The Office of Homeland Security is founded

The Office of Homeland Security is founded


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The Office of Homeland Security is founded on October 8, 2001, less than one month after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Now a cabinet department, Homeland Security is now one of the largest organs of the federal government, charged with preventing terror attacks, border security, immigrations and customs, disaster relief and prevention and other related tasks.

President George W. Bush announced the creation of a new office to “develop and coordinate the implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to secure the United States from terrorist threats or attacks” a mere ten days after September 11. On October 8, former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge assumed his role as director and the office opened. Despite concerns about adding to the federal bureaucracy and dramatically re-organizing the security state, Congress officially voted to make the office a cabinet-level department in November of 2002. The Department of Homeland Security eventually absorbed no fewer than 22 agencies into its fold. Entities absorbed by DHS included the Secret Service, Customs and Border Protection and even Coast Guard.

DHS has faced criticism for much of its brief history. Many condemned its response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005—despite having been founded, in part, to coordinate a government-wide disaster response, DHS reportedly did not develop such a plan until two days after Katrina made landfall.

Since the election of Donald Trump, DHS’ border enforcement and immigration duties have come under scrutiny. In particular, many Americans are critical of one DHS office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which was founded in 2003. In recent years, ICE has stepped up its raids on undocumented immigrant communities, leading to a rising number of deportations. ICE is responsible for detaining migrants at America’s southern border, where the conditions of its facilities and its practice of separating detained children from their families have led to widespread condemnation and the rise of an “Abolish ICE” movement.


LibertyVoter.Org

The Office of Homeland Security is founded on this day in 2001, less than one month after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Now a cabinet department, Homeland Security is now one of the largest organs of the federal government, charged with preventing terror attacks, border security, immigrations and customs, disaster relief and prevention and other related tasks.

President George W. Bush announced the creation of a new office to “develop and coordinate the implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to secure the United States from terrorist threats or attacks” a mere ten days after September 11. On October 8, former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge assumed his role as director and the office opened. Despite concerns about adding to the federal bureaucracy and dramatically re-organizing the security state, Congress officially voted to make the office a cabinet-level department in November of 2002. The Department of Homeland Security eventually absorbed no fewer than 22 agencies into its fold. Entities absorbed by DHS included the Secret Service, Customs and Border Protection and even Coast Guard.

DHS has faced criticism for much of its brief history. Many condemned its response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005—despite having been founded, in part, to coordinate a government-wide disaster response, DHS reportedly did not develop such a plan until two days after Katrina made landfall.

Since the election of Donald Trump, DHS’ border enforcement and immigration duties have come under scrutiny. In particular, many Americans are critical of one DHS office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which was founded in 2003. In recent years, ICE has stepped up its raids on undocumented immigrant communities, leading to a rising number of deportations. ICE is responsible for detaining migrants at America’s southern border, where the conditions of its facilities and its practice of separating detained children from their families have led to widespread condemnation and the rise of an “Abolish ICE” movement.


Our History

USCIS has a legacy of more than 100 years of federal immigration and naturalization administration.

Federal oversight of immigration began in 1891, when Congress created the first Office of Immigration in the Treasury Department. As immigration grew over the following decades, so did the duties of federal immigration employees. By 1906, lawmakers voted to reform the nation’s pathway to citizenship, and the Bureau of Immigration added oversight of naturalization to its responsibilities.

The next major transformation came during the Great Depression in 1933, when the president ordered the consolidation of federal immigration and naturalization functions into the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). INS oversaw the immigration process, enforcement, and border patrol activities for seventy years until Congress passed the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (Pub. L. No. 107–296, 116 Stat. 2135).

On March 1, 2003, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) assumed responsibility for the immigration service functions of the federal government. USCIS was founded to enhance the security and efficiency of national immigration services by focusing exclusively on the administration of benefit applications. The Homeland Security Act created Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to oversee immigration enforcement and border security.

Students and scholars interested in conducting in-depth research on the history of federal immigration and nationality administration should consult our Research Guides .


Protecting the Homeland

President Bush Fundamentally Reshaped Our Strategy To Protect The American People

"Because of . the efforts of many across all levels of government, we have not suffered another attack on our soil since September the 11th, 2001."

President George W. Bush (March 8, 2008)

On December 17, President Bush visited the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and discussed efforts to protect the security and liberty of the American people.  Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, President Bush took the fight to the enemy to defeat the terrorists and protect America.  The President deployed all elements of national power to combat terrorism, which had previously been considered primarily a "law enforcement" issue.  He transformed our military and strengthened our national security institutions to wage the War on Terror and secure our homeland.  The President also made missile defense operational and advanced counterproliferation efforts to help prevent our enemies from threatening us, and our allies, with weapons of mass destruction. 

Secured the Homeland 

  • Protected our Nation and prevented another attack on U.S. soil for more than seven years, modernized our national security institutions and tools of war, and bolstered our homeland security.  Under the President's watch, numerous terrorist attacks have been prevented in the United States.  These include:
    • An attempt to bomb fuel tanks at JFK airport
    • A plot to blow up airliners bound for the East Coast
    • A plan to destroy the tallest skyscraper in Los Angeles
    • A plot by six al Qaeda inspired individuals to kill soldiers at Fort Dix Army Base in New Jersey
    • A plan to attack a Chicago-area shopping mall using grenades and
    • A plot to attack the Sears Tower in Chicago.   

    'History – assuming it is written by free men and women not intimidated into silence by the fear of attracting the terrorists' notice – will be exceedingly kind to this president.'

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Sept. 16, 2007)

    Waged the Global War on Terror

    • Removed the Taliban from power and brought freedom to the 25 million people of Afghanistan. 
    • Freed 25 million Iraqis from the rule of Saddam Hussein, a dictator who murdered his own people, invaded his neighbors, and repeatedly defied United Nations resolutions.
    • Captured or killed hundreds of al Qaeda leaders and operatives in more than two dozen countries with the help of partner nations.  September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is in U.S. custody and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the former leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, was killed in 2006.  Removed al Qaeda's safe-haven in Afghanistan and crippled al Qaeda in Iraq, including defeating al Qaeda in its former stronghold of Anbar Province. 

    Transformed Our Approach to Combating Terrorism After the 9/11 Attacks

    • Increased the size of our ground forces and number of unmanned aerial vehicles and strengthened special operations forces by increasing resources, manpower, and capabilities.  Increased the Defense Department's base budget more than 70 percent since 2001, including increased funding for military pay and benefits, research, and development.  Started moving American forces from Cold War garrisons in Europe and Asia so they can deploy more quickly to any region of the world.  Modernized and transformed the National Guard from a strategic reserve to an operational reserve. 
    • Forged a new, comprehensive cybersecurity policy to improve the security of Federal government and military computer systems and made protecting these systems a national priority. 
    • Improved cargo screening and security at U.S. ports and increased containerized cargo screening overseas. 
    • Established a more unified, collaborative intelligence community under the leadership of a Director of National Intelligence to ensure information is shared among intelligence and law enforcement professionals so they have the information they need to protect the American people while respecting the legal rights of all U.S. persons, including freedoms, civil liberties, and privacy rights guaranteed by Federal law. 
    • Consolidated 22 agencies and 180,000 employees under a new agency, the Department of Homeland Security, to foster a comprehensive, coordinated approach to protecting our country. 
    • Advocated for and signed into law the USA PATRIOT Act, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act, and a modernization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
    • Shifted the FBI's focus from investigating terrorist attacks to preventing them.  Created the National Security Branch at the FBI, which combines the FBI's counterterrorism, counterintelligence, intelligence, and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) elements under the leadership of a senior FBI official.
    • Created the Terrorist Screening Center and the National Security Division at the Department of Justice. 

    Invigorated International Alliances And Partnerships To Make America Safer And More Secure

    • Partnered with nations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and the Western Hemisphere on intelligence sharing and law enforcement coordination to break up terrorist networks and bring terrorists to justice. 
    • Transformed NATO to face 21st century threats, including strengthening the Alliance's capabilities against WMD and cyber attacks, while leading the international military effort in Afghanistan.
    • Established the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) and other multilateral coalitions to stop WMD proliferation and strengthen our ability to locate and secure nuclear and radiological materials around the world.  Dismantled and prevented the reconstitution of the A.Q. Khan proliferation network, an extensive, international network that had spread sensitive nuclear technology and capability to Iran, Libya, and North Korea.
    • Worked with European partners to limit Iran's ability to develop weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles and finance terrorism, and initiated targeted sanctions against Iran's Quds Force.  Gathered support for and won passage of three Chapter VII United Nations Security Council resolutions that impose sanctions on Iran and require it to suspend its uranium enrichment and other proliferation-sensitive nuclear activities. 
    • Established the Six Party Talks framework in partnership with China, South Korea, Japan, and Russia.  Obtained a commitment from North Korea to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs.  Since November 2007, USG experts have supervised North Korea's activities to disable its plutonium production capability.
    • Persuaded Libya to disclose and dismantle all aspects of its WMD and advanced missile programs, renounce terrorism, and accept responsibility for prior acts of terror.  Normalized our relations with Libya as a result. 
    • Signed agreements for missile defense sites in the Czech Republic and Poland to help protect America and its allies from the threat of WMD delivered by ballistic missiles.  Obtained NATO endorsement of plans to deploy missile defense assets in Europe.

    Current Threat Level


    General threat level remains at ELEVATED (Yellow).


    Establishing the Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council

    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

    Section 1. Establishment. I hereby establish within the Executive Office of the President an Office of Homeland Security (the &ldquoOffice&rdquo) to be headed by the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security.

    Sec. 2. Mission. The mission of the Office shall be to develop and coordinate the implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to secure the United States from terrorist threats or attacks. The Office shall perform the functions necessary to carry out this mission, including the functions specified in section 3 of this order.

    Sec. 3. Functions. The functions of the Office shall be to coordinate the executive branch's efforts to detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks within the United States.

    (a) National Strategy. The Office shall work with executive departments and agencies, State and local governments, and private entities to ensure the adequacy of the national strategy for detecting, preparing for, preventing, protecting against, responding to, and recovering from terrorist threats or attacks within the United States and shall periodically review and coordinate revisions to that strategy as necessary.

    (b) Detection. The Office shall identify priorities and coordinate efforts for collection and analysis of information within the United States regarding threats of terrorism against the United States and activities of terrorists or terrorist groups within the United States. The Office also shall identify, in coordination with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, priorities for collection of intelligence outside the United States regarding threats of terrorism within the United States.

    (i) In performing these functions, the Office shall work with Federal, State, and local agencies, as appropriate, to: (A) facilitate collection from State and local governments and private entities of information pertaining to terrorist threats or activities within the United States (B) coordinate and prioritize the requirements for foreign intelligence relating to terrorism within the United States of executive departments and agencies responsible for homeland security and provide these requirements and priorities to the Director of Central Intelligence and other agencies responsible for collection of foreign intelligence (C) coordinate efforts to ensure that all executive departments and agencies that have intelligence collection responsibilities have sufficient technological capabilities and resources to collect intelligence and data relating to terrorist activities or possible terrorist acts within the United States, working with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, as appropriate (D) coordinate development of monitoring protocols and equipment for use in detecting the release of biological, chemical, and radiological hazards and Start Printed Page 51813 (E) ensure that, to the extent permitted by law, all appropriate and necessary intelligence and law enforcement information relating to homeland security is disseminated to and exchanged among appropriate executive departments and agencies responsible for homeland security and, where appropriate for reasons of homeland security, promote exchange of such information with and among State and local governments and private entities. (ii) Executive departments and agencies shall, to the extent permitted by law, make available to the Office all information relating to terrorist threats and activities within the United States.

    (c) Preparedness. The Office of Homeland Security shall coordinate national efforts to prepare for and mitigate the consequences of terrorist threats or attacks within the United States. In performing this function, the Office shall work with Federal, State, and local agencies, and private entities, as appropriate, to:

    (i) review and assess the adequacy of the portions of all Federal emergency response plans that pertain to terrorist threats or attacks within the United States (ii) coordinate domestic exercises and simulations designed to assess and practice systems that would be called upon to respond to a terrorist threat or attack within the United States and coordinate programs and activities for training Federal, State, and local employees who would be called upon to respond to such a threat or attack (iii) coordinate national efforts to ensure public health preparedness for a terrorist attack, including reviewing vaccination policies and reviewing the adequacy of and, if necessary, increasing vaccine and pharmaceutical stockpiles and hospital capacity (iv) coordinate Federal assistance to State and local authorities and nongovernmental organizations to prepare for and respond to terrorist threats or attacks within the United States (v) ensure that national preparedness programs and activities for terrorist threats or attacks are developed and are regularly evaluated under appropriate standards and that resources are allocated to improving and sustaining preparedness based on such evaluations and (vi) ensure the readiness and coordinated deployment of Federal response teams to respond to terrorist threats or attacks, working with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, when appropriate.

    (d) Prevention. The Office shall coordinate efforts to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States. In performing this function, the Office shall work with Federal, State, and local agencies, and private entities, as appropriate, to:

    (i) facilitate the exchange of information among such agencies relating to immigration and visa matters and shipments of cargo and, working with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, ensure coordination among such agencies to prevent the entry of terrorists and terrorist materials and supplies into the United States and facilitate removal of such terrorists from the United States, when appropriate (ii) coordinate efforts to investigate terrorist threats and attacks within the United States and (iii) coordinate efforts to improve the security of United States borders, territorial waters, and airspace in order to prevent acts of terrorism within the United States, working with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, when appropriate.

    (e) Protection. The Office shall coordinate efforts to protect the United States and its critical infrastructure from the consequences of terrorist attacks. In performing this function, the Office shall work with Federal, State, and local agencies, and private entities, as appropriate, to: Start Printed Page 51814

    (i) strengthen measures for protecting energy production, transmission, and distribution services and critical facilities other utilities telecommunications facilities that produce, use, store, or dispose of nuclear material and other critical infrastructure services and critical facilities within the United States from terrorist attack (ii) coordinate efforts to protect critical public and privately owned information systems within the United States from terrorist attack (iii) develop criteria for reviewing whether appropriate security measures are in place at major public and privately owned facilities within the United States (iv) coordinate domestic efforts to ensure that special events determined by appropriate senior officials to have national significance are protected from terrorist attack (v) coordinate efforts to protect transportation systems within the United States, including railways, highways, shipping, ports and waterways, and airports and civilian aircraft, from terrorist attack (vi) coordinate efforts to protect United States livestock, agriculture, and systems for the provision of water and food for human use and consumption from terrorist attack and (vii) coordinate efforts to prevent unauthorized access to, development of, and unlawful importation into the United States of, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, explosive, or other related materials that have the potential to be used in terrorist attacks.

    (f) Response and Recovery. The Office shall coordinate efforts to respond to and promote recovery from terrorist threats or attacks within the United States. In performing this function, the Office shall work with Federal, State, and local agencies, and private entities, as appropriate, to:

    (i) coordinate efforts to ensure rapid restoration of transportation systems, energy production, transmission, and distribution systems telecommunications other utilities and other critical infrastructure facilities after disruption by a terrorist threat or attack (ii) coordinate efforts to ensure rapid restoration of public and private critical information systems after disruption by a terrorist threat or attack (iii) work with the National Economic Council to coordinate efforts to stabilize United States financial markets after a terrorist threat or attack and manage the immediate economic and financial consequences of the incident (iv) coordinate Federal plans and programs to provide medical, financial, and other assistance to victims of terrorist attacks and their families and (v) coordinate containment and removal of biological, chemical, radiological, explosive, or other hazardous materials in the event of a terrorist threat or attack involving such hazards and coordinate efforts to mitigate the effects of such an attack.

    (g) Incident Management. The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security shall be the individual primarily responsible for coordinating the domestic response efforts of all departments and agencies in the event of an imminent terrorist threat and during and in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack within the United States and shall be the principal point of contact for and to the President with respect to coordination of such efforts. The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security shall coordinate with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, as appropriate.

    (h) Continuity of Government. The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, in coordination with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, shall review plans and preparations for ensuring the continuity of the Federal Government in the event of a terrorist attack that threatens the safety and security of the United States Government or its leadership. Start Printed Page 51815

    (i) Public Affairs. The Office, subject to the direction of the White House Office of Communications, shall coordinate the strategy of the executive branch for communicating with the public in the event of a terrorist threat or attack within the United States. The Office also shall coordinate the development of programs for educating the public about the nature of terrorist threats and appropriate precautions and responses.

    (j) Cooperation with State and Local Governments and Private Entities. The Office shall encourage and invite the participation of State and local governments and private entities, as appropriate, in carrying out the Office's functions.

    (k) Review of Legal Authorities and Development of Legislative Proposals. The Office shall coordinate a periodic review and assessment of the legal authorities available to executive departments and agencies to permit them to perform the functions described in this order. When the Office determines that such legal authorities are inadequate, the Office shall develop, in consultation with executive departments and agencies, proposals for presidential action and legislative proposals for submission to the Office of Management and Budget to enhance the ability of executive departments and agencies to perform those functions. The Office shall work with State and local governments in assessing the adequacy of their legal authorities to permit them to detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, and recover from terrorist threats and attacks.

    (l) Budget Review. The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (the &ldquoDirector&rdquo) and the heads of executive departments and agencies, shall identify programs that contribute to the Administration's strategy for homeland security and, in the development of the President's annual budget submission, shall review and provide advice to the heads of departments and agencies for such programs. The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security shall provide advice to the Director on the level and use of funding in departments and agencies for homeland security-related activities and, prior to the Director's forwarding of the proposed annual budget submission to the President for transmittal to the Congress, shall certify to the Director the funding levels that the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security believes are necessary and appropriate for the homeland security-related activities of the executive branch.

    Sec. 4. Administration.

    (a) The Office of Homeland Security shall be directed by the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security.

    (b) The Office of Administration within the Executive Office of the President shall provide the Office of Homeland Security with such personnel, funding, and administrative support, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, as directed by the Chief of Staff to carry out the provisions of this order.

    (c) Heads of executive departments and agencies are authorized, to the extent permitted by law, to detail or assign personnel of such departments and agencies to the Office of Homeland Security upon request of the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, subject to the approval of the Chief of Staff.

    Sec. 5. Establishment of Homeland Security Council.

    (a) I hereby establish a Homeland Security Council (the &ldquoCouncil&rdquo), which shall be responsible for advising and assisting the President with respect to all aspects of homeland security. The Council shall serve as the mechanism for ensuring coordination of homeland security-related activities of executive departments and agencies and effective development and implementation of homeland security policies.

    (b) The Council shall have as its members the President, the Vice President, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Transportation, Start Printed Page 51816 the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, and such other officers of the executive branch as the President may from time to time designate. The Chief of Staff, the Chief of Staff to the Vice President, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, the Counsel to the President, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget also are invited to attend any Council meeting. The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy shall be invited to attend meetings pertaining to their responsibilities. The heads of other executive departments and agencies and other senior officials shall be invited to attend Council meetings when appropriate.

    (c) The Council shall meet at the President's direction. When the President is absent from a meeting of the Council, at the President's direction the Vice President may preside. The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security shall be responsible, at the President's direction, for determining the agenda, ensuring that necessary papers are prepared, and recording Council actions and Presidential decisions.

    Sec. 6. Original Classification Authority. I hereby delegate the authority to classify information originally as Top Secret, in accordance with Executive Order 12958 or any successor Executive Order, to the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security.

    Sec. 7. Continuing Authorities. This order does not alter the existing authorities of United States Government departments and agencies. All executive departments and agencies are directed to assist the Council and the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security in carrying out the purposes of this order.

    Sec. 8. General Provisions.

    (a) This order does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party against the United States, its departments, agencies or instrumentalities, its officers or employees, or any other person.

    (b) References in this order to State and local governments shall be construed to include tribal governments and United States territories and other possessions.

    (c) References to the &ldquoUnited States&rdquo shall be construed to include United States territories and possessions.

    Sec. 9. Amendments to Executive Order 12656. Executive Order 12656 of November 18, 1988, as amended, is hereby further amended as follows:

    (a) Section 101(a) is amended by adding at the end of the fourth sentence: &ldquo, except that the Homeland Security Council shall be responsible for administering such policy with respect to terrorist threats and attacks within the United States.&rdquo

    (b) Section 104(a) is amended by adding at the end: &ldquo, except that the Homeland Security Council is the principal forum for consideration of policy relating to terrorist threats and attacks within the United States.&rdquo

    (c) Section 104(b) is amended by inserting the words &ldquoand the Homeland Security Council&rdquo after the words &ldquoNational Security Council.&rdquo

    (d) The first sentence of section 104(c) is amended by inserting the words &ldquoand the Homeland Security Council&rdquo after the words &ldquoNational Security Council.&rdquo

    (e) The second sentence of section 104(c) is replaced with the following two sentences: &ldquoPursuant to such procedures for the organization and management of the National Security Council and Homeland Security Council Start Printed Page 51817 processes as the President may establish, the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency also shall assist in the implementation of and management of those processes as the President may establish. The Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency also shall assist in the implementation of national security emergency preparedness policy by coordinating with the other Federal departments and agencies and with State and local governments, and by providing periodic reports to the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council on implementation of national security emergency preparedness policy.&rdquo

    (f) Section 201(7) is amended by inserting the words &ldquoand the Homeland Security Council&rdquo after the words &ldquoNational Security Council.&rdquo

    (g) Section 206 is amended by inserting the words &ldquoand the Homeland Security Council&rdquo after the words &ldquoNational Security Council.&rdquo

    (h) Section 208 is amended by inserting the words &ldquoor the Homeland Security Council&rdquo after the words &ldquoNational Security Council.&rdquo


    The Office of Homeland Security is founded - HISTORY

    For Immediate Release
    Office of the Press Secretary
    October 8, 2001

    Executive Order Establishing Office of Homeland Security
    Executive Order
    Establishing the Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council

    By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

    Section 1. Establishment. I hereby establish within the Executive Office of the President an Office of Homeland Security (the "Office") to be headed by the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security.

    Sec. 2. Mission. The mission of the Office shall be to develop and coordinate the implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to secure the United States from terrorist threats or attacks. The Office shall perform the functions necessary to carry out this mission, including the functions specified in section 3 of this order.

    Sec. 3. Functions. The functions of the Office shall be to coordinate the executive branch's efforts to detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks within the United States.

    (a) National Strategy. The Office shall work with executive departments and agencies, State and local governments, and private entities to ensure the adequacy of the national strategy for detecting, preparing for, preventing, protecting against, responding to, and recovering from terrorist threats or attacks within the United States and shall periodically review and coordinate revisions to that strategy as necessary.

    (b) Detection. The Office shall identify priorities and coordinate efforts for collection and analysis of information within the United States regarding threats of terrorism against the United States and activities of terrorists or terrorist groups within the United States. The Office also shall identify, in coordination with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, priorities for collection of intelligence outside the United States regarding threats of terrorism within the United States.

    (i) In performing these functions, the Office shall work with Federal, State, and local agencies, as appropriate, to:

    (A) facilitate collection from State and local governments and private entities of information pertaining to terrorist threats or activities within the United States

    (B) coordinate and prioritize the requirements for foreign intelligence relating to terrorism within the United States of executive departments and agencies responsible for homeland security and provide these requirements and priorities to the Director of Central Intelligence and other agencies responsible collection of foreign intelligence

    (C) coordinate efforts to ensure that all executive departments and agencies that have intel-ligence collection responsibilities have sufficient technological capabilities and resources to collect intelligence and data relating to terrorist activities or possible terrorist acts within the United States, working with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, as appropriate

    (D) coordinate development of monitoring protocols and equipment for use in detecting the release of biological, chemical, and radiological hazards and

    (E) ensure that, to the extent permitted by law, all appropriate and necessary intelligence and law enforcement information relating to homeland security is disseminated to and exchanged among appropriate executive departments and agencies responsible for homeland security and, where appropriate for reasons of homeland security, promote exchange of such information with and among State and local governments and private entities.

    (ii) Executive departments and agencies shall, to the extent permitted by law, make available to the Office all information relating to terrorist threats and activities within the United States.

    (c) Preparedness. The Office of Homeland Security shall coordinate national efforts to prepare for and mitigate the consequences of terrorist threats or attacks within the United States. In performing this function, the Office shall work with Federal, State, and local agencies, and private entities, as appropriate, to:

    (i) review and assess the adequacy of the portions of all Federal emergency response plans that pertain to terrorist threats or attacks within the United States

    (ii) coordinate domestic exercises and simulations designed to assess and practice systems that would be called upon to respond to a terrorist threat or attack within the United States and coordinate programs and activities for training Federal, State, and local employees who would be called upon to respond to such a threat or attack

    (iii) coordinate national efforts to ensure public health preparedness for a terrorist attack, including reviewing vaccination policies and reviewing the adequacy of and, if necessary, increasing vaccine and pharmaceutical stockpiles and hospital capacity

    (iv) coordinate Federal assistance to State and local authorities and nongovernmental organizations to prepare for and respond to terrorist threats or attacks within the United States

    (v) ensure that national preparedness programs and activities for terrorist threats or attacks are developed and are regularly evaluated under appropriate standards and that resources are allocated to improving and sustaining preparedness based on such evaluations and

    (vi) ensure the readiness and coordinated deployment of Federal response teams to respond to terrorist threats or attacks, working with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, when appropriate.

    (d) Prevention. The Office shall coordinate efforts to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States. In performing this function, the Office shall work with Federal, State, and local agencies, and private entities, as appropriate, to:

    (i) facilitate the exchange of information among such agencies relating to immigration and visa matters and shipments of cargo and, working with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, ensure coordination among such agencies to prevent the entry of terrorists and terrorist materials and supplies into the United States and facilitate removal of such terrorists from the United States, when appropriate

    (ii) coordinate efforts to investigate terrorist threats and attacks within the United States and

    (iii) coordinate efforts to improve the security of United States borders, territorial waters, and airspace in order to prevent acts of terrorism within the United States, working with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, when appropriate.

    (e) Protection. The Office shall coordinate efforts to protect the United States and its critical infrastructure from the consequences of terrorist attacks. In performing this function, the Office shall work with Federal, State, and local agencies, and private entities, as appropriate, to:

    (i) strengthen measures for protecting energy production, transmission, and distribution services and critical facilities other utilities telecommunications facilities that produce, use, store, or dispose of nuclear material and other critical infrastructure services and critical facilities within the United States from terrorist attack

    (ii) coordinate efforts to protect critical public and privately owned information systems within the United States from terrorist attack

    (iii) develop criteria for reviewing whether appropriate security measures are in place at major public and privately owned facilities within the United States

    (iv) coordinate domestic efforts to ensure that special events determined by appropriate senior officials to have national significance are protected from terrorist attack

    (v) coordinate efforts to protect transportation systems within the United States, including railways, highways, shipping, ports and waterways, and airports and civilian aircraft, from terrorist attack

    (vi) coordinate efforts to protect United States livestock, agriculture, and systems for the provision of water and food for human use and consumption from terrorist attack and

    (vii) coordinate efforts to prevent unauthorized access to, development of, and unlawful importation into the United States of, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, explosive, or other related materials that have the potential to be used in terrorist attacks.

    (f) Response and Recovery. The Office shall coordinate efforts to respond to and promote recovery from terrorist threats or attacks within the United States. In performing this function, the Office shall work with Federal, State, and local agencies, and private entities, as appropriate, to:

    (i) coordinate efforts to ensure rapid restoration of transportation systems, energy production, transmission, and distribution systems telecommunications other utilities and other critical infrastructure facilities after disruption by a terrorist threat or attack

    (ii) coordinate efforts to ensure rapid restoration of public and private critical information systems after disruption by a terrorist threat or attack

    (iii) work with the National Economic Council to coordinate efforts to stabilize United States financial markets after a terrorist threat or attack and manage the immediate economic and financial consequences of the incident

    (iv) coordinate Federal plans and programs to provide medical, financial, and other assistance to victims of terrorist attacks and their families and

    (v) coordinate containment and removal of biological, chemical, radiological, explosive, or other hazardous materials in the event of a terrorist threat or attack involving such hazards and coordinate efforts to mitigate the effects of such an attack.

    (g) Incident Management. The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security shall be the individual primarily respon-sible for coordinating the domestic response efforts of all departments and agencies in the event of an imminent terrorist threat and during and in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack within the United States and shall be the principal point of contact for and to the President with respect to coordination of such efforts. The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security shall coordinate with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, as appropriate.

    (h) Continuity of Government. The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, in coordination with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, shall review plans and preparations for ensuring the continuity of the Federal Government in the event of a terrorist attack that threatens the safety and security of the United States Government or its leadership.

    (i) Public Affairs. The Office, subject to the direction of the White House Office of Communications, shall coordinate the strategy of the executive branch for communicating with the public in the event of a terrorist threat or attack within the United States. The Office also shall coordinate the develop-ment of programs for educating the public about the nature of terrorist threats and appropriate precautions and responses.

    (j) Cooperation with State and Local Governments and Private Entities. The Office shall encourage and invite the participation of State and local governments and private entities, as appropriate, in carrying out the Office's functions.

    (k) Review of Legal Authorities and Development of Legislative Proposals. The Office shall coordinate a periodic review and assessment of the legal authorities available to executive departments and agencies to permit them to perform the functions described in this order. When the Office determines that such legal authorities are inadequate, the Office shall develop, in consultation with executive departments and agencies, proposals for presidential action and legislative proposals for submission to the Office of Management and Budget to enhance the ability of executive departments and agencies to perform those functions. The Office shall work with State and local govern-ments in assessing the adequacy of their legal authorities to permit them to detect, prepare for, prevent, protect against, and recover from terrorist threats and attacks.

    (l) Budget Review. The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, in consultation with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (the "Director") and the heads of executive departments and agencies, shall identify programs that contribute to the Administration's strategy for homeland security and, in the development of the President's annual budget submission, shall review and provide advice to the heads of departments and agencies for such programs. The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security shall provide advice to the Director on the level and use of funding in departments and agencies for homeland security-related activities and, prior to the Director's forwarding of the proposed annual budget submission to the President for transmittal to the Congress, shall certify to the Director the funding levels that the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security believes are necessary and appropriate for the homeland security-related activities of the executive branch.

    (a) The Office of Homeland Security shall be directed by the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security.

    (b) The Office of Administration within the Executive Office of the President shall provide the Office of Homeland Security with such personnel, funding, and administrative support, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, as directed by the Chief of Staff to carry out the provisions of this order.

    (c) Heads of executive departments and agencies are authorized, to the extent permitted by law, to detail or assign personnel of such departments and agencies to the Office of Homeland Security upon request of the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, subject to the approval of the Chief of Staff.

    Sec. 5. Establishment of Homeland Security Council.

    (a) I hereby establish a Homeland Security Council (the "Council"), which shall be responsible for advising and assisting the President with respect to all aspects of homeland security. The Council shall serve as the mechanism for ensuring coordina-tion of homeland security-related activities of executive departments and agencies and effective development and implementation of homeland security policies.

    (b) The Council shall have as its members the President, the Vice President, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Transportation, the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, and such other officers of the executive branch as the President may from time to time designate. The Chief of Staff, the Chief of Staff to the Vice President, the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, the Counsel to the President, and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget also are invited to attend any Council meeting. The Secretary of State, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy shall be invited to attend meetings pertaining to their responsibilities. The heads of other executive departments and agencies and other senior officials shall be invited to attend Council meetings when appropriate.

    (c) The Council shall meet at the President's direction. When the President is absent from a meeting of the Council, at the President's direction the Vice President may preside. The Assistant to the President for Homeland Security shall be responsible, at the President's direction, for determining the agenda, ensuring that necessary papers are prepared, and recording Council actions and Presidential decisions.

    Sec. 6. Original Classification Authority. I hereby delegate the authority to classify information originally as Top Secret, in accordance with Executive Order 12958 or any successor Executive Order, to the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security.

    Sec. 7. Continuing Authorities. This order does not alter the existing authorities of United States Government departments and agencies. All executive departments and agencies are directed to assist the Council and the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security in carrying out the purposes of this order.

    (a) This order does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party against the United States, its departments, agencies or instrumentalities, its officers or employees, or any other person.

    (b) References in this order to State and local governments shall be construed to include tribal governments and United States territories and other possessions.

    (c) References to the "United States" shall be construed to include United States territories and possessions.

    Sec. 9. Amendments to Executive Order 12656. Executive Order 12656 of November 18, 1988, as amended, is hereby further amended as follows:

    (a) Section 101(a) is amended by adding at the end of the fourth sentence: ", except that the Homeland Security Council shall be responsible for administering such policy with respect to terrorist threats and attacks within the United States."

    (b) Section 104(a) is amended by adding at the end: ", except that the Homeland Security Council is the principal forum for consideration of policy relating to terrorist threats and attacks within the United States."

    (c) Section 104(b) is amended by inserting the words "and the Homeland Security Council" after the words "National Security Council."

    (d) The first sentence of section 104(c) is amended by inserting the words "and the Homeland Security Council" after the words "National Security Council."

    (e) The second sentence of section 104(c) is replaced with the following two sentences: "Pursuant to such procedures for the organization and management of the National Security Council and Homeland Security Council processes as the President may establish, the Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency also shall assist in the implementation of and management of those processes as the President may establish. The Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency also shall assist in the implementation of national security emergency preparedness policy by coordinating with the other Federal departments and agencies and with State and local governments, and by providing periodic reports to the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council on implementation of national security emergency preparedness policy."

    (f) Section 201(7) is amended by inserting the words "and the Homeland Security Council" after the words "National Security Council."

    (g) Section 206 is amended by inserting the words "and the Homeland Security Council" after the words "National Security Council."

    (h) Section 208 is amended by inserting the words "or the Homeland Security Council" after the words "National Security Council."


    United States Department of Homeland Security

    Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

    United States Department of Homeland Security, executive division of the U.S. federal government responsible for safeguarding the country against terrorist attacks and ensuring preparedness for natural disasters and other emergencies. In the wake of the September 11 attacks in 2001, Pres. George W. Bush created the Office of Homeland Security, to coordinate counterterrorism efforts by federal, state, and local agencies and the Homeland Security Council, to advise the president on homeland security matters. Both offices were superseded in January 2003 with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, which assumed control of several agencies responsible for domestic security and emergency preparedness, including the Customs Service and Border Patrol (now U.S. Customs and Border Protection), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Secret Service, and the Coast Guard. The first secretary of the department was Tom Ridge, the former director of the Office of Homeland Security.

    This article was most recently revised and updated by Brian Duignan, Senior Editor.


    FEMA Today

    FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during and after disasters, and our guiding principles help us achieve it.

    Strategic Plan

    We’ve developed our 2018-2022 Strategic Plan to achieve three overarching goals:

    1. Build a Culture of Preparedness
    2. Ready the Nation for Catastrophic Disasters
    3. Reduce the Complexity of FEMA

    We Are FEMA

    The core values that guide our agency can be found in our capstone doctrine, “We Are FEMA.”

    Publication One (Pub 1) helps us understand our role in the emergency management community and gives our agency direction in how we conduct ourselves each day.

    History of FEMA

    FEMA was officially created in 1979 through an executive order by President Jimmy Carter. Our history can be traced as far back as 1803.

    On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the Department of Homeland Security. Learn more about our history.


    The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) was created on January 9, 1983, through an internal Department of Justice (DOJ) reorganization which combined the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA or Board) with the Immigration Judge function previously performed by the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) (now part of the Department of Homeland Security). Besides establishing EOIR as a separate agency within DOJ, this reorganization made the Immigration Courts independent of INS, the agency charged with enforcement of Federal immigration laws. The Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer (OCAHO) was added in 1987. In 2013, EOIR observed its 30th anniversary.

    EOIR is also separate from the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices in the DOJ Civil Rights Division and the Office of Immigration Litigation in the DOJ Civil Division.

    As an office within the Department of Justice, EOIR is headed by a Director who reports directly to the Deputy Attorney General. Its headquarters are located in Falls Church, Virginia, about 10 miles from downtown Washington, DC.


    Reports

    There is an opportunity to reform the Department of Homeland Security in a way that best protects the country from homeland security threats, consistent with law, security and.

    By Carrie Cordero & Katie Galgano

    Video

    Alexis Collins talked about the heightened domestic terrorism threat in the U.S. with The Washington Journal on C-SPAN.

    Commentary

    Given its size and scope of responsibilities, DHS would benefit from additional leadership capacity at its headquarters.

    Commentary

    There is a fresh opportunity to conceive of a forward-looking Department of Homeland Security.


    Watch the video: The Department of Homeland Security: Past, Present, and Future


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