Below are some highlights of the progress we've made in 2011–working across the country and around the world–to keep Americans safe and secure.
In 2011, to prevent terrorism and enhance security:
- The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)’s 52,000 Transportation Security Officers screened more than 603 million passengers at 450 airports across the country.
- TSA discovered over 125,000 prohibited items at airport checkpoints.
- DHS conducted more than 9300 Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response Team (VIPR) operations across various modes of transportation.
- The U.S. Coast Guard conducted approximately 37,000-waterborne patrols near critical maritime infrastructure and security zones in American ports and escorted nearly 5,000 high-capacity passenger vessels, naval vessels and ships carrying dangerous cargoes.
- The Federal Protective Service responded to 53,000 incidents, made 1,975 arrests, and interdicted more than 680,000 weapons/prohibited items during routine checks at federal facilities.
- TSA inspected more than 100 international airports with last point of departure flights to the U.S. and conducted more than 900 air carrier inspections at foreign airports.
To strengthen partnerships abroad:
- In conjunction with DOJ, DHS signed Preventing and Combating Serious Crime (PCSC) agreements with seven additional countries, bringing the total of number of PCSC agreements to 22.
- DHS initialed a proposed agreement with the European Union, passed by the Council of the European Union, which once ratified, will allow for the sharing of Passenger Name Record information to help prevent terrorism and transnational crime.
- Coast Guard inspectors working in the International Port Security Program helped to promote and protect the security of the global supply chain by working with our international trading partners and port facilities.
- TSA signed 23 international agreements with foreign partners, including 9 agreements permitting the deployment of Federal Air Marshals on flights between the U.S. and the respective countries and 14 agreements on technical assistance and information sharing.
- Through Program Global Shield, DHS seized chemical precursors for making improvised explosive devices (IED) totaling over 45 metric tons and made 19 arrests related to the illicit diversion of these chemicals.
- Coast Guard Mobile Training Teams delivered maritime training and capacity-building assistance to more than 50 nations, training thousands of host country participants and engaging in security cooperation activities with partner nations including Coast Guard-conducted anti-piracy operations near the Horn of Africa.
- CBP maintained the Container Security Initiative at over 50 overseas ports to prescreen and evaluate high-risk containers before they are shipped to the U.S.
- TSA provided training assistance to more than 100 foreign governments with Last Points of Departure flights to the U.S.
To secure and manage our borders:
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)'s more than 21,000 Border Patrol agents secured 5,980 miles along our Northern and Southwestern borders.
- Border Patrol apprehensions- the best measure of illegal crossings- decreased by more than 50 percent over the last three years and are less than 20 percent of what they were at their peak while seizures of illegal drugs, currency and weapons are up.
- The Coast Guard conducted 9,000 Port State Control safety and environmental assessments on foreign vessels entering U.S. ports and 10,000 security boardings of small vessels in and around U.S. ports, waterways and coastal regions.
- CBP Office of Air and Marine provided nearly 1,500 hours of unmanned aerial surveillance covering 950 miles along the Northern Border.
- At our nation's ports of entry, nearly 21,000 CBP Officers screened more than 340 million travelers and nearly 25 million containers, processing nearly $2.3 trillion in trade.
- CBP officers processed more than 15 million travelers at 15 international pre-clearance locations.
- DHS added more than 290,000 individuals to our trusted traveler programs to expedite screening for low-risk travelers.
To enforce and administer our immigration laws:
- ICE removed 396,906 illegal aliens consistent with its public safety priorities. Of these, 55 percent of the people removed were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors. This includes more than 1,110 aliens convicted of homicide; 5,840 aliens convicted of sexual offenses; 44,650 aliens convicted of drug related crimes; and 35,920 aliens convicted of driving under the influence.
- ICE expanded the Secure Communities program from 14 jurisdictions in 2008 to more than 1,700 today—including all jurisdictions along the Southwest border – helping to identify and remove tens of thousands of criminal aliens in state prisons and jails.
- ICE opened more than 45,880 investigations and made more than 31,230 arrests for a broad range of crimes, from financial fraud and intellectual property rights violations to cybercrime and human trafficking and smuggling.
- DHS reviewed the 1.6 million visa overstay backlog and referred leads based on national security and public safety priorities to ICE for further investigation.
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) held more than 6,000 naturalization ceremonies for 692,000 lawful permanent residents who became U.S. citizens, including more than 10,000 members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
- USCIS processed more than 17 million E‑Verify queries and expanded E-Verify Self Check to 21 states and the District of Columbia in both English and Spanish.
To safeguard and secure cyberspace:
- The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) responded to more than 100,000 incident reports and released more than 5,000 actionable cybersecurity alerts and information products.
- The Secret Service prevented $5.6 billion in potential losses through its financial crime investigations, and $1.5 billion through cyber crime investigations.
To ensure resilience to disasters:
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) supported 96 major disaster declarations, 29 emergency declarations, and 116 fire management assistance declarations.
- FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness trained more than 93,500 local, state and tribal responders.
- DHS awarded more than $2.1 billion in federal preparedness grants to states, urban areas, tribal and territorial governments, non-profit agencies, and the private sector.
- FEMA supported more than 100 exercises in all 56 states and territories.
To provide essential support to national and economic security:
- The Secret Service seized over $70 million of counterfeit currency before it entered public circulation.
- The Coast Guard conducted 7,000 inspections, many in our nation's deep draft seaports, on U.S. flagged vessels, 3,000 inspections of port facilities and 26,000 inspections of hazardous containers, which generate 8.4 million American jobs and account for nearly $2 trillion of the U.S. economy.
- The Coast Guard (USCG) responded to more than 20,500 search and rescue cases and saved over 4,330 lives.
- The Coast Guard conducted more than 6,200 Marine Casualty investigations to improve the safety of the maritime transportation system that carries more than 95% of all U.S. foreign trade and accounts for nearly $700 billion of U.S. gross domestic product and 51 million U.S. jobs.
- The Coast Guard conducted more than 46,000 recreational vessel boardings and issued more than 8,000 citations.
To mature and strengthen the Department:
- DHS reached its goal of hiring 50,000 veterans comprising 25 percent of the Department's civilian workforce – a year ahead of schedule.
- Through the Efficiency Review and component initiatives, DHS has identified more than $1 billion in cost avoidances and implemented 36 efficiency initiatives across the Department.
- DHS responded to more than 145,000 requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act.