NEWS: DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY NEWS
Setup News Ticker
   NEWS: DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY NEWS
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.

Keywords:

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. 

Keywords:

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 02, 2021

DHS Statement on Updated CDC Order
"As part the United States' COVID-19 mitigation efforts, DHS will continue to process individuals in accordance with the CDC's updated Title 42 Order. Title 42 is not an immigration authority, but a public health authority, and its continued use is dictated by CDC and governed by the CDC's analysis of public health factors.

"Under Title 42, DHS continues to expel the majority of single adults, and, to the extent possible, families encountered at the Southwest Border.

"While we continue to defer to public health experts on decisions related to Title 42, the Biden-Harris Administration continues to work to build a fair, orderly, and humane immigration system, including by expanding lawful pathways to the United States and discouraging irregular migration. DHS recently expanded the Central American Minors program and made 6,000 H-2B visas available for Central Americans. DHS last week also resumed expedited removal flights for certain families who recently arrived at the southern border, cannot be expelled under Title 42, and do not have a legal basis to stay in the United States."

Keywords: Manage Borders, Public Health
Topics: Border Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Aug 02, 2021

DHS Partners with Girl Scouts of the USA to Launch the 2021 Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge
WASHINGTON - Today, the Department of Homeland Security and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) launched the 2021 Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge, a new initiative to encourage girls across the country to learn about cybersecurity and increase related awareness within their own communities, particularly around the growing threat of ransomware.  Developed in partnership with CYBER.ORG and DHS's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the 2021 Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge will help develop the next generation of diverse cybersecurity talent and strengthen our Nation's cybersecurity resilience. 

"I am tremendously proud to partner with Girl Scouts of the USA to inspire girls to learn more about cybersecurity and become leaders in their communities," said Secretary Mayorkas.  "I hope the unique opportunity presented by the 2021 Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge will spark a life-long interest in the cutting-edge field of cybersecurity among girls across our Nation."

"The 2021 Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge gives girls in every zip code across the country direct access to fun activities that will strengthen their skill and interest in cyber," shared GSUSA's Interim CEO Judith Batty.  "Women hold only a quarter of cybersecurity jobs in the United States, yet we make up more than 47 percent of the workforce.  GSUSA is continuously working to close this gender gap through programming that inspires girls in grades K-12 to explore their interest in a field that is so critical to the safety and security of our country.  By combining Girl Scouts' reach and girl-focused programming with expertise from DHS and CYBER.ORG, we will motivate a new generation of girls to become confident cybersecurity leaders." 

"We are thrilled to partner with the Department of Homeland Security and Girl Scouts to launch the Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge," said Kevin Nolten, Director of Academic Outreach at CYBER.ORG.  "This initiative is

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 30, 2021

DHS Releases New Resources to Combat Human Trafficking on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
WASHINGTON - Today, on World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released new resources aimed at combatting human trafficking and supporting victims.  The new resources include the first-ever Continued Presence Resource Guide to assist federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies in supporting victims of human trafficking and advancing trafficking investigations and prosecutions.  DHS is also releasing a fact sheet for the business community detailing criminal authorities used for prosecuting forced labor and related offenses in China.  The fact sheet appeals to victims and witnesses of forced labor and other human rights abuses to contact DHS.

"The Department of Homeland Security is leading the fight against the horrific practices of sex trafficking and forced labor," said .  "As part of the Department's victim-centered approach, we are committed to providing victims of these crimes, including noncitizen victims, support and necessary services and to seeking justice on their behalf.  Components, offices, and experts across the Department are part of this critical mission.  With the release of these new resources, we aim to support and inform law enforcement and businesses across the country, and to protect and assist victims of trafficking."

Continued Presence is a temporary immigration designation provided by law enforcement to noncitizens who may be victims of human trafficking or may be witnesses in investigations, or have filed federal civil actions against their traffickers.  Continued Presence is granted in two-year increments and is renewable.  Recipients are also eligible for certain federal benefits and services.  Continued Presence helps to alleviate victims' fears about removal, provides victims economic security, and improves victims' ability to seek justice against their traffickers.  Learn more about the

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 30, 2021

DHS Statement on Expedited Removal Flights for Certain Families
Asylum and other legal migration pathways should be readily available to those who need them, and this Administration is committed to fairly and efficiently considering asylum claims.  Those not seeking protection or who do not qualify will be promptly returned to their country of origin.

Consistent with that approach, the Department of Homeland Security today resumed expedited removal flights for certain families who recently arrived at the southern border, cannot be expelled under Title 42, and do not have a legal basis to stay in the United States.  Families apprehended by Customs and Border Protection were removed via U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Air Operations to their home countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. 

The expedited removal process is a lawful means to securely manage our border, and it is a step toward our broader aim to realize safe and orderly immigration processing.  By placing into expedited removal families who cannot be expelled under Title 42, we are making clear that those who do not qualify to remain in the United States will be promptly removed.  

The Biden-Harris Administration is working to manage safe, orderly, and humane migration in North and Central America, including by expanding lawful pathways to the United States.  DHS recently expanded the Central American Minors program and made 6,000 H-2B visas available for Central Americans.  

Irregular migration to the United States is dangerous and may ca

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 30, 2021

Statement from Secretary Mayorkas on the Confirmation of Ur Mendoza Jaddou as Director of USCIS
Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement on the confirmation of Ur Mendoza Jaddou as Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

"It is my honor to congratulate Ur Mendoza Jaddou on her confirmation as Director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.  Ur has two decades of experience in immigration law, policy, and administration.  She will administer our Nation's immigration system fairly and justly.  As the daughter of hard-working immigrants, Ur understands how immigrant families enrich our country and the challenges they face.  I want to thank the United States Senate for confirming Ur.  I look forward to working closely with her to rebuild and restore trust in our immigration system."

Keywords: Citizenship and Naturalization, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
Topics: Citizenship and Immigration Services, Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 30, 2021

Statement by Secretary Mayorkas on the Arrival of the First Group of Afghan Nationals
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement after the first group of Afghan nationals who helped support the U.S. mission in Afghanistan arrived in Ft. Lee, Virginia:

"I am profoundly honored to welcome to the United States the first group of Afghan nationals who so admirably helped support the U.S. mission in Afghanistan.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proud to work with the White House, Department of Defense, and Department of State on Operation Allies Refuge to protect those who bravely helped keep Americans safe.  CBP and USCIS are committed to ensuring these individuals receive the support they need as they settle in the United States and obtain legal status in our country.  Under the Biden-Harris Administration, DHS remains committed to ensuring the United States is a beacon for those seeking refuge." 

Keywords: Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 29, 2021

Statement by Secretary Mayorkas on U.S. Strategy for Immigration
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement regarding the U.S. Strategy for Addressing the Root Causes of Migration in Central America and the Collaborative Migration Management Strategy:

"The Biden-Harris Administration has outlined a comprehensive strategy to address the root causes leading to irregular migration from Central America and restore safe, orderly, and humane migration in the Americas.  I am grateful for Vice President Harris's leadership in these efforts to renew our Nation's engagement with Central American countries and I value our continued collaboration.  The Department of Homeland Security looks forward to supporting these initiatives by working with our regional partners, NGOs, and international organizations to improve security, governance, human rights, and economic conditions in the region as we continue our critical work to build safe, orderly, humane, and lawful pathways for migration."

Keywords: Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: Border Security, International Engagement, Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 28, 2021

Statement by Secretary Mayorkas on Arrests in Mexican Enforcement Operation Against a Transnational Criminal Organization
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement regarding today's announcement by Mexican Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero about a recent enforcement operation in Mexicali, Baja California that resulted in the arrest of seven individuals for their alleged participation in a human smuggling Transnational Criminal Organization:

"I applaud Attorney General Gertz Manero and his office for the successful enforcement operation against a Transnational Criminal Organization in Mexico responsible for human smuggling.  These criminal organizations prioritize profit over human life, and I am proud of the cooperation between U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Attorney General Gertz Manero's team to exchange information in support of this investigation.  The success of this operation demonstrates the strong partnership between our agencies on shared security priorities."

Keywords: Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), International Partnership, Mexico, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 28, 2021

Joint Statement by Secretaries Mayorkas and Raimondo on President Biden's New National Security Memorandum
Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas and Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo released a joint statement on President Biden's signing of a new National Security Memorandum, "Improving Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Control Systems."

"Today President Biden signed a new National Security Memorandum (NSM) to implement long overdue efforts to meet the scale and severity of the cybersecurity threats our country continues to face. This NSM takes a key step toward improving the cybersecurity of critical infrastructure by directing the Departments of Homeland Security and Commerce to work together, alongside other agencies, in developing cybersecurity performance goals that set a clear, easy-to-understand security baseline. The safety and security of the American people rely on the resilience of the companies that provide essential services such as power, water, and transportation. The establishment of cybersecurity performance goals marks important progress toward this goal. We look to responsible critical infrastructure owners and operators to follow voluntary guidance in order to ensure that the critical services the American people rely on are protected from cyber threats, and we are committed to working closely with our partners in the private sector to promote proactive cybersecurity practices that will protect our national and economic security."

Keywords: Critical Infrastructure, Cybersecurity, Industry Cybersecurity,

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 27, 2021

Secretary Mayorkas Statement on President Biden's Nominations for Leadership Positions at DHS
Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement on President Biden's nominations of Bill Valdez as DHS Under Secretary for Management and Erik Hooks as FEMA Deputy Administrator:

"Bill Valdez and Erik Hooks are distinguished leaders and recognized experts in their respective fields. They are well positioned to help the Department of Homeland Security address the diverse and urgent challenges facing communities across our country. I hope the Senate will swiftly confirm both of these leaders and our other nominees." 

Keywords: Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: Homeland Security Enterprise, Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 27, 2021

Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas Testimony to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
Chairman Peters, Ranking Member Portman, and distinguished Members of the Committee, good morning. Thank you for the opportunity to be with you again today.

Allow me to join you in expressing my sorrow upon the passing of Senator Enzi, with whom I had the privilege of working in my prior tenure at the Department of Homeland Security.  And allow me to join you, please, in expressing my prayers and thoughts for his family at this difficult time.

Every day, the 240,000 public servants at the Department of Homeland Security confront an increasingly complex and dynamic threat landscape. They do so with an unflinching dedication to our mission and a deep sense of purpose.

I am here today to ask for your continued support of their work. As you know, it is the resources afforded by this Congress that enable my outstanding colleagues to keep the American people safe, and that enable us to recruit and retain our Nation's most talented professionals.

The President's Fiscal Year 2022 Budget helps us meet these essential goals.

First, the President's Budget invests in a secure border.

It directs $1.2 billion dollars toward more effective and modern port and border security, including a $655 million dollar investment toward modernizing our land Ports of Entry; another $47 million to integrate Customs and Border Protection detection capabilities; and robust investments in border surveillance technology.

There is no request for additional border wall construction.

Our team at Customs and Border Protection employs a wide array of proven tactics and cutting-edge technology to defend the American people against dangerous threats to our borders.

To support this challenging task, the President's Budget includes $37 million to integrate aerial border security technologies that will provide a common operating picture for law enforcement. This will enable our Border Patrol agents - regardless of their location - to act based on consi

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 27, 2021

DHS to Address Life, Safety, Environmental, and Operational Considerations for Specific Border Barrier Projects
WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas approved four projects in the Rio Grande Valley, San Diego, and El Centro Sectors to address life, safety, environmental, and operational considerations related to the Department's plan for the use of Border Barrier funds.   

"These projects are reflective of the commitment of DHS to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of communities along the border, individuals encountered there, and our Border Patrol Agents who patrol the area," We remain focused on securing the border and keeping communities safe." 

These projects do not involve building new border barriers and are consistent with the guiding principles in the DHS Border Plan to prioritize projects needed to address life, safety, environmental, operational, or other remediation requirements.  DHS continues to prioritize the deployment of modern, effective border measures and technology as this work continues. 

The projects include: 

on both sides of the border along the El Centro Sector Utility Relocation Project.  issues at the Rio Grande Valley Sector Make Safe and Punch List Project. to ensure that 33 vehicle gates that have been hung and built within the San Diego Secondary barrier alignment are operable and necessary work to address life, safety, environmental, or other remediation is carried out.  Once completed, these gates will provide Border Patrol Agents with critical access and mitigate life and safety risk for agents and migrants who may need emergency assistance in the area.  In addition, there are 15 drainage grates requiring replacement and repai

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 26, 2021

DHS Statement on the Resumption of Expedited Removal for Certain Family Units
Beginning today,?certain family units who are not able to be expelled under Title 42 will be placed in expedited removal proceedings.??Expedited removal provides a lawful, more accelerated procedure to remove those family units who do not have a basis under U.S. law to be in the United States.??? 

Attempting to cross into the United States between ports of entry, or circumventing inspection at ports of entry, is the wrong way to come to the United States.? These acts are dangerous and can carry long-term immigration consequences for individuals who attempt to do so.??The Biden-Harris Administration is working to build a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system, and the Department of Homeland Security continues to take several steps to improve lawful processing at ports of entry and reforms to strengthen the asylum system.? 

Keywords: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U. S. Border Patrol
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 23, 2021

DHS to Cancel Laredo Sector Border Barrier Contracts
WASHINGTON - Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is terminating two border barrier contracts in the Laredo Sector that are not necessary to address any life, safety, environmental, or other remediation requirements, as described in the DHS Border Wall Plan implementing President Biden's Proclamation.

These are the first contracts CBP is terminating since DHS released its Plan for Use of Border Barrier Funds, which lays out the guiding principles framing decisions related to border barrier construction, including ending wall expansion to the extent permitted by law.

The contracts being canceled are for approximately 31 miles of border barrier construction funded with the DHS Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 appropriations.

Construction has not yet started on the two Laredo Sector projects, and no land acquisition has begun.  CBP intends to engage in environmental planning concerning these barrier projects, including taking certain actions consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other statues.

DHS continues to review all other paused border barrier projects and is in the process of determining which projects may be necessary to address life, safety, environmental, or other remediation requirements and where to conduct environmental planning.

The Administration also 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.

Keywords: Border Security
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 20, 2021

Readout of Secretary Mayorkas's Meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan
WASHINGTON - On July 20, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas met with King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan during the King's trip to Washington, D.C.  Secretary Mayorkas and the King reaffirmed the strong partnership between DHS and Jordan, and announced that Jordan will join U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Global Entry Program.  Admittance to the Global Entry Program will provide Jordanian participants expedited travel to the United States, facilitate legitimate travel and commerce, and strengthen passenger security.  Secretary Mayorkas and King Abdullah II also discussed enhanced cooperation on counterterrorism initiatives, including opportunities to share best practices for countering radicalization on the internet, and DHS's support for the multilateral Aqaba Process.  The Aqaba Process is led by the King and provides a forum to exchange ideas and best practices and explore coordination gaps in the global approach to combatting terrorism and radicalization.

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 19, 2021

Update: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals


On July 16, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas held that the DACA policy "is illegal." The Court granted summary judgment on plaintiffs' Administrative Procedure Act (APA) claims; vacated the June 15, 2012 DACA memorandum issued by former Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano; remanded the memorandum to DHS for further consideration; and issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the government's continued administration of DACA and the reimplementation of DACA without compliance with the APA. The Court, however, temporarily stayed its order vacating the DACA memorandum and its injunction with regard to individuals who obtained DACA on or before July 16, 2021, including those with renewal requests.

Consistent with this order, DHS will continue to accept the filing of both initial and renewal DACA requests, as well as accompanying requests for employment authorization. However, pursuant to the July 16, 2021 order from the Southern District of Texas, DHS is prohibited from granting initial DACA requests and accompanying requests for employment authorization. Also consistent with that order, DHS will continue to grant or deny renewal DACA requests, according to existing policy.

For more information, visit USCIS's main DACA webpage.

Keywords: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Topics: Border Security,

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 19, 2021

Secretary Mayorkas Announces Extension and Re-Designation of Somalia for Temporary Protected Status
Extension and Re-Designation Allows Additional Eligible Somalis to Apply for TPS and Employment Authorization Documents

—Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced an 18-month extension and re-designation of Somalia for Temporary Protected Status (TPS).  This extension and re-designation will be in effect from September 18, 2021, through March 17, 2023.

"Through the extension and re-designation of Somalia for Temporary Protected Status, the United States will be able to offer safety and protection to Somalis who may not be able to return to their country, due to ongoing conflict and a worsening humanitarian crisis,"  "We will continue to offer our support to Somali nationals through this temporary form of humanitarian relief."

Secretary Mayorkas made this decision to extend and re-designate Somalia for TPS after consultation with interagency partners and careful consideration of the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Somalia.  Three decades of conflict in Somalia, along with natural disasters and disease outbreaks, have worsened an already severe humanitarian crisis.  Somalia has recently experienced a dramatic upsurge in violence, severe drought, and flooding, which have contributed to worsening food insecurity and internal displacement.  The COVID-19 pandemic, in conjunction with an outbreak of cholera, also presents major challenges for a health care system that has already been severely weakened by the ongoing conflict.  These conditions prevent Somali nationals and habitual residents from returning to Somalia safely.

The extension of TPS for Somalia allows approximately 447 current beneficiaries to retain TPS through March 17, 2023, so long as they meet TPS eligibility requirements.  The re-designation of Somalia for TPS also allows an estimated 100 additional Somali nationals (or individu

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 17, 2021

Statement by Secretary Mayorkas on DACA Ruling
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement regarding yesterday's ruling on the DACA program:

"I am disappointed by yesterday's ruling and its impact on families across the country, but it will not derail our efforts to protect Dreamers.  The Biden-Harris Administration—and this country—remain as committed as ever to ensuring that Dreamers are protected from the threat of deportation and are allowed to continue to contribute to this country that is their home.  DHS remains focused on safeguarding DACA, and we will engage the public in a rulemaking process to preserve and fortify DACA.  The Department of Justice also intends to appeal yesterday's order.  Moreover, we will continue processing DACA renewal requests, consistent with the ruling.  Still, only the passage of legislation will give full protection and a path to citizenship to DACA recipients.  In January, President Biden offered a legislative proposal, and in March the House of Representatives passed the 'American Dream and Promise Act.'  I urge Congress to act swiftly to enact legislation through the reconciliation process to provide permanent protection that the American people want and Dreamers have earned."

Keywords: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 17, 2021

DHS Statement on Safety and Immigration Enforcement During the 2021 Wildfire Season
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is concerned about the potential impact of the 2021 wildfire season to western and southwestern portions of the United States.  Our highest priority remains the preservation of life and safety.

In consideration of these distressing circumstances, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reminds the public that ICE focuses its limited resources on national security, border security, and public safety threats.

Absent exigent circumstances, immigration enforcement will not be conducted at locations where disaster and emergency response and relief 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 fire-related information as part of any enforcement activities.

Keywords: Immigration Enforcement, Wildfire
Topics: Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 16, 2021

DHS Announces Funding Allocations for FY 2021 Preparedness Grants
WASHINGTON — Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced the final allocations for $475 million for seven Fiscal Year 2021 competitive preparedness grant programs. These allocations, together with the almost $1.5 billion in non-competitive grant funding announced earlier this year, total nearly $2 billion in FY 2021 to help prepare our Nation against man-made threats and natural disasters.

The grant programs provide funding to state, local, tribal and territorial governments, nonprofit agencies, and the private sector in building and sustaining capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism and other disasters. The total amount for each grant program is set by Congress and the allocations are made by the Secretary.

Secretary Mayorkas issued the following statement about this year's grant awards:

"Through these grant programs, we demonstrate our steadfast commitment to addressing the most significant and persistent terrorism-related threats to the homeland today," . "Many of the communities and nonprofit organizations receiving these grants have been historically underserved. The funding allocated for each of the grant programs will allow these communities and organizations to build, sustain, and improve their preparedness and response capabilities. I look forward to working with our state, local, tribal, and territorial partners to achieve these shared goals."

For the competitive grant program allocations that are being announced today, DHS identified four critical priority areas for attention: cybersecurity, soft targets and crowded places, domestic violent extremism, and emerging threats. Applicants under the grant programs were provided percentage increases in their competitive scores for aligning their projects around these areas.

All capabilities and programs being built or sustained using homeland security grant funding must have a

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 14, 2021

United States Government Launches First One-Stop Ransomware Resource at StopRansomware.gov
New website provides cybersecurity resources from across the federal government

WASHINGTON - Today, as part of the ongoing response, agencies across the U.S. government announced new resources and initiatives to protect American businesses and communities from ransomware attacks. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), together with federal partners, have launched a new website to combat the threat of ransomware. StopRansomware.gov establishes a one-stop hub for ransomware resources for individuals, businesses, and other organizations. The new StopRansomware.gov is a collaborative effort across the federal government and the first joint website created to help private and public organizations mitigate their ransomware risk.

"As ransomware attacks continue to rise around the world, businesses and other organizations must prioritize their cybersecurity," .  "Cyber criminals have targeted critical infrastructure, small businesses, hospitals, police departments, schools, and more.  These attacks directly impact Americans' daily lives and the security of our Nation. I urge every organization across our country to use this new resource to learn how to protect themselves from ransomware and reduce their cybersecurity risk."

"The Department of Justice is committed to protecting Americans from the rise in ransomware attacks that we have seen in recent years," . "Along with our partners in and outside of government, and through our Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force, the Department is working to bring all our tools to bear against these threats.  But we cannot do it alone.  It is critical for business leaders across industries to recognize the threat, prioritize efforts to harden their systems, and work with law en

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 12, 2021

Statement by Secretary Mayorkas on the Confirmation of Jen Easterly as CISA Director
WASHINGTON  Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement on the confirmation of Jen Easterly as Director of the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA):

"I congratulate Jen Easterly on her confirmation as Director of CISA. Jen is a brilliant cybersecurity expert and a proven leader with a career spanning military service, civil service, and the private sector. I am proud to welcome her to the DHS team and look forward to working together to protect our country from urgent cybersecurity and physical threats.

"I thank Brandon Wales for serving as Acting Director of CISA. Brandon's steadfast, superb leadership has been invaluable, especially as CISA continues to respond to rising cybersecurity incidents impacting businesses, government, communities, and critical infrastructure across our nation."

Jen Easterly is the second Senate-confirmed Director to lead CISA since its creation in November 2018.

Keywords: Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: Critical Infrastructure Security, Cybersecurity, Secretary of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 08, 2021

Readout of Secretary Mayorkas's Trip to Guatemala
WASHINGTON - On July 6-7, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas was in Guatemala to meet with government officials and conduct site visits highlighting the partnership between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Guatemalan counterparts. Secretary Mayorkas' trip builds on the commitments, expressed by Vice President Kamala Harris during her visit to Guatemala, to work together to expand lawful pathways for migration, address the root causes driving individuals to leave their homes, and combat criminal organizations who prey on the vulnerable. During the trip, Secretary Mayorkas announced that 1.5 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will be shipped from the United States to Guatemala this week.

"The partnership the United States and Guatemala share is of utmost importance," said Secretary Mayorkas. "We will continue to work to deepen our collaboration around issues of mutual interest, such as preserving our nations' security, defending the rule of law, and respecting the dignity of every human being. "

While in Guatemala City, Secretary Mayorkas and President Giammattei discussed their strong bilateral partnership. Secretary Mayorkas thanked President Giammattei for his efforts to provide support for returned migrants, for opening a new refugee center to offer protection to those who qualify, and for his collaboration in combating transnational criminal organizations. Secretary Mayorkas emphasized the benefits of the bilateral partnership for increasing security at ports of entry to facilitate lawful trade and travel, as well as U.S. efforts to create safe and lawful pathways for migration that offer an alternative to irregular migration.

In addition, Secretary Mayorkas met with Foreign Minister Pedro Brolo, Attorney General Consuelo Porras, Minister of Government Gendri Reyes, Vice Minister for Security Franco Urzua, Vice Minister for Prevention Rubio, and Vice Minister for Counternarcotics Rodas de Le

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 06, 2021

Secretary Mayorkas Announces Extension and Re-Designation of Yemen for Temporary Protected Status
Extension and Re-Designation Allows Additional Eligible Yemenis to Apply for TPS and Employment Authorization Documents

WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced an 18-month extension and re-designation of Yemen for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This extension and re-designation will be in effect from September 4, 2021, through March 3, 2023.

"Yemen continues to experience worsening humanitarian and economic conditions that prevent individuals from safely returning to their homes," "Therefore, I have decided to extend and re-designate Yemen for Temporary Protected Status. We will continue to protect and offer these individuals a place of residency temporarily in the United States."

Secretary Mayorkas made this decision to extend and re-designate Yemen for TPS after consultation with interagency partners and careful consideration of the ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Yemen, including lack of access to food, water, and healthcare; large-scale destruction of Yemen's infrastructure; significant population displacement; an ongoing cholera outbreak since 2016; and the COVID-19 pandemic's worsening of a dire economic and humanitarian situation. These conditions prevent Yemeni nationals and habitual residents from returning to Yemen safely.

The extension of Yemen for TPS allows approximately 1,700 current beneficiaries to retain TPS through March 3, 2023, as long as they meet TPS eligibility requirements. The re-designation of TPS for Yemen allows an estimated 480 additional Yemeni nationals (or individuals having no nationality who last habitually resided in Yemen) who have been continuously residing in the United States since July 5, 2021, and have been continuously physically present in the United States since September 4, 2021, to file initial applications to obtain TPS, if they are otherwise eligi

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 02, 2021

Secretary Mayorkas to Travel to Guatemala
WASHINGTON - On Tuesday, July 6, 2021 and Wednesday, July 7, 2021 Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas will travel to Guatemala to meet with counterparts in the Government of Guatemala regarding shared priorities. Secretary Mayorkas will also meet with in-country members of the DHS workforce and key DHS partners. Additional information regarding the trip, including coverage opportunities for Guatemala City-based media, will be announced in the coming days. 

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 02, 2021

DHS, VA Announce Initiative to Support Noncitizen Service Members, Veterans, and Immediate Family Members
WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis R. McDonough announced a new initiative to support our Nation's noncitizen service members, veterans, and the immediate family members of service members. 

"The Department of Homeland Security recognizes the profound commitment and sacrifice that service members and their families have made to the United States of America," . "Together with our partner the Department of Veterans Affairs, we are committed to bringing back military service members, veterans, and their immediate family members who were unjustly removed and ensuring they receive the benefits to which they may be entitled. Today we are taking important steps to make that a reality."  

"It's our responsibility to serve all veterans as well as they have served us - no matter who they are, where they are from, or the status of their citizenship," . "Keeping that promise means ensuring that noncitizen service members, veterans, and their families are guaranteed a place in the country they swore an oath - and in many cases fought - to defend. We at VA are proud to work alongside DHS as to make that happen."  

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is working with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other partners to identify deported veterans to ensure they are able to obtain VA benefits to which they may be entitled. VA is also working to ensure all veterans, including deported veterans and their families, are vaccinated.

As part of the DHS initiative, Secretary Mayorkas directed U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to immediately conduct a review of policies and practices to ensure that all eligible current and former noncitizen service members and the immediate families of military members are able to remai

Department of Homeland Security News
Jul 01, 2021

Secretary Mayorkas Announces Most Successful Cybersecurity Hiring Initiative in DHS History
WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced the Department's largest cybersecurity hiring initiative in its history with the onboarding of nearly 300 cybersecurity professionals and the extension of an additional 500 tentative job offers. This hiring initiative, which exceeded its goal by almost 50 percent, is part of a 60-day Cybersecurity Workforce Sprint focused on building a more diverse cybersecurity workforce.

"As cybersecurity threats to our communities continue to rise, we must recruit and retain diverse top talent to defend against today's threats and build a more resilient future," "DHS is dedicating significant energy toward exceeding our cybersecurity hiring goal by recruiting talented experts, investing in diverse talent pipelines, and ensuring equitable access to professional development opportunities at every level. The Department's 60-day Cybersecurity Workforce Sprint has enabled DHS to fill 12 percent of our more than 2,000 cybersecurity vacancies during a time when our country is facing extraordinary cyber threats. While I am proud of the progress we have made to date, we still have more work to do." 

In early May, Secretary Mayorkas set a goal to hire 200 new cybersecurity personnel across the Department by July 1. The success of the Cybersecurity Workforce Sprint highlights a strong desire by our country's top cyber talent to dedicate themselves to public service and help tackle some of the most complex challenges we face today. DHS is committed to ensuring its workforce represents the diverse communities it serves. To this end, the Cybersecurity Workforce Sprint is grounded in diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices and includes targeted outreach to underserved communities and communities of color.

This month, Secretar

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 30, 2021

Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman Publishes Annual Report to Congress
WASHINGTONToday,the Department of Homeland Security's Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman (CIS Ombudsman) submitted to Congress its Annual Report, which provides recommendations for addressing issues encountered by individuals and employers applying for immigration benefits with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  

This year's report studies the challenges and uncertainties encountered by USCIS and individuals seeking to acquire and maintain their legal immigration status during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report examines those impacts and underscores the importance of continuing to build upon the many changes already implemented. 

"I applaud the Administration's commitment to identifying barriers that impede access to immigration services and benefits,"  "The recent executive orders issued by President Biden allow for enhanced collaboration with USCIS and new opportunities to maximize our office's contributions to create a more responsive and transparent immigration system, reinforcing a focus closely aligned with the CIS Ombudsman's statutory mission." 

Highlights of the 2021 Annual Report include:  

A review of USCIS operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the impact COVID-19 had on backlog levels and the solutions USCIS implemented to address them.  Recommendations to address persistent problems associated with the issuance of Notices to Appear and related interagency coordination challenges.  A detailed analysis of the major processing issues related to Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence.   An overview of the challenges encountered by naturalization applicants seeking medical disability waivers and recommenda

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 28, 2021

Secretary Mayorkas Swears in John Tien as Deputy Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security
WASHINGTON - Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas delivered the Oath of Office to John Tien, the new Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

"John Tien is a retired U.S. Army Colonel whose distinguished military career spanned 24 years, and someone who knows what it means to truly safeguard our Nation," I am proud to have John as a partner in leading the Department of Homeland Security, as we work together to support our incredible colleagues and protect the Nation.  I also want to thank former Senior Official Performing the Duties of Deputy Secretary David Pekoske for his service.  I am grateful for the great work that David has accomplished throughout the past several months, and I am thankful that he will continue to serve our Department as he returns to his leadership of the Transportation Security Administration."

"I am deeply gratified to return to public service and honored to serve as Deputy Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security," "I look forward to the opportunity to serve our country again and working with Secretary Mayorkas to support our workforce and strengthen the Department."

Prior to joining the Department of Homeland Security, Deputy Secretary Tien spent ten years serving in senior executive roles in the critical infrastructure financial services sector as a managing director at Citigroup.  He previously served in the Obama Administration as the National Security Council Senior Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Bush Administration as the National Security Council Director for Iraq, and the Clinton Administration as a White House Fellow in the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

At the United States Military Academy at West Point, Tien was the first Asian American to ever serve a

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 25, 2021

Readout of Secretary Mayorkas's Visit to El Paso, Texas with Vice President Harris
WASHINGTON- On Friday, June 25, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas joined Vice President Kamala Harris, along with Senator Dick Durbin and Representative Veronica Escobar, in El Paso, Texas to receive an operational briefing at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility, visit the Paso del Norte (PDN) Port of Entry, and meet with community leaders.   

"This Administration inherited a decimated immigration system and the Biden-Harris Administration is making progress to restore order and humanity to that system," . "I am proud of the work that CBP is doing to keep the border secure while we work to implement a safe, orderly, and humane process for those seeking asylum.  I am grateful to the Vice President for leading the effort to tackle the root causes of irregular migration.  We know that what happens at the border is directly connected to the work of addressing the root causes of migration: poverty, corruption, violence, and a climate crisis."  

While at the CBP facility, Vice President Harris privately met with young women who shared with her their personal stories and insights, providing the Vice President with invaluable perspective on her work to address the root causes of their migration.  

Secretary Mayorkas also provided Vice President Harris with an update on the progress being made in facilities across the Southwest Border to decrease the amount of time unaccompanied children remain in CBP custody and the work being done to reinstate orderly processes and protocols at the border:  

The number of unaccompanied children (UC) in CBP has fallen from 5,767 at its peak on March 29 to 890 on June 24.  Average time in custody for UC has fallen from 133 hours on March 29 to 22 hours on the morning of June 15.  Projected UC encounters for June are down approximately 21 percent from their peak of 19,000 in March.  Family unit encounters r

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 24, 2021

Readout of Secretary Mayorkas's Trip to Spain
WASHINGTON - On June 22-23, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas visited Madrid, Spain to meet key partners in the Government of Spain, and to address issues of mutual importance in furtherance of shared security priorities. While in Madrid, Secretary Mayorkas met individually with Vice-President and Minister of Economy and Digital Transformation Nadia Calviño; Spanish Minister of Interior Fernando Grande-Marlaska; and Director of the Department of National Security Miguel Ángel Ballesteros Martín.  

"I am very proud of the close partnership the United States and Spain share, and I look forward to our continued work together," said Secretary Mayorkas. "We will work with our Spanish partners to address the shared challenges our nations face, including domestic terrorism and ransomware attacks."

Secretary Mayorkas and Minister Grande-Marlaska explored opportunities to strengthen the partnership between the United States and Spain, to include joint efforts to manage migration, address root causes of irregular migration, and combat domestic violent extremism. They also discussed ways to cooperatively bolster critical infrastructure protection and cybersecurity, including ransomware and 5G security.

Secretary Mayorkas and Vice-President Calviño also identified opportunities to further bilateral U.S.-Spain cooperation in the area of cybersecurity, including through expert-to-expert dialogue and information sharing.  

Secretary Mayorkas and Director Ballesteros spoke about national security challenges, including the threat of domestic violent extremism, ransomware attacks, and disinformation campaigns. They explored the expansion of information sharing and cooperation in the areas of counterterrorism and combatting transnational criminal organizations.   

Secretary Mayorkas participated in a roundtable exchange with four Spanish NGOs to hear their perspectives about the migration challenges Spain has faced and lessons

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 23, 2021

DHS Announces Expanded Criteria for MPP-Enrolled Individuals Who Are Eligible for Processing into the United States
As part of our continued effort to restore safe, orderly, and humane processing at the Southwest Border, DHS will expand the pool of MPP-enrolled individuals who are eligible for processing into the United States. Beginning June 23, 2021, DHS will include MPP enrollees who had their cases terminated or were ordered removed in absentia (i.e., individuals ordered removed while not present at their hearings). DHS will continue to process for entry into the United States MPP enrollees with pending proceedings. Individuals who may be eligible for processing should stay where they are currently located and register online through: https://conecta.acnur.org.


On June 01, 2021, following careful review of the program as directed by President Biden in Executive Order 14010, the Secretary of Homeland Security terminated the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program. The termination does not impact the processing of eligible individuals into the United States. For more information, visit: https://www.dhs.gov/migrant-protection-protocols.

Keywords: Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP)
Topics:

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 22, 2021

Readout of Secretary Mayorkas's Trip to Portugal
WASHINGTON - On June 21-22, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas traveled to Portugal to represent the United States alongside the Department of Justice at the biannual U.S.-EU Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Ministerial. Secretary Mayorkas met bilaterally with European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas, European Commissioner Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner Didier Reynders, Portuguese Minister of Interior Eduardo Cabrita, and Portuguese Minister of Justice Francisca Van Dunem. He also met with DHS employees based in Portugal.  

"The United States is proud to stand with the European Union as a steadfast partner and we look forward to continued cooperation across shared interests, such as addressing violent extremism, cybersecurity, and information sharing," said "I would like to thank our European partners and the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the very warm welcome we received in Lisbon."  

At the JHA Ministerial, Secretary Mayorkas joined counterparts from the European Commission, the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), the incoming Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the European External Actions Service, Europol, Eurojust, and the General Secretariat of the Council to discuss opportunities for strengthening U.S.-EU cooperation. Secretary Mayorkas and Commissioner Johansson agreed to create a new U.S.-EU working group dedicated to fighting against the ransomware. This working group will help strengthen transatlantic cooperation to tackle ransomware more effectively, including through preventive and law enforcement measures. This is but one example of the commitment to leverage and expand information sharing and address common security threats, like transnational crime, and domestic violent extremism. During the meeting, the United States and the European Union acknowledged the potential risks and benefits of using 

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 22, 2021

Joint EU-US statement following the EU-US Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial Meeting
On 22 June 2021, the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union hosted the EU-U.S. Ministerial Meeting on Justice and Home Affairs in Lisbon. The United States was represented by the Secretary for Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas, and by Deputy Assistant Attorney General and DOJ Counselor for International Affairs Bruce Swartz. The European Union, hosting the meeting, was represented by the Vice-President of the European Commission Margaritis Schinas, the Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders, the Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson, as well as the Portuguese Ministers for Justice Francisca Van Dunem and for Home Affairs Eduardo Cabrita, on behalf of the current Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The incoming Presidency of the Council was represented by the Slovenian Minister of the Interior Aleš Hojs.
 The meeting in Lisbon was an opportunity to reaffirm the commitment of the European Union and the United States to work together and renew the transatlantic partnership, at a time of major challenges for our societies. The two sides concurred that cooperation on Justice and Home Affairs remains crucial, as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. They further underscored their mutual commitment to uphold democracy and the respect for the rule of law.
 The United States and the European Union will continue their joint efforts and work together to address and combat existing and emerging threats that affect our societies. Terrorism in all its forms remains a top security threat for the United States and the European Union, requiring prevention, permanent vigilance, adaptation and resilience from all relevant actors. Both sides praised the operational work and information exchange between EU agencies and U.S. law enforcement and judicial authorities to combat terrorism and serious and organised crime. Examples of such work were presented.
 The United States and the European U

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 16, 2021

Readout of Secretary Mayorkas's Trip to Mexico
WASHINGTON - On June 14-15, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas visited Mexico during his first international trip as Secretary — a reflection of the Department of Homeland Security's commitment to a close and deep partnership with the Government of Mexico.  

"I am proud of the partnership we are building with Mexico," said . "I am looking forward to our work together on a wide range of issues, including our emergence from the pandemic, the facilitation of lawful trade and travel, border security, the fight against narcotics trafficking, and the building of safe and legal pathways for those seeking humanitarian relief.  We are partners, we are neighbors, and we share both challenges and opportunities."

During the visit, Secretary Mayorkas met individually with Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Relations Marcelo Ebrard Casaubon, Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection Rosa Icela Rodríguez Velázquez, Secretary of Finance and Public Credit Arturo Herrera Gutiérrez, Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero, and the American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico.  He also met with DHS employees at the U.S. Embassy.

Secretaries Mayorkas and Ebrard discussed ways to facilitate legitimate trade and travel, including how to safely ease current pandemic-related restrictions on travel across our shared land border.  The Secretaries also discussed strengthening efforts to address southbound weapons flows through increased joint inspections and investigations, migration issues, and the importance of further securing our land, sea, and air ports of entry.   

Secretary Mayorkas spoke with Secretaries Ebrard and Rodríguez about the United States' multi-prong approach to stemming irregular migration, including addressing the root causes of migration, expanding lawful pathways for migration in the region, expanding regional countries' capacity to process asylum seekers, and overhauling border and asylum processing at

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 15, 2021

Joint Statement by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of State on the Expansion of Access to the Central American Minors Program
The following joint statement was released by Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas and Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken:

 

"The Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration have been making progress toward reinstituting and improving the Central American Minors (CAM) program since our agencies launched the first phase of its reopening on March 10.  As part of this focus on a responsible, phased approach, we continue to reopen cases that were closed when CAM was terminated in 2018.  This is just one component of the President's multi-pronged approach to address the challenges of irregular migration throughout North and Central America.

"Today, we are proud to announce the second phase of the CAM reopening, which will expand access to the program to a greater number of qualifying individuals.  Eligibility to petition will now be extended to include legal guardians (in addition to parents) who are in the United States pursuant to any of the following qualifying categories: lawful permanent residence; temporary protected status; parole; deferred action; deferred enforced departure; or withholding of removal.  In addition, this expansion of eligibility will now include certain U.S.-based parents or legal guardians who have a pending asylum application or a pending U visa petition filed before May 15, 2021.  It will allow them to petition for access to the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program on behalf of their children who are nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras for potential resettlement in the United States.  These new changes will dramatically expand access to the CAM program.

"We are firmly committed to welcoming people to the United States with humanity and respect, as well as providing a legal alternative to irregular migration.  We are delivering on our promise to promote safe, orderly, and humane migration from Central America t

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 15, 2021

Statement from Secretary Mayorkas on the National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism
With today's release of the first-ever National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism, President Biden is demonstrating his steadfast commitment to addressing the most significant and persistent terrorism-related threat to the homeland today.

In furtherance of the National Strategy, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will remain focused on addressing violence, while at the same time protecting privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties.

DHS is undertaking a number of actions as part of an all-of-government effort to fight domestic terrorism. DHS is enhancing its analysis of open-source information to identify threats and leverage credible threat-analysis produced by others. The Department is continuing its efforts to provide timely and useful information to state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement as well as international and private sector partners. DHS is developing key partnerships with local stakeholders through the Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships (CP3) to identify potential threats and prevent terrorism. For the first time, the Department designated domestic violent extremism as a "National Priority Area" within DHS's Homeland Security Grants, which will provide local partners with more than $77 million to prevent, protect against, and respond to domestic violent extremism. 

We must and we will remain vigilant in our steadfast efforts to safeguard our Nation and our democratic principles.

Keywords: Domestic Terrorism, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: Preventing Terrorism

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 11, 2021

DHS Releases Plan for Use of Border Barrier Funds
Biden Administration Reaffirms Commitment to Serious Policy Solutions for Border Management

WASHINGTON - Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the agency's plan for funds the previous administration was planning to use for construction of a border wall at the Southwest border of the United States. The plan fulfills a requirement of President Biden's Proclamation ending the diversion of funds for border wall, and outlines steps DHS will take to end wall expansion to the extent permitted by law and address life, safety, and environmental concerns.  

The prior administration planned to spend over $15 billion on wall construction, and diverted over $10 billion of those funds from military projects and other sources. The Department of Defense is terminating all border wall projects using the diverted funds, and returning the remaining, unobligated funds to their original sources.

Congress provided DHS with some funding for border barrier projects, which the agency is legally required to use consistent with their appropriated purpose. In doing so, DHS will prioritize the remaining border barrier funds to address and remediate urgent life, safety, and environmental issues resulting from the previous administration's border wall construction.

For instance, DHS has started repair projects to:

Low-lying regions in Hidalgo County, Texas face threats of serious flooding after the previous administration excavated the Rio Grande Valley's flood barrier system to make way for the border wall. DHS has authorized work to close the breaches in the levee system.
  Improper compaction of soil and construction materials along a wall segment constructed under the previous administration are causing dangerous erosion in San Diego. DHS has authorized necessary backfill projects to ens

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 11, 2021

Secretary Mayorkas, Mayor Garcetti Visit LA Cyber Lab
LOS ANGELES - Yesterday, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas and Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti visited the Los Angeles Cyber Lab and received a briefing on its operational capabilities. The Cyber Lab is a prime example of how a public-private partnership can shore up our cyber defenses across every level of government as called for by President Biden.

"As cyber threats continue to evolve, we must adapt to ensure the resilience of our nation's institutions and critical infrastructure," said "The federal government cannot do this alone. DHS is committed to strengthening its partnerships with state, local, tribal, and territorial governments and private sector entities across the country. The LA Cyber Lab is a tremendous example of how public-private partnerships can make us all safer."

"Cybersecurity threats are becoming more dangerous in cities across America, and thanks to Secretary Mayorkas and the Department of Homeland Security's partnership, Los Angeles has created a national model for protecting infrastructure and supporting private business," said "It was a privilege to host the Secretary at our Integrated Security Operations Center today and show him how L.A. is leading the way on this critical issue, and I look forward to continuing our work together."

Established by the Mayor's Office in 2017, the LA Cyber Lab's mission is to bring together public and private sector organizations to better protect communities against malicious cyber actors. In 2018, DHS's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) awarded the LA Cyber Lab a $3 million grant to provide training on cyber hygiene best practices and increase cybersecurity awareness across the greater LA business community and local government organizations. The LA Cyber Lab works with community stakeholders to increase economic prosperity, including through partnerships with academia that provide techn

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 08, 2021

Family Reunification Task Force Provides Initial Progress Report and Announces Upcoming Reunification of 29 Families
The Interagency Task Force on the Reunification of Families (Task Force) submitted to President Biden its Initial Progress Report, which details ongoing efforts to identify and reunite children who were unjustly separated from their parents at the United States-Mexico border under the prior Administration.

"The Department of Homeland Security is committed to the relentless pursuit of reunifying families who were cruelly separated by the previous Administration," "When we reunified the first seven families last month, I said that this was just the beginning. In the coming weeks, we will reunify 29 more families. In close coordination with non-governmental organizations, legal, and interagency partners, the Task Force will continue this critical work."

The Task Force has also announced in its report the anticipated 29 additional families to be reunified in the United States in the coming weeks. More reunifications are to follow, as nearly 50 requests have been filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Thirty-seven of these requests have already been reviewed and granted humanitarian parole. Once they enter the United States, these individuals will be allowed to remain for an initial 36-month period with the opportunity to apply for work authorization. This includes individuals from the families who were reunited in May as well as the 29 families that will reunite in the weeks ahead.

"For too long, families have been separated under the inhumane policies set in place under the previous Administration," said . "In the coming weeks, twenty-nine families who were separated under the previous Administration will be reunified, in addition to the seven fa

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 05, 2021

Readout of Secretary Mayorkas's Call with Mexico's Secretary of Foreign Relations, Marcelo Ebrard
WASHINGTON - On Friday, June 4, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas spoke with Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Marcelo Ebrard. They discussed modernization of technology and infrastructure to facilitate lawful trade and travel, COVID-19 related travel restrictions, and enhancing lawful pathways for immigration among other issues. Secretaries Mayorkas and Ebrard agreed to continue their close cooperation and partnership to manage northbound irregular migration flows and address southbound weapons flows to Mexico from the United States.

 

###

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

Department of Homeland Security News
Jun 03, 2021

DHS Announces New Efforts to Support the TSA Workforce
WASHINGTON - Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas today?announced?new?efforts to?support the?Transportation Security Administration (TSA)?screening officer?workforce,?including expanding collective bargaining?at the national level?and?ensuring?that?TSA's?standards and?processes?adhere to?the principles?applied by?the Merit Systems Protection Board.??Secretary Mayorkas also expressed the Department's commitment to improving pay for the TSA workforce.???

"TSA employees are outstanding public servants who work on the frontlines, including throughout the pandemic, to keep the traveling American public safe," said  ?"They deserve the empowerment of collective bargaining and a compensation structure that recognizes and rewards them for their contributions to our safety and security."

Secretary Mayorkas?ordered?these administrative actions to?build upon?the meaningful improvements made by TSA leadership to support the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) workforce.??TSA will expand?the?collective bargaining rights of TSOs?consistent with?the policy expressed in?President Biden's Executive Order 14025,?Worker Organizing and Empowerment.??The expanded scope of bargaining will?be similar to bargaining that occurs at other federal agencies while preserving TSA's ability to meet its critical security mission.??After implementing these changes,?TSA?will?work?with the American Federation of?Government Employees, which represents TSA's non-supervisory TSO workforce, to reach a new collective bargaining agreement.???

Today's announcement also recognized that?appropriately compensating TSA employees, including TSOs and Coordination Center Officers, is required to improve the morale and retention of these essential employees.??Secretary Mayorkas directed TSA to?prepare a plan that is consistent with providing fair compensation. ?

Today's announcement is?an important first step to more closely align the TSA?s

Department of Homeland Security News
May 28, 2021

Statement by Secretary Mayorkas on the President's Fiscal Year 2022 Budget
The FY 2022 Budget will strengthen border; restore our immigration system; support efforts to detect, deter, and recover from malicious cyber attacks; and combat climate change

The Biden-Harris Administration today submitted to Congress the President's Budget for fiscal year 2022. As the Administration continues to make progress defeating the pandemic and getting our economy back on track, the Budget makes historic investments that will help the country build back better and lay the foundation for shared growth and prosperity for decades to come.

"The President's proposed Budget will invest in our broad mission set, including preventing terrorism; keeping our borders secure; repairing our broken immigration system; improving cybersecurity; safeguarding critical infrastructure; and strengthening national preparedness and resilience," said "The Budget will provide DHS with the resources we need to keep our country safe, strong, and prosperous."

The Budget includes the two historic plans the President has already put forward — the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan - and reinvests in education, research, public health, and other foundations of our country's strength. At the Department of Homeland Security, the Budget:

The Budget provides over $1 billion for border infrastructure including modernization of land ports of entry and investments in modern border security technology and assets - and migrant care. These investments would facilitate more robust and effective security screening to guard against human smuggling, the movement of illicit drugs and weapons, the entry of undocumented migrants, and the import of unlawful goods, as well as provide for migrant care and the more efficient processing of legal trade, travel, and commerce through the Nation's Land Ports of Entry. The Budget in

Department of Homeland Security News
May 28, 2021

DHS Coordinates with Partners to Secure the Indianapolis 500
INDIANAPOLIS - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) law enforcement agencies to help ensure the safety and security of employees, drivers, crew, and fans during the Indianapolis 500 (Indy 500).

"The Department of Homeland Security is proud to join our law enforcement partners at every level of government to secure the Indy 500," . "The public also has a role to play. By maintaining awareness, we can all contribute to a safe and secure event. Remember: if you see something, say something."

The Indy 500 is categorized as Special Event Assessment Rating (SEAR) 2. SEAR 2 events are significant events with national importance which may require national-level federal support.

As the principal federal official for domestic incident management, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas appoints a Federal Coordination Team for all Sear 1 and select Sear 2 events. For the Indy 500, Secretary Mayorkas has appointed U.S. Secret Service Assistant Special Agent in Charge Andrew Campion as the Federal Coordinator.DHS is continuing our partnership with the Indy 500 with the Fans and visitors in the area will see "If You See Something, Say Something®" messages, digital displays, cards, and posters near entrances, exits, and throughout the event. The materials will also be displayed in staff areas. During the event, DHS will share the "If You See Something, Say Something®" campaign messaging and encourage the reporting of suspicious activity to the proper authorities. is providing aviation support and response capabilities from the Great Lakes Air and Marine Branch as well as tactical communications support.

Department of Homeland Security News
May 28, 2021

CBP Issues Withhold Release Order on Chinese Fishing Fleet
CBP will detain imports of seafood from Dalian Ocean Fishing Co., Ltd. due to forced labor indications

WASHINGTON— Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued a Withhold Release Order against Dalian Ocean Fishing Co., Ltd. based on information that reasonably indicates the use of forced labor in the entity's fishing operations.

"Companies that exploit their workers have no place doing business in the United States," said . "Products made from forced labor not only exploit workers, but hurt American businesses and expose consumers to unethical purchases. This Withhold Release Order will ensure we continue to protect the human rights of those working in the distant water fishing industry, while also upholding safeguarding our national and economic security."

CBP identified all 11 of the International Labour Organization's indicators of forced labor during its investigation including physical violence, withholding of wages, and abusive working and living conditions. Effective immediately, the new Withhold Release Order instructs CBP personnel at all U.S. ports of entry to begin detaining tuna, swordfish, and other seafood harvested by vessels owned or operated by the Dalian Ocean Fishing Co., Ltd. This is the first Withhold Release Order CBP has issued against an entire fleet of fishing vessels.

"This Withhold Release Order will help protect vulnerable workers while leveling the playing field for U.S. fisherman and seafood producers," said . "CBP is a global leader in the forced labor enforcement and we will continue to protect American consumers and businesses from goods made by modern slavery."

Federal statute

Department of Homeland Security News
May 28, 2021

DHS and DOJ Announce Dedicated Docket Process for More Efficient Immigration Hearings
WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas and Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced a new Dedicated Docket process to more expeditiously and fairly make decisions in immigration cases of families who arrive between ports of entry at the Southwest Border.  This new process should significantly decrease the amount of time it takes for migrants to have their cases adjudicated while still providing fair hearings for families seeking asylum at the border.

"Families arriving at the border who are placed in immigration proceedings should have their cases decided in an orderly, efficient, and fair manner," "Families who have recently arrived should not languish in a multi-year backlog; today's announcement is an important step for both justice and border security."

"The mission of the Department of Justice's immigration courts is to decide the cases that come before them promptly and fairly," said .  "This new program for certain newly arriving families will help achieve that critically important goal."

Under this new process, certain recently arrived families may be placed on the Dedicated Docket.  Families may qualify if they are apprehended between ports of entry on or after Friday, May 28, 2021, placed in removal proceedings, and enrolled in Alternatives to Detention (ATD).  DHS, in partnership with the Department of Justice (DOJ) Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), will make available information services to help families understand the immigration system and refer families to pro bono legal service providers for possible representation.

EOIR has identified immigration courts in 10 cities with established communities of legal services providers and available judges to handle the cases.  The designated cities are Denver, Detroit, El Paso, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York City, San D

Department of Homeland Security News
May 27, 2021

DHS Announces New Cybersecurity Requirements for Critical Pipeline Owners and Operators
Today, the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced a Security Directive that will enable the Department to better identify, protect against, and respond to threats to critical companies in the pipeline sector.

"The cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving and we must adapt to address new and emerging threats," said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas.  "The recent ransomware attack on a major petroleum pipeline demonstrates that the cybersecurity of pipeline systems is critical to our homeland security. DHS will continue to work closely with our private sector partners to support their operations and increase the resilience of our nation's critical infrastructure."

The Security Directive will require critical pipeline owners and operators to report confirmed and potential cybersecurity incidents to the DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and to designate a Cybersecurity Coordinator, to be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  It will also require critical pipeline owners and operators to review their current practices as well as to identify any gaps and related remediation measures to address cyber-related risks and report the results to TSA and CISA within 30 days.

TSA is also considering follow-on mandatory measures that will further support the pipeline industry in enhancing its cybersecurity and that strengthen the public-private partnership so critical to the cybersecurity of our homeland.

Since 2001, TSA has worked closely with pipeline owners and operators as well as its partners across the federal government to enhance the physical security preparedness of U.S. hazardous liquid and natural gas pipeline systems. As the nation's lead agency for protecting critical infrastructure against cybersecurity threats, CISA provides cybersecurity resources to mitigate potential risks, inc

Department of Homeland Security News
May 25, 2021

Readout of Secretary Mayorkas's Meeting with Haitian Community Leaders in Miami
WASHINGTON - On Tuesday, May 25, 2021, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas met with Haitian community leaders at the Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami, Florida. Secretary Mayorkas, joined by Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, met with members of the Haitian community, state and local elected officials, civic leaders, and immigration organizations to discuss issues of importance to the community, including the recent announcement of a new 18-month designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status.

"I was honored to have the opportunity to visit the Little Haiti Cultural Center to speak with leaders of the Haitian-American community about the issues facing Haitian nationals in the United States and the work the Biden-Harris Administration is doing to support them," said Secretary Mayorkas. "Haitian-Americans have made tremendous contributions to their communities and our country, and I am proud to have been able to spend time with members of the community as we celebrate Haitian Heritage Month."

In addition to discussing the recent TPS announcement, immigrant advocates, community leaders, and local elected officials also celebrated Haitian Heritage Month and discussed the Biden-Harris Administration's commitment to rebuilding and reforming our immigration system.

On Saturday, after consultation with interagency partners, Secretary Mayorkas announced the designation of Haiti for TPS due to extraordinary and temporary conditions in Haiti that prevent nationals from returning safely. Former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano initially designated Haiti for TPS in January 2010 based on extraordinary and temporary conditions within the country, specifically the effects of a 7.0-magnitude earthquake. In 2011, Haiti's designation was extended, and the country was also redesignated for TPS at the same t

Department of Homeland Security News
May 22, 2021

Secretary Mayorkas Designates Haiti for Temporary Protected Status for 18 Months
New Designation Allows Eligible Haitians to Apply for TPS and Employment Authorization

WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced a new 18-month designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). This new TPS designation enables Haitian nationals (and individuals without nationality who last resided in Haiti) currently residing in the United States as of May 21, 2021to file initial applications for TPS, so long as they meet eligibility requirements.

"Haiti is currently experiencing serious security concerns, social unrest, an increase in human rights abuses, crippling poverty, and lack of basic resources, which are exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic," "After careful consideration, we determined that we must do what we can to support Haitian nationals in the United States until conditions in Haiti improve so they may safely return home."

After consultation with interagency partners, Secretary Mayorkas decided to designate Haiti for TPS due to extraordinary and temporary conditions in Haiti that prevent nationals from returning safely, specifically, a political crisis and human rights abuses; serious security concerns; and the COVID-19 pandemic's exacerbation of a dire economic situation and lack of access to food, water, and healthcare. The persistent effects of the 2010 earthquake have also exacerbated the severity of the extraordinary and temporary conditions in Haiti currently. The designation of Haiti for TPS also is not contrary to the national interest of the United States. A country may be designated for TPS based upon one or more of the three statutory grounds for designation: ongoing armed conflict, environmental disasters, or extraordinary and temporary conditions.

It is important to note that TPS will apply only to those individuals who are already residing in the United States as of May 21, 2021 and meet al

Department of Homeland Security News
May 20, 2021

ICE to Close Two Detention Centers
 

WASHINGTON - Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas directed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to discontinue use of the C. Carlos Carreiro Immigration Detention Center in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts by transferring the remaining detained noncitizens out of the facility and terminating the Intergovernmental Services Agreement with the Bristol County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) and the 287(g) agreement with the BCSO that is no longer operationally needed. 

In a memo to ICE Acting Director Tae Johnson, Secretary Mayorkas stated, "Allow me to state one foundational principle:  we will not tolerate the mistreatment of individuals in civil immigration detention or substandard conditions of detention." 

Secretary Mayorkas also instructed Acting Director Johnson to prepare to discontinue the use of the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia as soon as possible and consistent with any legal obligations.  The preparations will include preservation of evidence for ongoing investigations, relocation of ICE personnel if necessary, and the transfer of detained noncitizens whose continued detention remains necessary to achieve our national security, public safety, and border security mission.    

"We have an obligation to make lasting improvements to our civil immigration detention system," said .  "This marks an important first step to realizing that goal.  DHS detention facilities and the treatment of individuals in those facilities will be held to our health and safety standards.  Where we discover they fall short, we will continue to take action as we are doing today."     

These actions come following the Secretary's ongoing discussions with the ICE leadership and workforce, subject matter experts, and a review of DHS reports, government accountability reports

Department of Homeland Security News
May 18, 2021

DHS mejora el proceso de excepciones humanitarias bajo el Título 42
La siguiente declaración se puede atribuir a un portavoz del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS por sus siglas en ingles):

"Mientras los Estados Unidos continúa cumpliendo con la orden del CDC bajo su autoridad sobre la salud publica bajo el Título 42, estamos trabajando para establecer un sistema ágil que pueda identificar y procesar, acorde con la ley, aquellos individuos que ameritan una excepción humanitaria a la orden basado en su vulnerabilidad. El proceso de la excepción humanitaria incluye una coordinación estrecha con organizaciones internacionales y organizaciones no gubernamentales en México e incluye pruebas de COVID-19 antes de que a aquellas personas identificadas se les permita entrar al país." 

Keywords: Immigration
Topics: Immigration and Customs Enforcement

  • CEOExpress
  • 1 Boston Place | Suite 2600
    Boston MA 02108
  • Contact
  • As an Amazon Associate
    CEOExpress earns from
    qualifying purchases.

©1999-2021 CEOExpress Company LLC