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August 31, 2009
6:01 pm

It’s one of the most horrific crimes imaginable: The sexual exploitation of children. In recent years, many sex offenders have sought to cover their tracks by traveling overseas, where they hope to conduct their criminal activities far from the reach of U.S. law enforcement.

Today we’re sending a message that they won’t get away with it.

I’m in Los Angeles, where U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Department of Justice announced that three U.S. citizens, all previously convicted sex offenders, are being returned from Cambodia to the United States, where they will face federal charges for child sex tourism.

Under Operation Twisted Traveler, which launched in February, ICE is working closely with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the FBI and our law enforcement counterparts in Cambodia to identify and arrest Americans engaging in child sex tourism in that Southeast Asia country.

Today’s arrests and charges are the direct result of an extraordinary cooperation between ICE, the Cambodian National Police, the Department of State, and the non-governmental organizations who work in Cambodia to identify suspected sex tourists and rescue victims. Offering vital contributions to the effort are Action Pour Les Enfants (APLE), the International Justice Mission, and HAGAR International, three non-governmental organizations that shared valuable information to facilitate these arrests.

The three individuals named today are all alleged to have molested or raped children, some as young as 9 years old, in Cambodia. All have previous records of crimes against children. One of the suspects, a 75-year-old man, is reported to have ridden a motor scooter through the streets of the city of Siem Riep, dropping money behind him as a way to entice children, according to witness reports.

Combating the sexual exploitation of minors has been a leading priority for ICE under Operation Predator. Under this long-running initiative, we’ve arrested more than 11,000 sex offenders—including more than 1,100 outside the United States. Thanks to tougher laws against child sex tourism, we have the tools to target those offenders who travel abroad in the effort to evade capture by law enforcement.

There might have been a time when it was easier for predators to hide their crimes by crossing borders. ICE is leading the effort to ensure that child sex tourism becomes an issue of the past.

John Morton

John Morton is the Assistant Secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
August 31, 2009
12:30 pm
You may have heard some talk in the news over the last few days about a new DHS program called Global Entry. We wanted to give you some details, in case it might apply to you. Global Entry is designed to speed trusted travelers through the customs and immigration inspection process when re-entering the United States. And among travelers already enrolled in the program, 75 percent are processed in five minutes or less.

The way it works: U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents apply for the program, pay a $100 fee, and are interviewed by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer. Following a successful background investigation, they are accepted into the program. Once accepted into the program, membership is good for five years and can be used at any participating airport in the country.

There are currently twenty international airports in the program. These include airports in or near the following major cities:
  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Detroit
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Honolulu
  • Houston
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles
  • Miami
  • New York
  • Newark
  • Orlando
  • Philadelphia
  • Sanford
  • San Francisco
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Seattle
  • Washington, D.C. (Dulles)
Here is the process for using the Global Entry system:

Walk up to the computer station.

Place passport or lawful permanent resident card into the machine reader.
Press fingers down on the pad Answer customs declaration inspections questions.
Take receipt Show it to CBP officers.
Travelers should be aware that CBP officers retain the right to question all entrants to the country, even Global Entry participants.

Further information:

The application form is located at http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/trusted_traveler/global_entry/.

Individuals with questions about the program may visit CBP’s Customer Service page at https://help.cbp.gov/cgi-bin/customs.cfg/php/enduser/home.php?p_sid=VsMWsEbj.

Check out the video below from Smart Planet on the new system:

Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
August 31, 2009
10:05 am
There was quite a bit of coverage over the weekend and this morning about the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. A few highlights below:

From The Hill:

The Obama administration says it is prepared to handle a major natural disaster on par with Hurricane Katrina.

President Barack Obama's White House and agencies are winning high marks from both Democrats and Republicans for efforts at both rebuilding and preparing for other storms, four years after Katrina destroyed the Gulf Coast and damaged the Bush administration's legacy.

The Obama team went to work quickly after taking office, with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano issuing a department-wide directive -- including to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) -- on Jan. 27 to ensure integration between state and federal agencies in planning for disasters.

On Jan. 28, Napolitano ordered a department review of plans to address Katrina's "lingering impacts," according to a White House fact sheet. And then on Jan. 29, FEMA announced an approved $23 million in Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs "to cover the entire cost of elevating 48 residential properties in Orleans Parish to the Advisory Base Flood Elevation."

Obama focused his weekly radio address on his administration's efforts on both the rebuilding and the preparation fronts.

"From the streets of New Orleans to the Mississippi Coast, folks are beginning the next chapter in their American stories," Obama said. "And together, we can ensure that the legacy of a terrible storm is a country that is safer and more prepared for the challenges that may come."


From Security Management:

In the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) post-Hurricane Katrina years under the Bush administration, state officials cited renewed engagement by their agency partners who worked with them directly at the regional level.

States remained less impressed, however, with their DHS partners in the nation's capital, who they said still took a closed-door, dictatorial approach to issues like grant management, handing down strict guidelines from on high while ignoring or disregarding states' needs and wants.

That has begun to change under the Obama administration, according to a report by Deb Weinstein, a student at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, assigned to the Medill News Service bureau in Washington, DC.


From the New York Times:

Houses still sit empty, residents are still scattered and streets still echo with the sounds of hammers and power saws. But on the fourth anniversary of the hurricane that redefined its future, New Orleans is no longer talking about mere recovery.

Yes, people are returning: the number of households receiving mail is now more than three-fourths of the pre-Katrina figures, according to the latest estimates, up from fewer than half three years ago. Projects stalled by red tape and the bad credit market, like the Lafitte public housing complex, are finally getting back on track.

But reverting to the city that existed here before the flood is not the goal. For a city that justly if sometimes self-consciously relishes its own nostalgia, there was much about pre-Katrina New Orleans, from the unstable floodwalls to the stagnant economy, that was best left behind. Employment had not grown for the six years before the storm. The population had been shrinking since the 1960s. In 2005, there were only two

Fortune 500 companies with headquarters here - now there is only one, Entergy, a power company.

So instead of returning to a decaying economic structure, New Orleans is talking about revitalization, a buzzword behind the new energy in the city, carried by an intensity and idealism that would have bordered on indecent in the old, charmingly carefree New Orleans.


From the Christian Science Monitor:

For the survivors, hurricane Katrina lives in memories, photographs, and the empty spaces left by lost friends and objects.

Its immediate toll was tragedy. The storm that crashed into New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast four years ago wreaked a shocking $80 billion in damage and resulted in 1,836 confirmed fatalities. But since then, its overall legacy has broadened and, one hopes, has not been all bad.

Count these among the lessons it taught and the changes it spawned:

.Volunteers matter a lot in a time of crisis.
.FEMA's mission has shifted from a top-down to a bottom-up approach.
.New appreciation has emerged of the need to retain and restore wetlands to help absorb storm surges.
.Storm-tracking capabilities have advanced in ways that improve public safety.
.Hurricanes have moved to the center of the climate-change debate.

"Katrina has become a symbolic event," says Russell Dynes, founding director of the University of Delaware's Disaster Recovery Center, in Newark.

The limits of centralized response

The storm four years ago ripped apart the fabric of New Orleans, but it also left a deep impression on emergency response workers nationwide. It showed, for one thing, how volunteer efforts - churches, college students - played a much more important role than expected and how the centralized response, led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), alienated many of the same people it was intended to help.

After Katrina, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) overhauled its National Disaster Plan, incorporating a more bottom-up approach and going back to its roots as a civil, not military, response unit. FEMA's current director, Craig Fugate, is intent on setting policy to reflect his belief that citizens are less victims than crucial first responders.


Public Events
11:30 AM PDT
ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton will participate in media availability with the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles to announce the first arrests made in conjunction with Operation Twisted Traveler, an international ICE-led initiative targeting Americans traveling to Cambodia to sexually exploit children
Room 7516
300 N. Los Angeles St.
Los Angeles, Calif.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
August 28, 2009
12:02 pm

David Heyman, Assistant Secretary for Policy, sat down with reporters Wednesday to answer questions and discuss preparedness and business contingency planning for H1N1. He talked about what individuals and businesses can do to prepare for the upcoming flu--from taking care of your family to encouraging employers to be ready to support employees and their business.

Take a moment to view the video we put together to highlight some of his key points:

August 28, 2009
10:44 am
From the Dallas Morning News, on the Secretary's committment to comprehensive immigration reform:

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Thursday that she was optimistic that a bipartisan immigration-policy overhaul would, at some point, get through Congress.

"This is not a new issue," she said in a meeting with The Dallas Morning News' editorial board. "It's just putting together a comprehensive package that covers the immigration issues from A to Z. ... It's a priority for both me and the president."

Napolitano expressed hope that the effort, which has bogged down in Congress in years past, would not be as contentious as it was under former President George W. Bush.

She did not say when a bill would ultimately be considered since Congress and the White House are now consumed with health care legislation. So changes to immigration policy could be further down the road, though she has had meetings with Sen. Charles Schumer, the New York Democrat expected to take the lead on the issue.

"There is a bipartisan recognition that the current law is outdated and needs to be brought up to date with our current needs," she said.

Napolitano, the former governor of Arizona, has dealt with the effects of illegal immigration for much of her career in public service.

She said an immigration bill should focus on the following:

. Developing or bolstering the penalties for employers who repeatedly hire illegal immigrants.
. Stamping out the new tactics human traffickers and money launderers are using to exploit the border.
. Developing programs that would allow seasonal workers to legally enter the country.
. Updating the visa process to allow students with capabilities the country needs to remain in the U.S.


From the Associated Press, on rebuilding efforts along the gulf coast:

As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama pledged to right the wrongs he said bogged down efforts to rebuild the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. Seven months into the job, he's earning high praise from some unlikely places.

Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., says Obama's team has brought a more practical and flexible approach. Many local officials offer similar reviews. Even Doug O'Dell, former President George W. Bush's recovery coordinator, says the Obama administration's "new vision" appears to be turning things around.

Not too long ago, Jindal said in a telephone interview, Louisiana governors didn't have "very many positive things" to say about the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

But Jindal said he had a lot of respect for the current FEMA chief, Craig Fugate, and his team. "There is a sense of momentum and a desire to get things done," the governor said.

Added O'Dell: "I think the results are self-evident."

The retired Marine general served what he calls a frustrating stint as Bush's recovery coordinator last year. "What people have said to me is that for whatever reason, problems that were insurmountable under previous leadership are getting resolved quickly," O'Dell said.

"And I really hate to say that because (the top FEMA leaders) in my time there were good, hardworking, earnest men, but they were also the victims of their own bureaucracy."


From the Associated Press, on the new Fire Administrator:

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano swore in Kelvin Cochran as the nation's new Fire Administrator on Thursday and emphasized to a gathering of emergency responders efforts the government is making to help struggling fire departments.

Napolitano reminded attendees at the Fire-Rescue International Conference that the federal stimulus bill provides $210 million in Assistance to Firefighter grants for fire stations.

Congress also will waive the requirement that local governments match funds when they split an additional $210 million worth of Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grants this year. That move will let fire departments rehire laid-off firefighters. The Department of Homeland Security plans to ask for double that amount for next year, Napolitano said.

"Cities and states are cash-strapped right now and we want to do things, to the extent we can, so that our emergency services continue our security planning continues unimpeded," she said after swearing in Cochran.


From Fire Rescue 1, on H1N1 preparedness:

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano admitted Thursday the swine flu vaccine is unlikely to be ready for the start of the next expected wave of the virus, and urged the fire service to be ready for outbreaks.

"In all likelihood, this flu will be back on our shores before any vaccine is available," she said.

Secretary Napolitano said shots to protect against the H1N1 virus should be available about mid-October.

During an address to Fire-Rescue International in Dallas, Secretary Napolitano said fire departments should begin planning for high rates of absenteeism, not only due to member sickness but from those having to stay at home to tend to children with the virus.

Secretary Napolitano urged departments to begin looking at leave and overtime policies. "Do it now, before we are in the midst of this next flu season," she said.


Public Events
10 AM CDT
USCG Sector Lake Michigan Commander Capt. Luann Barndt and Col. Vincent Quarles, Commander of the Army Corps of Engineers' Chicago District will conduct a press briefing to discuss public safety and vessel traffic issues concerning the Aquatic Nuisance Species Dispersal barrier in Romeoville, IL.
W Edgewood Dr
Under the Romeo Road Bridge adjacent to the Citgo Lamont Refinery.
Romeoville, IL
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
August 28, 2009
10:41 am
From the Dallas Morning News, on the Secretary's committment to comprehensive immigration reform:

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Thursday that she was optimistic that a bipartisan immigration-policy overhaul would, at some point, get through Congress.
"This is not a new issue," she said in a meeting with The Dallas Morning News' editorial board. "It's just putting together a comprehensive package that covers the immigration issues from A to Z. ... It's a priority for both me and the president."
Napolitano expressed hope that the effort, which has bogged down in Congress in years past, would not be as contentious as it was under former President George W. Bush.
She did not say when a bill would ultimately be considered since Congress and the White House are now consumed with health care legislation. So changes to immigration policy could be further down the road, though she has had meetings with Sen. Charles Schumer, the New York Democrat expected to take the lead on the issue.
"There is a bipartisan recognition that the current law is outdated and needs to be brought up to date with our current needs," she said.
Napolitano, the former governor of Arizona, has dealt with the effects of illegal immigration for much of her career in public service.
She said an immigration bill should focus on the following:
. Developing or bolstering the penalties for employers who repeatedly hire illegal immigrants.
. Stamping out the new tactics human traffickers and money launderers are using to exploit the border.
. Developing programs that would allow seasonal workers to legally enter the country.
. Updating the visa process to allow students with capabilities the country needs to remain in the U.S.

 

From the Associated Press, on the new Fire Administrator:

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano swore in Kelvin Cochran as the nation's new Fire Administrator on Thursday and emphasized to a gathering of emergency responders efforts the government is making to help struggling fire departments.
Napolitano reminded attendees at the Fire-Rescue International Conference that the federal stimulus bill provides $210 million in Assistance to Firefighter grants for fire stations.
Congress also will waive the requirement that local governments match funds when they split an additional $210 million worth of Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response grants this year. That move will let fire departments rehire laid-off firefighters. The Department of Homeland Security plans to ask for double that amount for next year, Napolitano said.
"Cities and states are cash-strapped right now and we want to do things, to the extent we can, so that our emergency services continue our security planning continues unimpeded," she said after swearing in Cochran.

 

From Fire Rescue 1, on H1N1 preparedness:

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano admitted Thursday the swine flu vaccine is unlikely to be ready for the start of the next expected wave of the virus, and urged the fire service to be ready for outbreaks.
"In all likelihood, this flu will be back on our shores before any vaccine is available," she said.
Secretary Napolitano said shots to protect against the H1N1 virus should be available about mid-October.
During an address to Fire-Rescue International in Dallas, Secretary Napolitano said fire departments should begin planning for high rates of absenteeism, not only due to member sickness but from those having to stay at home to tend to children with the virus.
Secretary Napolitano urged departments to begin looking at leave and overtime policies. "Do it now, before we are in the midst of this next flu season," she said.
Fire departments also need to play a lead role in ensuring residents in their districts are well-informed and knowledgeable about the virus, Secretary Napolitano said.

 

 
August 27, 2009
5:17 pm

David Aguilar, Acting Deputy Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, posted clarification about the $420 million in Recovery Act funding to replace aging infrastructure and enhance safety at 43 ports of entry across the on the Leadership Journal.

The assessment to rank the conditions and needs of all 163 U.S. land ports of entry started in 2003. CBP incorporated over 60 factors across four categories, ranging from health and life safety concerns to workload growth and space and site deficiencies. For ARRA funds, which were tied to construction timelines, CBP also identified and analyzed a range of factors that could impact the feasibility of meeting these timelines.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
August 27, 2009
4:29 pm

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provided critical funding to improve security along our borders at our land ports of entry. Customs and Border Protection, part of the Department of Homeland Security, is utilizing $420 million in Recovery Act funding to replace aging infrastructure and enhance safety at 43 ports of entry across the country- through an objective, thorough, and transparent process.

On August 26, the Associated Press ran a misleading story that portrayed this process as biased and secretive. This is absolutely incorrect. The AP was provided information which it chose not to include in its story that clearly demonstrates how our Recovery dollars are being put to work quickly and transparently.

The AP claimed that political considerations helped determine which ports received ARRA funding. In reality, CBP and the General Services Administration used a thorough, objective, and transparent process based on the merits of each project to select the ports of entry that will be modernized with ARRA funds.

This process was long in the making. The assessment to rank the conditions and needs of all 163 U.S. land ports of entry started in 2003. CBP incorporated over 60 factors across four categories, ranging from health and life safety concerns to workload growth and space and site deficiencies. For ARRA funds, which were tied to construction timelines, CBP also identified and analyzed a range of factors that could impact the feasibility of meeting these timelines. This list is public on Recovery.gov.

The AP also alleges that the Department chose to use ARRA funding for small, low-traffic northern border ports rather than for busier ports along the southwest border, such as the port in Laredo, Texas.

But what the AP story doesn’t reflect is how the funding process works and an understanding of how ownership of a port restricts the funding process. The Department received ARRA funding specifically for ports owned by CBP, which includes 39 ports of entry along the northern border and four along the southwest border. None of these CBP owned ports are in Laredo. GSA owns or leases all the Laredo port facilities, part of the 38 southwest border land ports that GSA controls.
Most of the ports CBP owns are small, rural, low-traffic ports along the northern border. Most are four decades old and unequipped to meet the security needs of a modern, post-9/11 world.

Finally, the AP wrote that CBP had a secretive process for determining port funding and refused to provide justifications for its decisions. This is patently false. Prior to the AP’s story, CBP had published the prioritized list of ARRA port projects, along with detailed information describing the review process, on Recovery.gov.

The Department provided the AP with unprecedented access to a wide array of additional information about final project selections, including a nearly three-hour briefing and access to all supporting documents. CBP also provided written, on-the-record justifications for why specific ports were not eligible for ARRA funds due to feasibility and project readiness issues. We also made available to the AP numerous high-level policymakers for interviews on this topic.

In every instance, we provided the AP with information, which – if reported fully and accurately – would have addressed their questions. Americans should have confidence in the objectivity and openness with which ARRA funds have been dedicated to port projects and both CBP and the Department of Homeland Security are committed to upholding this responsibility. To find out more about how ARRA funds are being used in your community and across the country, visit Recovery.gov.

David Aguilar
Acting Deputy Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
August 27, 2009
10:55 am
From the Louisville Courier-Journal, an interview with Secretary Napolitano:
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday that the federal government is more prepared than ever to respond to a Hurricane Katrina-like disaster and that the county is safer than ever against foreign terrorist attack.

In a wide-ranging hour-long interview with The Courier-Journal's editorial board, the former Arizona governor, who took over the federal post in January, said an issue receiving ever more attention by her agency is the threat of domestic terrorism. She added that the department is also focused on potential threats to the private sector, such as cyber-terrorism.

Napolitano said that while the threat of a terrorist attack "remains with us" it doesn't come solely from Al Qaida and that the "methods" of possible attack are varied.
"We're stronger now and we keep getting stronger," Napolitano said. "We're certainly stronger than before 9/11." She added that the department needs to continue to "reduce the risk and strengthen our ability to respond."
From the Houston Chronicle, on a new immigration task force:
Immigration officials on Wednesday announced plans to create a task force to crack down what they described as a tremendous local problem - immigration document and benefit fraud.

"We've noticed a tremendous amount of document and benefit fraud occurring within the Greater Houston area," said Pat McElwain, the assistant special agent in charge for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Houston and head of the newly created task force.

The task force is still forming, and ICE officials are talking to other federal agencies, such as the U.S. Attorney's Office, and local agencies, including the Houston Police Department and Harris County Sheriff's Office, about participation, McElwain said.
Gregory Palmore, an ICE spokesman, said ICE does not have statistics available on document fraud in Houston and could not go into details about cases locally that are under investigation.

Nationally, ICE has 17 fraudulent document task forces up and running that have been credited with a number of high-profile cases, McElwain said.
From NextGov, on Cyberstorm III:
The Homeland Security Department's third large-scale cybersecurity drill in September 2010 will test the national cyber response plan currently being developed by the Obama administration, said industry and government participants in the simulation exercise during a conference on Tuesday.

Cyber Storm III will build upon the lessons learned in the two previous exercises that took place in February 2006 and March 2008, and provide the first opportunity to assess the White House strategy for responding to a cyberattack with nationwide impact.

"The national cyber response plan will be an offshoot of a lot of the findings that came out of Cyber Storm I and II that will formalize the roles and responsibilities," said Brett Lambo, director of the cyber exercises program in DHS' national cybersecurity division. He participated on an afternoon panel at the GFirst conference in Atlanta hosted by the department's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team. "It's not a direct cause-and-effect relationship, but a lot of questions bubbled up [from the exercises]," followed by the announcement along with President Obama's 60-day cyber review that a response plan should be developed.
Leadership Events
9:15 AM CDT
Secretary Napolitano will deliver remarks at the 2009 Fire-Rescue International Conference, swear in Kelvin Cochran as U.S. Fire Administrator and participate in a media availability
Dallas Convention Center Arena
650 South Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas

Public Events
9 AM EDT
NPPD Deputy Under Secretary Philip Reitinger will deliver remarks about DHS cybersecurity priorities and how to better build and sustain current and future cyber partnerships at the GFIRST Conference
Omni Hotel at CNN Center
100 CNN Center
Atlanta, Ga.

3:45 PM EDT
NPPD Federal Network Security (FNS) Director Matt Coose will participate in a presentation at the GFIRST Conference about the activities of the FNS Branch
Omni Hotel at CNN Center
100 CNN Center
Atlanta, Ga.
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.
August 27, 2009
10:54 am
Secretary Napolitano speaking to the American Legion Auxilary on preparedness. Yesterday I had the honor of addressing more than a thousand of our nation’s veterans at the American Legion Annual Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

Veterans hold a special place in our country, but they also hold a special place at the Department of Homeland Security. Roughly a quarter of our workforce consists of veterans, including more than 2,100 service-disabled veterans. Every day these men and women, who already have sacrificed so much for our nation, are helping achieve our mission to secure the country.

I told veterans gathered at the conference that we are firmly committed to increasing their ranks at DHS. Indeed, we have set a goal of employing 50,000 veterans at the Department by 2012. We are well on our way to achieve that goal – hiring 3,000 veterans since January of this year.

But our efforts aren’t just about numbers. We are also expanding partnerships and outreach to veterans across the United States. For example, we are creating greater opportunities for Veteran Owned Small Businesses and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses to do business with the Department. Last year, veteran-owned small businesses won more than $931 million in prime contracts from DHS.

And our first-ever job fair for veterans drew more than 750 participants this summer.

Through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, we’ve also continued to grant citizenship to tens of thousands of our men and women in uniform who have become American citizens while at the same time serving in our Armed Forces. We will continue to do even more this year and in the future.

In Louisville, I thanked the American Legion, as well as the American Legion Auxiliary, for their strong support for programs like Citizen Corps, which is creating more prepared communities through service and citizen engagement.

I also called on the Legion to continue to support these and other efforts to help build a culture of preparedness and resiliency in America. That includes taking action to boost personal preparedness and spread the word about important resources like Ready.gov. This is especially important as we prepare for the possibility of an H1N1 outbreak this fall.

We must bring a sense of shared responsibility to this effort. Veterans are in a unique position to help us meet this challenge, as they’ve done throughout our nation’s history. We are proud to have them as members of the Department and critical partners in our nation’s homeland security mission.

Janet Napolitano
Published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Washington, D.C.

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