efforts to prevent acts of targeted violence and domestic terrorism through a whole-of-society approach. In combating targeted violence and domestic terrorism, we protect our homeland, the American public, and our values as a Nation." 

Keywords: Domestic Terrorism, Domestic Violent Extremism (DVE), Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 11, 2021

DHS Secretary Mayorkas to Travel to Miami, FL
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas will travel to Miami next week for meetings with members of the Cuban-American community, where he will re-affirm President Biden's commitment to hold the Cuban regime accountable, support the Cuban people, and ensure Cuban Americans remain a vital partner in our efforts to provide relief to those who are suffering on the Island.  Secretary Mayorkas will additionally meet with representatives of the Haitian-American diaspora community to discuss the impact of the political crisis in Haiti as well as U.S. efforts to support the Haitian people.  While on the ground, Secretary Mayorkas will also meet with first responders who led heroic response efforts in the aftermath of the tragic Surfside condo collapse.

Keywords: Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 11, 2021

ICYMI: ICE Discovers Sophisticated Subterranean Tunnel in California Near U.S.-Mexico Border
WASHINGTON - Last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents, working with Mexican authorities, discovered a 183-foot long subterranean tunnel in Mexicali, Baja California, near the international border. 

"I commend the ICE special agents who worked with their counterparts in Mexico to discover this tunnel," said  "Shutting down these tunnels is critical to stopping drug trafficking organizations and ensuring that illicit goods do not make their way into the United States."  

HSI special agents and Mexican authorities discovered the tunnel inside of a residence near the international border and determined that a drug trafficking organization (DTO) dug the approximate 4-foot by 3-foot tunnel nearly 22 feet beneath the ground. 

The tunnel, which has an entrance measuring 12 feet by 10 feet, extends 3 feet north of the international border wall, but has no exit on the U.S. side of the border. The DTO equipped the tunnel with electricity, ventilation, a rail system with a cart, and an electric hoist. 

"These types of tunnels enable drug traffickers to conduct illicit activities virtually undetected across the U.S.-Mexico border," said. "Discovering and shutting down these tunnels deals a major blow to drug trafficking organizations because it denies them the ability to smuggle drugs, weapons and people across the border." 

This is an ongoing HSI-led investigation with assistance from the El Centro Sector Border Patrol and the government of Mexico. 

The HSI San Diego Tunnel Task Force thanks the government of Mexico for its coope

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 11, 2021

Readout of Secretary Mayorkas's Meeting with Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada Mendicino
 - On August 9, 2021, Secretary Mayorkas met with Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Marco Mendicino.  They discussed their domestic immigration systems and common interests in a variety of immigration and border-related issues, including traveler screening and information sharing, asylee and refugee protection, and managing migration in the Western Hemisphere, including through expansion of lawful pathways.  

Secretary Mayorkas and Minister Mendicino agreed to enhance efforts to work together to tackle regional migration challenges, including addressing root causes and engaging in collaborative migration management.   

Secretary Mayorkas praised the strong partnership with Canada in protecting the security and integrity of our shared North American perimeter and our mutual commitment to fair, orderly, and humane immigration programs and policies.  Secretary Mayorkas emphasized his desire to build upon their already strong relationship in the years to come.  

Keywords: Canada, Canada-United States Partnership, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: International Engagement

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 10, 2021

Statement from Secretary Mayorkas on the Senate Passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement on the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure package:

"I want to thank the Senate for passing the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which will help deliver much needed relief to communities across our country.  Among the many provisions with key DHS equities, this infrastructure bill includes additional funding for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mitigation grants.  This funding will help build stronger communities, ensure they are better prepared for future disasters, and allow for adaptation and resilience investments to address the effects of climate change.  The bill also includes additional funding for cybersecurity and provides DHS with the resources needed to support response and recovery efforts for public and private entities impacted by cyberattacks.  Further, the bill includes additional resources vital to modernizing U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and United States Coast Guard (USCG) facilities.  The passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is a key step toward protecting the American people, and the services and infrastructure on which we rely."

Keywords: Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 09, 2021

Secretary Mayorkas to Travel to South Texas
WASHINGTON - On Thursday, August 12, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas will be in South Texas to receive operational updates and engage with the DHS frontline workforce.  While in South Texas, Secretary Mayorkas will meet with local officials and community leaders.  Additional details will be announced in the coming days.

Keywords: Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 05, 2021

Biden Administration Commits Historic $3.46 Billion in Hazard Mitigation Funds to Reduce Effects of Climate Change
FEMA makes hazard mitigation program funds from coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic available nationwide

WASHINGTON - President Biden today approved more than $3.46 billion to increase resilience to the impacts of climate change nationwide. This significant investment will be available for natural hazard mitigation measures across the 59 major disaster declarations issued due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

With the growing climate change crisis facing the nation, FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program will provide funding to states, tribes, and territories for mitigation projects to reduce the impacts of climate change. Every state, tribe, and territory that received a major disaster declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible to receive 4% of those disaster costs to invest in mitigation projects that reduce risks from natural disasters. This influx of funding will help communities prioritize mitigation needs for a more resilient future, including underserved communities that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. These projects can help address effects of climate change and other unmet mitigation needs, including using funds to promote equitable outcomes in underserved communities

"The Department of Homeland Security is committed to helping build stronger and more resilient communities that are prepared for future disasters," "States, tribes, territories, and localities will now receive the funding needed to treat the climate crisis with the sense of urgency it demands.  Through this funding, communities across the nation will have the critical resources needed to invest in adaptation and resilience, and take meaningful action to combat the effects of climate change.  This funding will also help to ensure the advancement of equity in all comm

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 05, 2021

Statement from Secretary Mayorkas on Deferred Enforcement Departure for Certain Residents of Hong Kong
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement on Deferred Enforcement Departure for certain residents of Hong Kong:

"Today President Biden issued a memorandum directing the Department of Homeland Security to take appropriate measures to defer for 18 months the removal for Hong Kong residents presently in the United States.  This decision to offer safety and protection to these individuals was made based on the ongoing assault on democracy, and rights and freedoms in Hong Kong by the People's Republic of China (PRC).  DHS will temporarily defer removal for eligible individuals.  Hong Kong residents in the United States whose removal has been deferred may also seek employment authorization through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong in support of rights and freedoms."

Keywords: Immigration, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: Citizenship and Immigration Services, Secretary of Homeland Security

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