US Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

DHS Posts

A Country without Borders: 76,325 Illegal Aliens Apprehended at Border in February- Largest Since 2008 – Most Will Stay and Receive Benefits

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DHS News Releases

  • McAleenan: Through Innovation, Partnership and Prevention, DHS is Confronting the Opioid Epidemic and Halting Illicit Substances at the Source

    on April 24, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    WASHINGTON – Since President Donald J. Trump announced the Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand on March 19, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has embarked on an aggressive inter-agency operation to implement the president’s initiative and to stem the flow of opioids into U.S. communities.“Through innovation, partnership and prevention, the men and women of DHS are working to curtail the flow of illicit substances at the source and at the border—before they reach our communities.” said DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan. “Our Department will continue to improve its efforts to interdict illicit drugs at or before they reach our borders, and remains committed to working with federal, state and local partners and relevant stakeholders to disrupt and dismantle the production and movement of these substances devastating American families and poisoning our communities. By mobilizing the entire administration to address this crisis, President Trump is galvanizing all of our resources to combat this deadly epidemic.”DHS currently leads U.S. Government efforts to interdict illicit opioids and their analogues at or before reaching U.S. borders. In fact, DHS is seizing and blocking more fentanyl shipments than ever before. In Fiscal Year 2018 (FY 18), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) together seized almost 5,000 lbs. of fentanyl combined—or more than 1.2 billion lethal doses and enough to kill every American by overdose four times.In FY 18, ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) seized over 1 million lbs. of illegal narcotics, including 2,737 lbs. of fentanyl and 7,103 lbs. of heroin, and has made over 11,400 narcotics-related criminal arrests over the same time period—of which over 720 were for fentanyl-related offenses.During the first six months of Fiscal Year 2019 (FY 19), ICE HSI fentanyl seizures totaled 1,340 lbs., compared to 1,314 lbs. for the same period in FY 18. CBP total fentanyl seizures from the Office of Field Operations (OFO) at ports of entry totaled over 939 lbs., compared to 914 lbs. during the same period in FY 18.Additionally, DHS is blocking more fentanyl shipments through the mail. Thanks to the STOP Act, CBP is detecting more packages containing fentanyl from our mail—a 748 percent increase —and keeping it from reaching American communities. Over 50 percent of all international packages are now being scanned.CBP operates within major international mail facilities, inspecting international mail and parcels arriving from more than 180 countries. Additionally, CBP and the U.S. Postal Service are working to increase the amount of advance information we receive on international mail. This advance information enables ICE and other agencies to identify networks of foreign suppliers and domestic importers that are responsible for smuggling fentanyl into the United States. These networks have been targeted for investigation and prosecution.View the DHS Fact Sheet OnlineDHS remains committed to both stopping illicit opioids and opioid analogues at their source and preventing them from coming into our country.Stopping opioids at the source. In partnership with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the State Department, DHS is working with counterparts in China, Mexico, South and Central American countries to prevent opioids and other drugs from ever reaching our shores.Preventing opioids from entering the U.S. at our borders, through international mail facilities, and via the internet. Since early 2018, CBP’s National Targeting Center (NTC) Counter Network Division, along with HSI & CBP Attachés, have collaborated to interdict small transshipment packages of fentanyl bound for the U.S. NTC now receives advance electronic information about packages from China, helping CBP officers better identify and interdict illicit shipments of fentanyl.Disrupting and dismantling transnational criminal organizations (TCOs). DHS is targeting TCOs responsible organizations responsible for smuggling illicit drugs across our border and distributing them to a vast U.S. drug market that results in the poisoning and killing of Americans.DHS is using a vast array of tools to confront the crisis.Specialized Canines. Over 400 CBP K9s are now trained in fentanyl detection.Advanced Technology. DHS is using non-intrusive inspection technology to find fentanyl smuggled into the country, and the Department has launched an Opioid Detection Challenge to incentivize new, innovative detection methods with a $1.5M prize.Dedicated Teams. DHS has increased the number of Border Enforcement Security Task Forces (BEST)—which incorporate personnel from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies—to 65 total nationwide. These ICE HSI-led teams help hunt down and disrupt fentanyl smuggling operations.Scouring the Dark Web. ICE HSI has ramped up its investigations targeting “dark web” illicitly marketplaces, many of which involve fentanyl and other narcotics smuggling. ICE HSI now has more than 100 investigations focused on these marketplaces.Sophisticated Targeting. The CBP-established interagency Special Operations unit at the NTC focuses on opioid shipments within the supply chain. These analysts are using law enforcement data and intelligence to go after the threat.DHS recognizes that combatting the illegal flow of opioids also means ensuring they do not get into the hands of those who would abuse them. That is why Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan today spoke to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees to encourage their ongoing work to confront the opioid crisis, urging continued vigilance and noting the critical role they can play in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.  
    Keywords: Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security investigations, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, opioids
    Topics: […]

  • Acting Secretary McAleenan Statement on Sri Lanka Attacks

    on April 21, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    On April 21, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan released the following statement in response to the reported terror attacks in Sri Lanka:”On behalf of the men and women of DHS, I want to express condolences and sympathies for those affected by the Easter Sunday attack on multiple hotels and places of worship in Sri Lanka.  “DHS stands resolutely with persons of every faith who look to worship in safety and peace. We will continue our work with partners around the world to ensure that all are able to worship without fear.”As the Department has made clear regarding attacks on members of multiple faiths: religious liberty for all is a hallmark of this country and attacks on peaceful people in their places of worship are abhorrent and must not be allowed.”At this time we are not aware of any current, credible or active threat domestically. Regardless, the Department is doing all it can to protect the homeland from potential violent extremists.”We will continue to monitor the situation as the response to this tragedy unfolds and investigations continue.”
    Keywords: countering terrorism, countering violent extremism
    Topics: […]

  • Readout from Acting Secretary McAleenan’s Trip to McAllen

    on April 19, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    Readout from Acting Secretary McAleenan’s Trip to McAllenWASHINGTON – Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan travelled to McAllen, Texas on Tuesday and Wednesday to assess the strategic and operational challenges faced by law enforcement and local communities as they work to confront the ongoing humanitarian and security crisis at the U.S. Southern Border.The Acting Secretary joined the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) Tuesday for a midnight shift tour of the U.S.-Mexico border – including key crossing points and staging areas central to human smuggling – in order to assess the strategic and operational challenges faced by law enforcement operations in the region. McAleenan expressed appreciation for agents’ unwavering dedication in the face of record migration flows and emphasized the necessity of remaining steadfast in executing DHS’ mission.Currently, DHS facilities along the Southwest Border are at peak capacity, while officers and agents lack the resources to adequately administer humanitarian services to migrants.On Wednesday, Acting Secretary McAleenan toured the Humanitarian Respite Center operated by Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley (CCRGV), a local nongovernmental organization providing services to migrants once they are released from custody, followed by meetings with the members of the Center’s leadership. There, McAleenan discussed CCRGV’s needs related to the care of migrants in the area and expressed appreciation for the organization’s continued dedication to the vulnerable and migrant populations. McAleenan then hosted a roundtable with local mayors, stressing the need to work together to achieve security at the border while providing critical services to migrants.“We recognize the strain that this humanitarian crisis has placed on service providers and communities such as yours along the border – it affects the men and women of DHS as well,” McAleenan emphasized. “We hope to better coordinate our efforts to manage the migrants in our care. But we are also working to address the factors driving this crisis.”Throughout his trip, McAleenan reiterated that the border security emergency and humanitarian crisis are inextricably linked. In an address to the media, McAleenan explained that drug smugglers and human traffickers are using the humanitarian crisis as cover while DHS resources are diverted to medical care and other humanitarian duties associated with managing large groups of families.The Acting Secretary also acknowledged the need for more resources to manage flows of families and provide care to children.“We are taking aggressive action to mitigate the crisis, and protect vulnerable people in our custody by expanding medical care, creating temporary facilities, improving transportation, using additional resources from across DHS while seeking continued support from interagency partners throughout the Federal government,” he said.The Acting Secretary called on Congress to enact legislation that will offer long-lasting solutions to the border crisis.  “We are imploring Congress to provide the resources we need for enhancing our humanitarian and border security efforts, and, most importantly, to work with us on targeted solutions to restore integrity to our immigration system and remove the incentives for families and children to cross our border illegally.” Specifically, he requested legislative fixes that would allow DHS to hold families together in custody, treat all children equally by allowing the U.S. to return Central American children to their home countries, eliminate asylum fraud, and protect vulnerable populations by allowing individuals to apply for asylum from their home countries rather than taking the dangerous trek north.DHS and its federal law enforcement partners are doing everything to confront the worsening security and humanitarian crisis. DHS has taken a full-fledged “disaster response,” including appointing a lead federal official for interagency action and leveraging the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC). DHS agencies “surged” resources and personnel from across the Department toward border security and migration management, including immediately redeploying hundreds of CBP personnel from field operations and ports of entry to assist with the response to the crisis. By reassigning these personnel, USBP agents will be freed up from humanitarian response and enabled to return to critical security operations.                                                                                                            # # #  
    Keywords: Acting Secretary McAleenan, Border Security
    Topics: Border Security […]

  • Acting Secretary McAleenan Announces Establishment of DHS Office for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention

    on April 19, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    On April 19, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan released the following statement on the establishment of the new DHS Office for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention:“I am pleased to announce the establishment of the DHS Office for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention. DHS remains committed to preventing all forms of terrorism, including both international and domestic, as well as preventing acts of targeted violence such as racially motivated violence. This new office supports the direction the President outlined in the National Strategy for Counterterrorism and will enable DHS to more effectively coordinate our resources and capabilities to better serve the needs of states and local communities. By expanding the aperture of terrorism prevention to include targeted violence, DHS can help communities better protect themselves against a broader range of current and emerging threats. This new office will focus on moving beyond ‘whole of government’ efforts to ‘whole of society’ and give prominence to the needs and leadership of states and local communities.”The Office for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention widens the scope of previous Departmental efforts to ensure that all forms of violence, regardless of the ideological motivation, are being addressed. The Office will leverage, coordinate, and build upon the broad range of prevention activities that are currently implemented across DHS, including grants, community awareness and law enforcement awareness briefings, threat assessments, information sharing, and reporting of tips and leads.
    Keywords: countering terrorism, countering violent extremism, counterterrorism, terrorism prevention
    Topics: […]

  • Acting Secretary McAleenan: Nonpartisan Committee Report Recommendations Essential to Securing Our Border, Safety and Welfare of Migrant Children

    on April 17, 2019 at 2:25 am

    WASHINGTON – Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan today released the following statement on the Homeland Security Advisory Committee’s report on CBP Families and Children Care:“Today, a panel of experts under the DHS Homeland Security Advisory Committee – a nonpartisan federal advisory committee – issued a report on the current humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border. The ‘Emergency Interim Report on CBP Families and Children Care’ made a series of important findings and recommendations to address the crisis that will form key elements of the Department’s response in the coming weeks.”The unprecedented surge in unaccompanied children and family unit migration is overwhelming our ability to provide humanitarian aid within our immigration system. The reasonable changes proposed by this nonpartisan panel, could dramatically reduce migration of family units from Central America, help eliminate dangerous and illegal border crossings, as well as improve the care of children who are brought on this harrowing journey. These recommendations are essential to secure our border and for the safety and welfare of children living in Central America and elsewhere who will continue to make this dangerous trek north.“I want to thank the Committee for their diligent and rapid work in producing this report. This emergency report should help inform decision makers throughout the government, and I look forward to discussing the findings with Congress in order to find a common path forward.”Background:The recommendations included in the report are emergency legislative recommendations; emergency regulatory changes; establishing temporary regional processing centers for all family units; co-locate necessary personnel to facilitate rapid adjudication of asylum claims of family units within the regional processing centers; propose and negotiate a North American Family Protection Initiative (NAFPI) that includes the essential elements of a Safe Third‎ Agreement with Mexico; increase contracted medical and transport professionals; provide additional training and child exploitation safeguards; and for the Acting Secretary to name a DHS Commander/Coordinator to assure a whole of government approach to achieve these goals.Click here to see the full report.# # #
    Keywords: Homeland Security Advisory Council
    Topics: Border Security […]

  • Acting Secretary McAleenan Statement on the Designation of CBP Chief Operating Officer John Sanders to Serve as Senior Official Performing the Functions and Duties of the Commissioner of CBP

    on April 15, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    On April 15, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan announced his designation of John P. Sanders, U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Chief Operating Officer, as the senior official performing the functions and duties of the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.Acting Secretary McAleenan stated, “John Sanders has proven instrumental to advancing CBP’s mission and organizational priorities across the agency. In addition to bringing greater focus on the agency’s operational requirements, he has provided strategic direction and oversight to critical enterprise services and operations support functions across the agency. With John Sanders’ leadership, CBP will continue to excel, remain ever vigilant, and accomplish the mission with steadfast resolve.”###
    Keywords: Customs and Border Protection, leadership
    Topics: […]


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