America's Safety On The Borderline?
As a resident of a border town (Columbus
New Mexico) with Mexico I can tell you that
border security has been beefed up tremendously.
For the most part,
Mexican Latinos are really great people.
Friendly, honest, hard working, family loving,
and gracious to Americans. Poverty and
oppression drives them to America. Who can
really blame them for wanting a better life.
Isn't that why America exists? Was it not formed
by migrants escaping oppression?
Really the scariest
part about the violence going on in Mexico is
that it seems to have adapted Al-Qaida methods
of torture and beheadings. Is terrorism next?
It really makes one wonder if the cartels are
"copycatting" their terror techniques or if
violent Muslim extremist have migrated to our
borders with Mexico. Have they joined forces
with the cartels in order to make their way into
are they aiding in the destabilizing of Mexico
in order to distract America's influence in the
Mideast by causing an international incident
between U.S. and Mexico?
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* United States Citizenship and Immigration
Services – Processes citizenship, residency, and
asylum requests from foreigners
* U.S. Customs and Border Protection – Staff
border checkpoints, collect tariffs, and patrol
* U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement –
Long-term investigations of border violations
o Federal Protective Service – Law enforcement
and security for federal buildings, properties,
assets, and interests
* Transportation Security Administration –
Responsible for aviation security (domestic and
international, most notably conducting passenger
screenings at airports), as well as land and
water transportation security
* United States Coast Guard – Maritime security,
national defense, maritime mobility, and
protection of natural resources (assigned to
Department of the Navy during times of war or at
the president's direction)
* Federal Emergency Management Agency – Disaster
preparedness, response, and recovery
* United States Secret Service – Protective
services for important officials and protection
of the U.S. currency
(Passports for U.S. Citizens are issued by the
United States Department of State, not the
Department of Homeland Security.)
* Homeland Security Advisory Council – State and
local government, first responders, private
sector, and academics
* National Infrastructure Advisory Council –
Advises on security of public and private
* Homeland Security Science and Technology
Advisory Committee – Advise the Under Secretary
for Science and Technology.
* Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory
Council – Coordinate infrastructure protection
with private sector and other levels of
* Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency
Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities
* Task Force on New Americans – "An inter-agency
effort to help immigrants learn English, embrace
the common core of American civic culture, and
become fully American."
* Domestic Nuclear Detection Office – Develop
nuclear threat detection capabilities at all
levels of government and in the private sector
* Federal Law Enforcement Training Center –
Interagency law enforcement training facility
* National Protection and Programs Directorate -
risk-reduction, encompassing both physical and
virtual threats and their associated human
o National Communications System
* Directorate for Science and Technology –
Research and development
* Directorate for Management – Responsible for
internal budgets, accounting, performance
monitoring, and human resources
* Office of Policy – Long-range policy planning
o Office of Immigration Statistics
* Office of Health Affairs – Medical
* Office of Intelligence and Analysis – Identify
and assess threats based on intelligence from
* Office of Operations Coordination – Monitor
domestic security situation on a daily basis,
coordinate activities with state and local
authorities and private sector infrastructure
* Office of the Secretary includes the Privacy
Office, Office for Civil Rights and Civil
Liberties, Office of Inspector General,
Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman,
Office of Legislative Affairs, Office of the
General Counsel, Office of Public Affairs,
Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement (CNE),
Office of the Executive Secretariat (ESEC), and
the Military Advisor's Office.
* National Cyber Security Center
The Homeland Security Act (HSA) of
2002, Pub. L. No.
107-296, 116 Stat. 2135 (Nov. 25, 2002), introduced in
the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, created the
United States Department of Homeland Security in the
largest federal government reorganization since the
Department of Defense was created via the National
Security Act of 1947 (as amended in 1949). The HSA
includes many of the organizations under which the
powers of the USA PATRIOT Act are exercised. Among other
things, it created the new cabinet-level position of
Secretary of Homeland Security.
The new department assumed a large number of services,
offices and other organizations previously conducted in
other departments, such as the Customs Service, Coast
Guard, and U.S. Secret Service. It superseded, but did
not replace the Office of Homeland Security, which
retained an advisory role. The Homeland Security
Appropriations Act of 2004 provided the new department
its first funding.
Department of Homeland Security
The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a Cabinet department
of the United States federal government with the primary responsibilities of
protecting the territory of the U.S. from terrorist attacks and responding to
Whereas the Department of Defense is charged with military actions abroad, the
Department of Homeland Security works in the civilian sphere to protect the
United States within, at, and outside its borders. Its stated goal is to prepare
for, prevent, and respond to domestic emergencies, particularly terrorism. On
March 1, 2003, DHS absorbed the Immigration and Naturalization Service and
assumed its duties. In doing so, it divided the enforcement and services
functions into two separate and new agencies: Immigration and Customs
Enforcement and Citizenship and Immigration Services. Additionally, the border
enforcement functions of the INS, the U.S. Customs Service, and the Animal and
Plant Health Inspection Service were consolidated into a new agency under DHS:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The Federal Protective Service falls under
Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
With more than 200,000 employees, DHS is the third largest Cabinet department,
after the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Homeland security
policy is coordinated at the White House by the Homeland Security Council. Other
agencies with significant homeland security responsibilities include the
Departments of Health and Human Services, Justice, and Energy.
The creation of DHS constituted the biggest government reorganization in
American history, and the most substantial reorganization of federal agencies
since the National Security Act of 1947, which placed the different military
departments under a secretary of defense and created the National Security
Council and Central Intelligence Agency. DHS also constitutes the most diverse
merger of federal functions and responsibilities, incorporating 22 government
agencies into a single organization.
Organizational chart showing the chain of command among the top-level officials
in the Department of Homeland Security, as of July 17, 2008.
The Department of Homeland Security is headed by
the Secretary of Homeland Security with the
assistance of the Deputy Secretary. The
Department contains the components listed below. Not all subcomponents are listed; see
the linked articles for more details.
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