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Homeland Security

A Day in the Life of Homeland Security

On the 8th anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security, our nation is more secure than it was two years ago, and more secure than when DHS was founded. Every day, DHS works with first responders, state, local, tribal and territorial governments, community groups, international partners and the private sector to secure our nation and to counter the evolving threats we face. Securing our homeland requires our constant vigilance, hard work, and determination to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from terrorism and other threats.

Below is a sampling of what the men and women of DHS do over the course of a typical day — working across the country and around the world — to keep Americans safe and secure. *

To prevent terrorism and enhance security, TODAY, DHS will:

  • Screen approximately 2 million passengers and their checked baggage before they board commercial aircraft;
  • Intercept 90 prohibited items at checkpoints (TSA outbound and CBP inbound) and prevent 1,945 prohibited items from entering federal facilities;
  • Deploy thousands of transportation security officers and federal air marshals to protect the traveling public;
  • Minimize the wait times of passengers’ security screening to an average of less than 10 minutes;
  • Conduct 135 armed waterborne patrols near maritime critical infrastructure and key resources;
  • Monitor 1,428 radiation portal monitors to scan 100 percent of all containerized cargo entering from Canada and Mexico; 100 percent of the personally owned vehicles entering from Canada and Mexico; and 99 percent of all arriving seaborne containerized cargo for illicit radiological/nuclear materials;
  • Train 3,400 federal officers and agents from 89 different federal agencies, as well as state, local, tribal and international officers and agents, in one or more of the 469 basic and advanced training programs available;
  • Train 12 state and local law enforcement officials on how to use preventive radiological/nuclear detection equipment;
  • Review all-source intelligence information, conduct analysis, and develop products to disseminate to federal, state, local, tribal, territorial and private sector partners regarding current and developing threats, as well as potential indicators of the threat; and
  • Provide resources and expertise to support the nation’s state and major urban area fusion centers to engage law enforcement and homeland security agencies across the country in reporting suspicious activities and implementing protective measures.

To secure and manage our borders, TODAY, DHS will:

  • Process nearly 1 million travelers entering the United States at air, land and sea ports of entry;
  • Inspect more than 47,000 truck, rail and sea containers;
  • Process more than $88 million in fees, duties and tariffs;
  • Seize 11,435 pounds of narcotics at or near ports of entry nationwide;
  • Seize or remove 1,100 pounds of illegal drugs via maritime routes;
  • Issue 200 credentials to qualified merchant mariners to ensure the safety, security and efficiency of the maritime supply chain; and
  • Manage 3,500 commercial vessel transits through the Marine Transportation System to facilitate the safe and efficient movement of goods and people.

To enforce and administer our immigration laws, TODAY, DHS will:

  • Make an average 728 administrative arrests and 638 criminal alien arrests;
  • Seize approximately $400,000 in undeclared or illicit currency at and between U.S. ports of entry nationwide;
  • Litigate nearly 1,500 cases in immigration court and obtain 6,161 final orders of removal including 933 for criminal aliens;
  • House 33,429 illegal aliens in detention facilities nationwide;
  • Process 24,371 applications for immigration benefits; and
  • Naturalize nearly 2,583 new U.S. citizens.

To safeguard and secure cyberspace, TODAY, DHS will:

  • Protect U.S. information systems (the federal .gov domain) through the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), which detects, responds and issues warnings to an average of more than 18 incidents per month arising from almost 15,000 daily alerts;
  • Work closely with government and private sector partners to defend against and respond to a range of cyber threats, and when necessary, provide onsite support to owners and operators of the nation’s critical infrastructure on incident response, forensic analysis, site assessments and training; and
  • Promote the development of a world-class cybersecurity workforce by supporting initiatives such as Scholarship for Service and developing education curriculum designed to ensure our cyber professionals are educated in every aspect of cyber risk mitigation.

To ensure resilience to disasters, TODAY, DHS will:

  • Provide $22 million to states and local communities for disaster response, recovery, and mitigation activities;
  • Help save $4.6 million in damages from flooding across the country through FEMA’s Flood Plain Management;
  • Help protect 104 homes from the devastating effects of flooding through flood insurance policies issued by the National Flood Insurance Program;
  • Strengthen citizen preparedness and participation through funding and technical assistance to the nearly 2,400 tribal, state, territorial, and local Citizen Corps Councils in every state and five U.S. territories;
  • Train 951 emergency responders to improve capabilities across all-hazards, to include weapons of mass destruction, cybersecurity, agriculture and food protection, and citizen preparedness; and
  • Save 13 lives, respond to 64 search and rescue cases and prevent loss of $260,000 in property damage.

Download The Day in the Life of Homeland Security (PDF, 2 pages - 85KB)

* Data contained in this document is approximate and represents daily averages based on annual Department-wide statistics.

Last Published Date: August 9, 2012
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