Today 25 candidates will become U.S. citizens during a special Constitution Day and Citizenship Day naturalization ceremony at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
You can take part in this special ceremony as the American dream is realized for these new citizens. The livestream begins at 11 a.m. Eastern Time today on the USCIS website.
While you watch the ceremony we encourage you to share your thoughts and congratulations with your fellow Americans by following DHS (@DHSgov) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on Twitter (@USCIS) and using #newUScitizen.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Rand Beers will administer the Oath of Allegiance; USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas will present the candidates for citizenship; and Danielle Gray, Cabinet Secretary and Assistant to the President, will deliver congratulatory remarks. Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will give keynote remarks.
Watch the livestream: www.uscis.gov/live/citizenshipday
Posted by James A. Dinkins, Homeland Security Investigations Executive Associate Director
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) launched a new smartphone app today, designed to seek the public's help with fugitive and unknown suspect child predators. This app is the first of its kind in U.S. federal law enforcement.
The Operation Predator App enables those who download it to receive alerts about wanted predators, to share the information with friends via email and social media tools, and to provide information to HSI by calling or submitting an online tip. Additionally, the app enables users to view news about arrests and prosecutions of child predators and additional resources about ICE and its global partners in the fight against child exploitation.
ICE's Office of Public Affairs developed the app with special agents from HSI's Cyber Crimes Center (C3) and field offices across the country in order to seek the public's help with information about child predators wanted for criminal prosecution. Currently, the Operation Predator app can be downloaded from Apple's App Store or iTunes. ICE is also planning to expand compatibility to other smartphones in the near future.
HSI's Victim Identification Program seeks to rescue child victims of sexual abuse and exploitation and bring the perpetrators to justice. These investigations are part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
For more information from ICE on the Operation Predator App, you can watch this video, or visit here.
On Friday, September 6, Secretary Janet Napolitano bid farewell to DHS at a ceremony in Washington, DC. Vice President Joe Biden, Attorney General Eric Holder and Acting Deputy Secretary Rand Beers delivered remarks and thanked the Secretary for her service to DHS and to our Nation. Beers will now serve as Acting Secretary of Homeland Security.
In attendance at the farewell event were employees from across DHS; federal, state, local and private sector partners; law enforcement colleagues; and international friends and partners. Among these guests were former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, members of the Cabinet and members of the President’s National Security Team.
Seven DHS employees -- representing the more than 240,000 DHS employees serving across the country and around the world -- presented Secretary Napolitano with United States and DHS flags as a token of appreciation.
Secretary Napolitano reflected on her time with DHS and shared some of her memories from the past four and a half years during her remarks. Secretary Napolitano said, “The men and women of DHS have performed their jobs bravely these past four-and-a-half years. Every day, seeing your dedication and commitment – and that of your families – has been a great source of inspiration to me. And I know after I leave, you will still be committed to the mission, you will still continue to perform, and you will still serve this country with the tireless dedication you’ve had during my time here. I hope you will accept my sincere gratitude for your efforts. It has been an honor and privilege to serve with you, and call you my colleagues. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and I wish all of you the very best in the future."
Did you know the Department of Homeland Security’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) works with domestic and international partners to improve capabilities to deter, detect, respond to, and attribute radiological and nuclear attacks? When requested by our partners, DNDO implements domestic nuclear detection efforts to mitigate radiological and nuclear threats.
Just last weekend, DNDO deployed a Mobile Detection Deployment Unit (MDDU), marking over 100 deployments – this time to the Baltimore Grand Prix, where the unit assisted the Baltimore City Fire Department (BCFD) Hazmat Operations Team with event security operations. The BCFD Hazmat Operations Team worked with various local, state and federal organizations to scan the event for potential radiological and nuclear threat indicators. This MDDU is a part of DNDO’s Mobile Detection Deployment Program (MDDP), which is designed to supplement first responders’ existing radiological and nuclear detection and reporting capabilities, especially in support of large scale events nationwide such as big sporting events.
Each Mobile Detection Deployment Unit contains radiation detection equipment for emergency responders, housed in a mobile trailer. The equipment includes portable backpack radiation detection units, high and low-resolution radiation identification hand-held instruments, and personal detection devices. Each unit is accompanied by technical support staff to train personnel on the use of equipment and to help integrate these capabilities into existing operations.
Posted by Tamara Kessler, Acting Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a historic event that brought participants from across the country to Washington, DC to march for social and economic equality. On this day, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his now famous “I Have a Dream” speech, a speech that would inspire profound change in American history.
This monumental event set the stage for the passage of groundbreaking civil rights legislation, beginning with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Many more civil rights protections followed in critical areas such as education, employment, housing, and disability rights, to name a few.
A number of these civil rights protections are embedded in the work we conduct here at DHS. The Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), ensures that safeguards of individual rights and liberties are in place for everything the Department does, because we know that a safe and secure homeland means also ensuring that civil rights and liberties remain protected.
Each and every day:
- Our Office of Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity strives to ensure that all employees and applicants for employment at DHS enjoy equal opportunity and employment decisions free from unlawful discrimination.
- Our Antidiscrimination Group engages in policy work to ensure fair and equitable treatment of individuals and guards against discrimination based on race, color, national origin, disability, sex, and age in DHS programs and activities.
- Our Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Impact Assessments evaluate DHS policies to determine if they impact the rights and liberties of those affected by a given initiative.
- Our Community Engagement Section works with diverse communities throughout the country whose civil rights and civil liberties may be affected by our policies and actions, informing them of avenues of redress.
- Our Compliance Division investigates and resolves complaints filed by the public alleging abuses of civil rights or civil liberties, including racial, ethnic, or religious profiling.
We continue to support the Department’s mission to protect the nation while preserving individual liberty, fairness, and equality under the law, inspired by those men and women who marched on Washington 50 years ago who forever changed the landscape of civil rights in our country.
Read more about the work CRCL does to protect civil rights and civil liberties here.
Yesterday, Secretary Napolitano delivered farewell remarks at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. During her remarks, the Secretary highlighted the Department’s accomplishments over the past four and a half years, including how we have made the Department more flexible, agile, and adaptable, and how that has led to a more integrated and effective response to terrorist threats, more prepared and resilient states, cities, and communities, and a more engaged public.
Secretary Napolitano said, “Looking back over the past four and a half years, I can say that if there is one take-away, one object lesson and core operating principle that I’ve learned and embraced as Secretary, it is this: in a world of evolving threats, the key to our success is the ability to be flexible and agile, and adapt to changing circumstances on the ground – whether that is across the globe, or here at home.
“At DHS, to be flexible and agile means being forward-looking in our preparations, early and active in our engagement, nimble in our response, and resilient in our recovery. It means taking every necessary step to prepare for a range of potential outcomes, and understanding that if things don’t go according to plan, or the unexpected occurs, we are ready and able to shift resources and adjust operations, learn from our mistakes, and put ourselves in a position to succeed in the future. And being flexible and agile means acknowledging that we may not be able to stop all threats all the time, but we can – and must – be prepared to address them quickly when they happen, minimize their consequences, draw pragmatic lessons, and emerge stronger and better. These are the most critical elements of our ability to meet our complex mission, and I believe we are seeing that approach bear fruit in a profound, positive way.
Read the full text of Secretary Napolitano’s remarks at the National Press Club here.
Posted by Alice Hill, Senior Counselor to the Secretary of Homeland Security
Over the past four years, DHS has worked to stop human trafficking, combat violence against women, and raise awareness about protections available to vulnerable populations. Earlier this week, I met with our stakeholders from the law enforcement and first responder communities as well as faith-based groups and members of the judicial system to introduce DHS’ Council on Combating Violence Against Women, which will build on the progress made by the DHS Blue Campaign to combat human trafficking and apply those successes to addressing the security of women and children.
This past March, Secretary Napolitano announced the formation of DHS’ Council on Combatting Violence Against Women, also known as the Council, which is co-chaired by the Assistant Secretary for the Office for State and Local Law Enforcement and myself. The Council brings together experts from across DHS to identify and share best practices related to our policies and programs in order to improve our ability to combat violence against women.
Together with our stakeholders, we have made great strides to better protect vulnerable populations from violence and human trafficking. However, these accomplishments would not be possible without the Violence Against Women Act and the Trafficking Victim Protection Act, two important pieces of legislation that were reauthorized earlier this year. These laws also provide critical support to immigrant victims when stepping forward to report crimes – but there is still more work to be done.
The Council will leverage the accomplishments of the Blue Campaign and support these laws through enhanced public awareness, training, victim assistance, and law enforcement investigations. In June, the Blue Campaign unveiled new public awareness materials, including posters, a PSA entitled “Out of the Shadows,” and informational guides tailored for the general public and our stakeholders. By increasing awareness of human trafficking and training individuals to recognize the indicators of such heinous crimes, everyone can do their part to help law enforcement rescue victims.
I encourage you to take our Blue Campaign training, display our posters, watch our PSA and share our information guides with your family, friends and coworkers. For more information, visit the DHS Blue Campaign on Facebook and visit our website: www.dhs.gov/bluecampaign.
This morning, Secretary Napolitano visited the dedicated Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) employees at FEMA’s Joint Field Office for Hurricane Sandy in New York.
While at the Joint Field Office, Secretary Napolitano received a briefing on recovery efforts for Hurricane Sandy from Federal Coordinating Officer Willie Nunn.
FEMA employees provided strong and collective support before, during and after Hurricane Sandy made landfall– working quickly to meet the needs of state and local partners, and demonstrating the Administration’s ongoing commitment to assisting survivors and helping communities get back on their feet. To date, FEMA and the Small Business Administration have approved nearly $2.5 billion in disaster assistance to individuals in New York, and nearly $1.7 billion in Public Assistance grants to New York for Hurricane Sandy.
For more information on Secretary Napolitano’s trip to New York, please visit here. And to learn more about the ongoing Hurricane Sandy recovery and rebuilding efforts in New York and the Northeast, please visit http://www.fema.gov/hurricane-sandy.
Secretary Napolitano today participated in a naturalization ceremony for 137 naturalization candidates from 43 countries held in New York City. Secretary Napolitano administered the Oath of Allegiance and delivered remarks to the citizenship candidates and their families and friends in attendance.
The new citizens naturalized during today’s ceremony hailed from: Albania, Antigua-Barbuda, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Canada, People's Republic Of China, Cote D'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Honduras, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Mali, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, St. Lucia, Taiwan, The Gambia, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vietnam and Yemen.
The United States has a strong tradition as a welcoming nation, and DHS is committed to promoting the lawful immigration process, expediting administration of immigration services, and promoting the integration of lawful immigrants into American society. Over the past four-and-a-half years, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has naturalized nearly 3 million Americans, including thousands of men and women who serve in the United States Armed Forces.
Posted by Douglas Maughan, Cyber Security Division Director, DHS Science & Technology Directorate
This week, eight new federally funded technologies were showcased in Silicon Valley. The DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) Cybersecurity Division hosted a Transition-to-Practice Technology Demonstration Day for investors, integrators and IT companies to view, test, and “kick the tires” on these new cybersecurity technologies, developed by the Department of Energy’s National Laboratories.
One of the biggest challenges for the research and development community is the ability to transition technology prototypes into real-world products that can be purchased and put to use. This new program is designed to help transition the advanced prototypes of technologies that are ready for commercialization and avoid the gap between laboratories and the commercial market.
The eight new federally funded technologies showcased this week in Silicon Valley, included:
- Path Scan – an intrusion-detection system that thwarts cyber attacks by detecting anomalous network-hopping activity, which is seen as hackers traverse a network looking for key resources
- Code Seal – trust anchors that encrypt computer activities in untrusted environments.
- Net_Mapper/Everest – a network mapping and visualization tool.
- MLSTONES – a biology based malware and event analysis forensic tool that tags and sequences events looking for similarities.
- Hone – a network traffic analyzer.
- Hyperion/FX – a malware detection and software assurance tool.
- Choreographer – a moving target defense tool that detects when DNS connections are bypassed.
- USB ARM – a removable media (USB, DVD, CD-ROM, etc) policy enforcement tool that prevents removable media from mounting into a computer’s file systems.
If these sound pretty technical, they are, but TTP program manager Michael Pozmantier believes that commercial developers will be excited at the opportunity to turn these prototypes into commercially viable cybersecurity products that will increase the cyber security posture of the nation.
A cornerstone of DHS’ mission is to ensure the essential functionality that critical infrastructure provides to the American public is sustained by working with stakeholders to protect their networks including those of the federal government, as well as combating financial crime and fraud, and safeguarding intellectual property rights, while building a national capacity for cybersecurity through outreach, awareness, and education and keeping a steady focus on safeguarding the public’s civil rights and civil liberties.
This week’s event was held in Silicon Valley and S&T expects to hold an identical opportunity for East Coast investors in October.