QHSR Adds New Homeland Security Mission to Combat Crimes of Exploitation
WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the statutorily required Quadrennial Homeland Security Review (QHSR), a comprehensive strategic approach to the Department’s efforts to secure the nation.
The QHSR, the Department’s capstone strategy document, assesses the ways homeland security has evolved since the Department was formed over 20 years ago and the significant changes to the threats and challenges facing the nation since the last report was issued nearly a decade ago. These challenges include changes in global migration, human trafficking, domestic violent extremism, strategic competition from nation states, wide-ranging cyber threats, impacts of climate change, emerging infectious diseases, and transnational organized crime.
“Twenty years after its formation, the Department of Homeland Security is more fit for purpose than ever before to meet the challenges we face now and will face in the future,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “The QHSR helps Congress and the American public understand the evolving threats we face and our approach to addressing them. That approach includes leveraging emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, and modernizing the Department to ensure our personnel have the tools they need to deliver on our vital mission.”
In this QHSR, the Department reaffirms the five enduring missions set forth in the first and second QHSRs, while also adding a new —and sixth— homeland security mission. The five enduring missions are: 1) Counter Terrorism and Prevent Threats; 2) Secure and Manage Our Borders; 3) Administer the Nation’s Immigration System; 4) Secure Cyberspace and Critical Infrastructure; and 5) Build a Resilient Nation and Respond to Incidents. This QHSR also, and for the first time, adds a new homeland security mission: 6) Combat Crimes of Exploitation and Protect Victims.
Crimes of exploitation —human trafficking, labor exploitation, and child exploitation— occur at alarmingly high rates, both in the United States and abroad. Reflecting the overriding importance of supporting victims and stopping perpetrators, the Department has redoubled its efforts to combat these heinous crimes and is committed to further enhancing its work in this space through the new mission announced in this year’s QHSR.
“Increasingly sophisticated transnational criminal organizations, the misuse of new technologies, economic instability, and other forces are fueling an alarming increase in human trafficking, child exploitation, and labor exploitation that must be stopped,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “Through updated policies, targeted operations, and by leveraging cutting-edge technology, we are targeting those who seek to exploit the vulnerable and identifying and rescuing victims.”
The QHSR was conducted in consultation with a broad range of partners and stakeholders throughout the federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, along with private sector, academic, faith-based, and other nongovernmental organization partners.
You can read the third QHSR in full at www.dhs.gov/QHSR.