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Additionally, it will manage federal government assistance to first-responders for domestic disaster preparedness training and coordinate the government's disaster response procedures. FEMA will take the lead in this department and will control and coordinate grant programs for firefighters, police, and emergency personnel. This department will also conduct exercises and drills to test federal, state, and local response plans for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear attacks. Moreover, this department will be charged with evaluating weaknesses in critical infrastructure, including food and water systems, agriculture, health systems, and emergency services, banking and finance, and other systems.

In addition to the creation of the above-mentioned four departments, the Homeland Security Bill requires the following:. The budget allotted for homeland security is rather ambiguous and was not included in H. Significant gaps exist in the national strategy for homeland security.

Even though it articulates ideas for protecting the homeland, it is vague, lacks a clear, concise plan for implementation, fails to define specific missions for the agencies being absorbed, and does not clarify each agency's relationship to the DHS. For example, the DHS website contains links to agencies being absorbed; however, some of these agencies do not have a mission statement related to their roles in the DHS, nor an acknowledgment of their subordination to the DHS. Uncertainty exists not only regarding the roles of the individual agencies, but also that of the local and state governments.

For the department to be effective, clarification of the roles and responsibilities within and among the different levels of government, as well as the private sector, needs to take place. Similarly, the effectiveness of some agencies may decline under the DHS. Of concern is the possibility that FEMA's role in providing assistance to local authorities during natural disasters would diminish because it is required under the DHS to manage grants to first-responders and assist local authorities with training and response planning.

This new set of responsibilities could undermine FEMA's ability to fulfill its traditional mandate because it may not have sufficient personnel and resources. In addition to monitoring commerce, the Customs Service will also combat terrorism, to the dismay of businesses, which fear that commerce will be hurt because additional duties for it translate into more expensive transportation costs due to longer wait times for inspections. Another point of adversity facing the DHS is the major time constraints placed on it.

Although it could take at least years before the department is completely organized, some worry that the transition period from the OHS to the DHS will potentially lead to a duplication of efforts, misallocation of resources, and a sloppy accounting of expenditures due to improper monitoring of their allocation.

To counteract this impression, various government officials have pointed out that although the DHS is a critical part of homeland defense, it alone cannot protect America. The DHS cannot function effectively without sufficient funding, which is currently one of the main concerns. Even though Congress passed funding legislation in February , this funding appears simply to be diverted from previous initiatives, implying that there is little "new" funding for these programs.

For example, the current smallpox campaign has caused concerns that money and time previously spent on routine doctor visits has now been reallocated to preventing and responding to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear CBRN attacks. Throughout the United States, hospitals have reduced or eliminated many everyday services, programs, and departments in favor of CBRN preparedness, creating a vacuum in health care.

For example, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino recently noted that many cities continue to wait for even the first round of funding under the DHS' new budget. Senate has begun questioning the distribution of funding. Wisconsin Senator David Obey recently pointed out that the Bush administration had initiated tax cuts but had failed to secure funding for domestic security and the DHS.

These concerns, combined with the recent defeat of an amendment that would have provided more funding for first-responders and port security, raise doubts about the DHS' ability to fulfill its objectives. Another concern about the DHS is its potential to invade the privacy of U. One interpretation of the wording of H. In addition, he was a major bundler of campaign funds in that race. Congress took its recommendations to heart and now gays may serve openly in the armed forces.

Armies have been doing this for thousands of years. As part of a congressionally authorized armed conflict, the foundation is even stronger. Furthermore, the parameters of congressionally authorized armed conflict are transparent to the public, from the words of the congressional authorization itself, and the Executive Branch's interpretation of that authorization, which this Administration has made public.

At the end of , Johnson left government service, returning once again to Paul Weiss. Johnson, at one time president of historically black Fisk University. The elder Johnson was sent to Liberia on a fact-finding mission for the League of Nations. While there, he met a tribal chief whom he admired and named one of his sons for him.

That son was Jeh Johnson Sr. Johnson was reprimanded over the incident. Official Biography. Nomination of Hon.

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Johnson to be Secretary, U. Department of Homeland Security U. Main Menu.

Department of Homeland Security. Exactly one month after the attacks, Sen. The Bush administration rejected the idea, but Democratic members of the Senate continued to press it. Finally, in June , more than seven months after the initial proposal, President Bush reversed his stand.

In creating DHS, some agencies maintained their name and missions, while others ceased to exist and their duties were distributed among new DHS units. Altogether, the missions of 22 federal offices were either shifted or folded into DHS. The responsibilities of many DHS offices were to prepare for future terrorist attacks in order to minimize the impact of such assaults. When the hurricane slammed into the Gulf Coast, it caused catastrophic damage to the city of New Orleans. Almost 1, people died and thousands of others were left stranded with no help for days following the storm.

Media reports repeatedly showed residents stranded on rooftops while looting and mayhem occurred in areas throughout the city, including the Superdome where thousands of refugees had sought shelter from the hurricane.

Behind-the-scenes at the DHS cybersecurity center

A short time later, Brown was forced to resign. The bungling of the crisis proved to be one of the largest political failures of the Bush administration. Numerous investigations were launched to determine why FEMA had performed so poorly. Congress adopted legislation, the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act , which reorganized FEMA in order to make the agency more capable of handling future disasters, either natural or man-made. Orszag, Los Angeles Times. How Reliable Is Brown's Resume? What it Does: The Department of Homeland Security is responsible for ensuring the safety and security of the United States from both man-made and natural disasters.

A visit to the DHS web site clearly demonstrates that the department is still fixated on terrorism.

What isn't getting done at the Department of Homeland Security during the shutdown

It provides research, resources and technology to federal, state, local and tribal officials, emergency personnel, Border Patrol Agents, Federal Air Marshals and airport baggage screeners in order for them to handle CBRNE attacks. DNDO finances the creation of radiation detection equipment and tests its effectiveness before providing it to customs officials, border guards and Coast Guard sailors.

FEMA is charged with providing help to local and state governments and residents both immediately following a disaster and in the longer term. It also conducts programs to help prepare for disasters. The kinds of assistance FEMA provides ranges from advising on building codes and flood plain management to helping equip local and state emergency agencies to coordinating the federal response to a disaster.

Federal Law Enforcement Training Center: FLETC is the largest training program of its kind in the country, providing teaching and vocational instruction to a wide range of law enforcement and security personnel at the federal, state and local government level.

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Graduating approximately 50, students annually, FLETC helps to train officers and agents from more than 80 federal agencies, as well as numerous state and local governments. The center also trains international police in selected advanced programs. The remaining instructors are federal officers and investigators on short-term assignment from their parent organizations or recently retired from the field. Training programs offered by FLETC vary from core instruction required by many government agencies to highly specialized training for select security officials.

Office of Infrastructure Protection: OIP helps secure key buildings and other structures across the United States from terrorist attack. OIP is not directly responsible for guarding private and public infrastructure but rather is tasked with identifying important locations and assessing their vulnerability to attack or other dangers, such as natural disasters. Office of Intelligence and Analysis: OIA serves as the intelligence wing of DHS, gathering intelligence from other government and non-government sources on potential threats to US domestic security.

OIA works with members of the Intelligence Community, as well as state, local, federal and private officials, to carry out its mission. Specifically, it safeguards airports and airplanes, mass-transit systems, highways, seaports, railroads and buses. Americans are most familiar with TSA personnel who man security checkpoints at airports throughout the country. During its brief existence, TSA has been inundated with charges of ineptitude and corruption. ICE enforces both immigration and customs laws, which involves going after illegal immigrants in US territory, employers who hire illegal immigrants and those trying to smuggle goods or contraband into the country.

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Another priority for ICE is to prevent terrorist groups and hostile nations from illegally obtaining US military weapons and sensitive technology, including weapons of mass destruction components. US Citizenship and Immigration Services: USCIS handles all matters pertaining to immigration and the granting of citizenship to non-nationals, having taken over the responsibilities of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service.

USCIS awards an average of one million green cards, , naturalizations and one million temporary work permits each year. In addition to targeting terrorists, CBP searches for drugs, illegal immigrants, traffickers, prohibited agricultural products and counterfeit goods. It performs a variety of functions at US ports, coasts and inland waterways, as well as in international waters.

Peacetime roles include patrolling borders, enforcing licenses, protecting the environment, maintaining waterways, conducting rescue operations, inspecting vessels for safety and stemming the flow of drugs and other contraband into the United States. In times of war, the Coast Guard can be called upon to augment the other military services. US Secret Service: The Secret Service performs a dual mission of investigating financial crimes and providing protection for the president, vice president, their families and other political figures, both US and foreign.

Criminal investigations covered by the Secret Service include computer and telecom fraud, identity theft and financial institution fraud. Controversies: Planning Against the Threat of I. DHS is so adamant about this that they have threatened states and cities with a cutoff of all DHS funding if they do not comply.

Many police departments and state security officials are baffled by this emphasis on such an unlikely threat, but it does make sense to the companies that produce counter-I. These companies have invested a lot of time and research into the production of these systems, and with the War in Iraq likely to wind down, they are looking for new markets for their products. States Chafing at U. In its quest to bolster domestic security, the Department of Homeland Security has repeatedly failed to spend wisely on goods and services provided by private contractors.

Investigators looking into those contracts turned up security systems that had to be dumped, contractor bills for luxury hotel rooms and Homeland Security officials who bought personal items with government credit cards. Hsu, Washington Post. In , it was reported that the department had spent money on Russian mind-control research in an attempt to get a leg up on terrorist attempts to attack the US. The research was based on the work of Igor Smirnov, a controversial Russian scientist who was compared to the legendary figure Rasputin because of his almost mystical powers of persuasion.

Some American security contractors have expressed skepticism of the Russian mind-control technology. The vague press release offered no details about where Halliburton was to build these facilities, or when. Some observers expressed concern that the intention behind the plan was to detain American citizens in the event that the Bush administration declared martial law. Along with Rex was a secret plan developed by the Reagan administration to maintain continuity of government COG in the event of a nuclear war.

COG would have suspended the Constitution and given authority to private, non-elected leaders to run the country. Contact Todd Frier at tfrier dps. This office will continue to work diligently with the emergency response agencies, and the citizens of this state to educate and strengthen our capabilities in order to provide a safer environment for everyone.

Homeland Security is also responsible for providing timely advice to the Governor and cabinet in order to efficiently and immediately address potential terrorist threats or acts. The Office of Homeland Security realizes that the residents of Mississippi are an integral part in the protection of the state, and encourage all citizens to be informed, vigilant, and prepared. This web page provides extensive information on what to do if a terrorist act should occur, and what to look for in potentially suspicious scenarios.

I recommend that you browse through the available information in order to get a better understanding of how Homeland Security is working to provide leadership necessary to protect the state and what you, as a part of the citizenry, can do to aid in the collective effort. Department of Homeland Security program that helps educate citizens about hazards and trains them in lifesaving skills so that they are better prepared to respond to emergency situations in their communities.