The Department of Homeland Security has played a prominent role in implementing President Trump’s security-focused agenda. We are securing our borders and enforcing existing immigration laws, while working with Congress to achieve the president’s immigration priorities.
We have elevated our defenses against terrorist threats from around the globe, including tough new screening and vetting measures, historic aviation security enhancements, better information sharing, and adjustments to countering evolving terrorist tactics. At the same time, we have taken steps to protect our homeland against emerging threats from rogue nations, foreign adversaries, and transnational criminals.
DHS also responded to a historic hurricane season, which affected roughly 25.8 million people, as well as devastating western wildfires. We have taken bold steps to more assertively manage national risk, protect critical infrastructure, and bolster our cyber defenses, including directing the removal of nation-state actor affiliated software from government systems.
The policies put in place by this administration have made our nation more secure, and we remain committed to carrying out the president’s agenda which will protect Americans from both domestic and foreign threats.
Additional background on DHS priorities can be found below.
Border Security and Enforcement
The Department of Homeland Security is working to execute President Trump’s promise to the American people to secure our borders and implement meaningful immigration priorities to keep Americans safe. DHS is strengthening America’s border security, enforcing immigration laws in the interior of our country, and promoting a merit-based system. Since the beginning of the Trump Administration, clear progress has been made, but legislative action is needed to fully protect our nation. Our immigration system is failing. An estimated 11 million people are in the U.S. illegally. Many of these immigrants are low-skilled, have limited ties to the U.S., or exploit our generous immigration system. As a result, our communities are less safe, our country less secure, and our economy is suffering. Put simply: illegal immigration is hurting American citizens, and it is clear that change is needed.
Combating Terrorism and Countering Emerging Threats
The threat landscape is changing. There is no longer a “home” game and “away” game when it comes to protecting our nation against foreign enemies and adversaries. That is why DHS is focused on the President’s goal of pursuing threats to their source, including making it harder for nefarious actors to reach our shores. For example, DHS has implemented sweeping enhancements to keep terrorists from infiltrating our country. Through the president’s executive orders, DHS and interagency partners have put in place tough security protocols to intensify vetting of U.S.-bound individuals. This includes increased security across every route a terrorist could use to get into the United States—whether as a tourist, business visitor, immigrant, or refugee. And these stricter measures have already allowed us to keep potential terrorists, transnational criminals, and other threat actors from entering the United States.
DHS has also aggressively countered emerging threats. We responded to terrorists’ targeting of aviation by raising the baseline of aviation security worldwide, including better protecting all flights into our country from dangerous people and concealed threats. We have strengthened efforts to protect soft targets from terrorists and violent criminals. And we have taken major steps to secure the homeland against threats from weapons of mass destruction, whether they are from rogue nations or terrorists.
Cybersecurity, Critical Infrastructure Protection, Election Security
Everything from the electric grid to our transportation systems to the water we drink is dependent on secure networks. Our enemies seek to disrupt our critical infrastructure and deliver mass chaos. Over the past year, the Department and its federal interagency partners worked to deepen our cybersecurity collaboration with private companies where a cyber attack could have catastrophic impacts on public health and safety, the economy, or U.S. national security. This work started with the financial services industry – a top target of malicious cyber actors – which we will build on in 2018 – as well as expand partnerships with electric utilities, as well as communications and information technology companies.
The Department established formal mechanisms to support state and local election officials protect the processes and systems that enable Americans to vote in local, state, and national elections. In close partnership with state and local election officials, the Department is creating new procedures to more quickly share information on potential cyber threats to election security. In 2018, the Department is committed to working with all stakeholders to share information, build enhanced cyber capacity, and ensure the security of our elections.
Disaster Response and Building Resilience
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its partners responded to an unprecedented series of disasters that affected more than 25 million Americans—nearly eight percent of the U.S. population. The 2017 hurricane season produced 17 named storms, 10 of which became hurricanes, including three major hurricanes (Harvey, Irma and Maria) that made landfall. Additionally, wildfires have impacted the western United States, destroying communities and resulting in mudslides in many parts of California. FEMA and its partners continue to work diligently in support of disaster survivors across the country. Since January 20, 2017, FEMA has provided more than $7.6 billion in disaster assistance and registered nearly 5 million households for assistance.
These disasters underscore the importance of preparedness and resilience. DHS continues to work with partners across all levels of government, non-profit agencies and the private sector in assisting disaster survivors throughout their recovery, and building a true culture of preparedness across the nation.