These first seven days of May mark Public Service Recognition Week. During this week, we take a moment to recognize and express the Nation’s appreciation for what you and others in public service do for the American people.
Every single day of the year, I recognize and appreciate everything you do. Every single day, I witness and learn of your sacrifice, service, dedication, talent, and heroism.
I have seen firsthand Customs and Border Protection address the significant challenge at our borders and control the situation, and save lives, with extraordinary dedication and skill, while at the same time serving as an engine of lawful trade and travel. Members of the Coast Guard have without hesitation rescued individuals from distress in rough seas and are operating across the world to safeguard our Nation’s security. The Secret Service has protected the safety of our Nation’s special and most high-profile events, and rescued children from heinous exploitation. The Office of Intelligence and Analysis has provided our state, local, tribal, and territorial partners with critical information to equip and enable them to protect their communities. FEMA personnel have lent their incredible talent and expertise to our government partners and helped guide and support them to increasing success in the shelter and care of children, while helping communities respond to and recover from natural disasters. The Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties has engaged with Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders and advocates as we partner with communities to overcome hatred and discrimination and the violence they can breed. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel have protected the vital supply chain of products on which the American public relies in the battle against COVID-19, and have apprehended violent criminals who threaten the safety of communities. Our TSA workforce has guided domestic air travelers during a time of heightened vigilance, ensuring their and the public’s safety. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has led our public-private partnership in the battle against ransomware and other illegal intrusions that threaten our country’s infrastructure. Citizenship and Immigration Services has swiftly rebuilt programs, removed obstacles to our Nation’s legal immigration pathways, and continued to welcome new citizens. The Office of Operations Coordination has ensured our situational awareness of critical events around the country and the world, to which we as a Department must be ready to respond. Our Chief Medical Officer and his team have overseen Operation VOW and built partnerships for the protection of vulnerable children.
I could fill a set of encyclopedias of your accomplishments and the selfless and distinguished service that you perform. This past Friday, on the last day of April, I awarded retiring FEMA program executive Cliff Oliver with the DHS Outstanding Service Medal for his work modernizing the agency’s financial systems. The accomplishments of some are not possible without the contributions of all. Our Office of General Counsel advances our legal interests and commitment to the highest ethical standards. Our colleagues throughout the Management enterprise provide the backbone of all that we do. Our colleagues in Legislative Affairs ensure our bipartisan responsiveness to and relationship with the American public’s representatives, and our offices of Public Affairs champions our successes and works day and night to ensure we are responsive to the journalists who keep our country informed.
The Science and Technology Directorate ensures that our Department remains innovative and harnesses the most cutting-edge technology in the service of our mission. The Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers train our personnel, and others around the country, to ensure we implement best practices. Our Privacy officers advance our commitment to openness and transparency and protect particularly sensitive information as the law requires. We partner with communities across the country under the leadership of our Office of Partnership and Engagement. Our Office of the Inspector General, our Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman and our Immigration Detention Ombudsman ensure our accountability to the highest standards of government responsibility. The Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office helps ensure our homeland remains secure against the most novel, emerging threats. The Office of the Executive Secretary ensures the efficient flow of information throughout our Department. The Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans provides us with the framework and underpinnings of our work across the entire spectrum of challenges we confront and opportunities we create for a better future for our country.
It is just incredible what all of you do. I cannot list everything and identify everyone, from those working behind the scenes to those on the front lines. During my tenure as the Secretary, I will make sure our entire Nation fully understands your extraordinary contributions. It is a privilege to do so. And, I owe it to all of you to do so, in recognition of your sacrifices and to honor the colleagues we have lost.
Thank you for everything you do in service of the American people.
Alejandro N. Mayorkas
Secretary of Homeland Security
With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.