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  1. Home
  2. About DHS
  3. Priorities


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was established in the wake of the September 11th attacks with the core responsibility to keep our nation safe. Over the past 20 years, DHS has evolved into the third largest Cabinet agency, with a workforce of 260,000 dedicated professionals who have more direct contact with the American public daily than any other federal government agency. 

“Congress may not have predicted the extent of today’s threat environment when our Department was created 20 years ago, but our mission has never been more vital, our components have never collaborated more closely, our extraordinary workforce has never been more capable, and our nation has never been more prepared.”  –Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

Ahead of the Department’s 20th anniversary in March 2023, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas updated the following twelve cross-functional priorities, first issued in 2022, to guide DHS’s strategic focus for the coming year and beyond.

In 2023, the Department made progress on these updated priorities to strengthen and enhance the Department’s capabilities in key areas. 

  1. Support and champion our workforce and advance a culture of excellence
  2. Hire and retain a world-class, diverse workforce to create an inclusive, representative, and trusted Department
  3. Advance cohesion across the Department to improve mission execution and drive greater efficiency
  4. Responsibly harness artificial intelligence (AI) to advance mission execution, as well as transform our delivery of services to improve the customer experience
  5. Enhance openness and transparency to build greater trust with the American people and ensure the protection of the privacy, civil rights, civil liberties, and human rights of the communities we serve
  6. Transform the Department’s infrastructure to ensure it is a more productive and flexible workplace responsive to our workforce’s and the public’s needs

  1. Combat all forms of terrorism and targeted violence
  2. Increase cybersecurity of our nation’s networks and critical infrastructure, including election infrastructure
  3. Secure and modernize our borders and ports of entry
  4. Build a fair, orderly, and humane immigration system
  5. Ready the nation to respond to and recover from disasters and combat the climate crisis
  6. Combat crimes of exploitation and protect victims
Last Updated: 01/30/2024
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