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Legal Authorities for the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

The authority under which the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) supports the Department comes from a variety of legal sources, such as statutes passed by Congress, executive orders signed by the President, and directives and delegations issued by the Secretary of Homeland Security.

Statutes

  • 6 U.S.C. § 111; Section 101, Homeland Security Act of 2002 (as amended)—Department of Homeland Security Mission. Requires that the Department ensure that civil rights and civil liberties of persons are not diminished by efforts, activities, and programs aimed at securing the homeland.
  • 6 U.S.C. § 113; Section 103, Homeland Security Act of 2002 (as amended)—Other Officers. The Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is appointed by the President.
  • 6 U.S.C. § 345; Section 705, Homeland Security Act of 2002 (as amended)—Establishment of Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. This statute authorizes the Officer to investigate complaints, provide policy advice to Department leadership and components on civil rights and civil liberties issues, and communicate with the public about CRCL and its activities. The statute also requires coordination with the Privacy Office and Inspector General, and directs CRCL to submit an annual report to Congress.
  • 20 U.S.C. § 1481 et seq. Title IX Education Amendments Act of 197—Nondiscrimination Based on Sex. Under Delegation 19003 (see below), CRCL is responsible for ensuring all federally-assisted and federally-conducted programs or activities on the Department comply with Title IX.
  • 29 U.S.C. § 794; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (as amended)—Nondiscrimination Under Federal Grants and Programs. Prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability under and program or activity receiving federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by DHS. Under Delegation 19003 (see below), CRCL is responsible for ensuring all federally-assisted and federally-conducted programs or activities of the Department comply with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
  • 42 U.S.C. § 2000d to 2000d-7; Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964—Prohibition Against Exclusion From Participation In, Denial of Benefits of, and Discrimination Under Federally Assisted Programs on Ground of Race, Color, or National Origin. Under Delegation 19003 (see below) CRCL is responsible for ensuring all federally-assisted and federally-conducted programs or activities of the Department comply with Title VI.
  • 42 U.S.C. § 2000ee-1; Section 803, The Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007—Privacy and Civil Liberties Officers. Provides additional authority to investigate complaints, review Department activities and programs for their civil liberties impact, and communicate with the public about CRCL and its activities. This statute also ensures CRCL access to information and individuals needed to carry out its functions, forbids reprisal against complainants, requires general coordination with the Inspector General, and directs the Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties to report, quarterly, to Congress.
  • 42 U.S.C. § 15601 et. seq.—Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA). Sets forth requirements to prevent sexual abuse and assault in confinement facilities. CRCL has implementation roles under the DHS PREA regulation (see below).
  • 50 § U.S.C. 3050—Annual Report on Hiring and Retention of Minority Employees. Requires reporting on the number of racial and ethnic minorities, women, and individuals with disabilities in the intelligence community.

Regulations

  • 6 C.F.R. Part 15: Enforcement of Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Programs or Activities Conducted by the Department of Homeland Security; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
  • 6 C.F.R. Part 17: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance; Title IX of the Educational Amendments Act of 1972.
  • 6 C.F.R. Part 19: Provides religious liberty protections for beneficiaries of federally funded social service programs while also adding new protections for the ability of religious providers to compete for government funds on the same basis as other private organizations. This regulation implements Executive Order 13279, Equal Protection of the Laws for Faith-based and Community Organizations (December 12, 2002), as amended by Executive Order 13559, Fundamental Principles and Policymaking Criteria for Partnerships with Faith-based and Other Neighborhood Organizations (November 17, 2010).
  • 6 C.F.R. Part 21: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Race, Color, or National Origin in Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance from the Department of Homeland Security; Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
  • 6 C.F.R Part 115: Sets forth standards to prevent, detect, and respond to sexual abuse in DHS immigration detention facilities and holding facilities. This regulation effectuates the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003, 42 U.S.C. § 15601 et. seq.
  • 29 C.F.R. Part 1614: Federal Sector Equal Employment Opportunity

Executive Orders

  • Executive Order 11478 (as amended by EO 11590, 12106, 13087, and 13152), Equal Employment Opportunity in the Federal Government (August 8, 1969). Prohibits federal employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, handicap, age, sexual orientation, or status as a parent.
  • Executive Order 12898, Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations (February 11, 1994). Concerns federal actions to address environmental justice in minority populations and low-income populations.
  • Executive Order 13107, Implementation of Human Rights Treaties (December 10, 1998). Concerns implementation of human rights treaties relevant to agency functions.
  • Executive Order 13145, To Prohibit Discrimination in Federal Employment Based on Genetic Information (February 10, 2000). Prohibits federal employment discrimination on the basis of protected genetic information.
  • Executive Order 13160, Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Race, Sex, Color, National Origin, Disability, Religion, Age, Sexual Orientation, and Status as a Parent in Federally Conducted Education and Training Programs (June 23, 2000). Holds the Federal Government to the same nondiscrimination principles relating to educational opportunities as those that apply to the education programs and activities of state and local governments, and to private institutions receiving federal assistance.
  • Executive Order 13163, Increasing the Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities to be Employed in the Federal Government (July 28, 2000). Directs federal agencies to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, and to submit a plan to do so to the Office of Personnel Management within 60 days.
  • Executive Order 13164, Requiring Federal Agencies to Establish Procedures to Facilitate the Provision of Reasonable Accommodation (July 26, 2000). Requires federal agencies to establish procedures to facilitate the provision of reasonable accommodation, and to submit a plan to do so to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within one year.
  • Executive Order 13166, Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited English Proficiency (August 11, 2000). Requires federal agencies to improve "meaningful access" to services for persons with limited English proficiency.
  • Executive Order 13256, President's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (February 12, 2002). President's board of advisors on historically black colleges and universities; CRCL reporting and planning for the Department.
  • Executive Order 13270, Tribal Colleges and Universities (July 3, 2002). Tribal colleges and universities; CRCL reporting and planning for the Department.
  • Executive Order 13347, Individuals with Disabilities in Emergency Preparedness (July 26. 2004). Concerns individuals with disabilities in emergency preparedness; establishes the Interagency Coordinating Council on Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities, describes the Council's functions and reporting requirements.
  • Executive Order 13515, Increasing Participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Federal Programs (October 19, 2009). Increasing participation of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in federal programs.
  • Executive Order 13548, Increasing Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities (July 26, 2010). Requires that federal agencies develop agency-specific plans for promoting employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.
  • Executive Order 13583, Establishing a Coordinated Government-Wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce (August 28, 2011). Requires that federal agencies develop agency-specific diversity and inclusion strategic plans for recruiting, hiring, training, developing, advancing, promoting, and retaining a diverse workforce.
  • Executive Order 13636, Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (February 12, 2013). Directs the Executive Branch to, among other things, incorporate strong privacy and civil liberties protections into every initiative to secure our critical infrastructure.
  • Executive Order 13688, Federal Support for Local Law Enforcement Equipment Acquisition (January 16, 2015). Creates a Law Enforcement Equipment Working Group as well as overarching policy to coordinate executive branch efforts to provide controlled equipment and funds for controlled equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies.

Directives and Delegations

  • Delegation 19003: From Secretary to Officer to fulfill responsibilities under Title VII of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and for matters involving civil rights, civil liberties, and equal employment opportunity.
  • Directive 3500: Unifies responsibilities of the Officer; Clarifies Department of Homeland Security execution of Section 705 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002; Establishes role of Office of Chief Counsel for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties within CRCL.
  • Directive 002-02: Implementation of Section 1367 information provisions.
  • Directive 046-01: Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties.
  • Directive 065-01: Nondiscrimination for Individuals with Disabilities in DHS-Conducted Programs and Activities (Non-Employment).
  • Directive 065-02: Equal Employment Opportunity Special Emphasis Programs.
  • Directive 065-04: Equal Employment Opportunity Alternative Dispute Resolution Program.  
  • Directive 215-01: Disclosure of 1367 Information to National Security Officials for National Security Purposes.
  • Directive 256-01: Anti-Harassment Directive.
  • Directive 256-03: Workplace Violence.
  • Directive 259-01: Providing Reasonable Accommodations for Employees and Applicants with Disabilities.
  • Directive 262-02: Disclosure of Asylum or Refugee Information for Counterterrorism and Intelligence Purposes.
  • Directive 262-05: Information Sharing and Safeguarding.
  • Directive 4010.2: Establishes Section 508 Project Management Office and policy for electronic and information technology accessibility; CRCL to ensure compliance with Section 508 Compliance process within Components, advocate for 508 Compliance (October 26, 2005)
  • Delegation 19000: From Officer to Deputy Officer for Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Programs to perform functions as directed (Aug. 1, 2006).
  • Delegation 19001: From Officer to Deputy Officer for Programs and Compliance to perform functions with respect to complaints filed under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Feb. 28, 2008).
  • Delegation 19004: To issue guidance and implement 8 U.S.C. 1367.
  • Delegation 19005: To disclose Section 1367 information national security officials for national security purposes.
Last Published Date: July 5, 2017

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