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  1. Home
  2. About DHS
  3. Mission


With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its homeland security mission are born from the commitment and resolve of Americans across the United States in the wake of the September 11th attacks. In those darkest hours, we witnessed true heroism, self-sacrifice, and unified resolve against evil. We rallied together for our common defense, and we pledged to stand united against the threats attacking our great Nation, fellow Americans, and way of life.

Together, we are committed to relentless resilience, striving to prevent future attacks against the United States and our allies, responding decisively to natural and man-made disasters, and advancing American prosperity and economic security long into the future.

In the many years since the September 11th attacks, the Department has marshaled this collective vision to face new and emerging threats against the Homeland. To do so, we are instilling a “culture of relentless resilience” across the United States to harden security for the threats on the horizon, withstand attacks, and rapidly recover. We are raising security baselines across the world, addressing systemic risks, and building redundancies for critical lifelines that enable our prosperity and way of life. Perhaps most importantly, we are forging partnerships to strengthen public, private, and international cooperation and crowd-sourcing solutions that outpace the intentions of our adversaries.

As the complex threat environment continues to evolve and loom, the Department will embody the relentless resilience of the American people to ensure a safe, secure, and prosperous Homeland.

In addition to our underlying core values and guiding principles, there are six overarching homeland security missions that make up our strategic plan:

  • Counter Terrorism and Homeland Security Threats

    One of the Department’s top priorities is to resolutely protect Americans from terrorism and other homeland security threats.

  • Secure U.S. Borders and Approaches

    The Department of Homeland Security secures the nation's air, land, and sea borders to prevent illegal activity while facilitating lawful travel and trade.

  • Secure Cyberspace and Critical Infrastructure

    Increased connectivity of people and devices to the Internet and to each other has created an ever-expanding attack surface that extends throughout the world and into almost every American home.

  • Preserve and Uphold the Nation's Prosperity and Economic Security

    America’s prosperity and economic security are integral to DHS’s homeland security operations, which affect international trade, national transportation systems, maritime activities and resources, and financial systems.

  • Strengthen Preparedness and Resilience

    Preparedness is a shared responsibility across federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments; the private sector; non-governmental organizations; and the American people.

  • Champion the DHS Workforce and Strengthen the Department

    Since the Department’s formation, each Secretary has recognized the importance of strengthening the integrated relationships between and among Headquarters Offices and Operational Components to optimize the Department’s efficiency and effectiveness.

Last Updated: 02/26/2023
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