The Department of Homeland Security is an agency made up of 22 different federal agencies which were combined in an effort to streamline the United States effectiveness in defending our nation. The Department of Homeland Security states its core mission include “prevent terrorism and enhancing security, secure and manage our borders, enforce and administer our immigration laws, safeguard and secure cyberspace, ensure resilience to disasters” (Department of Homeland Security, 2015).
DHS employs over 240,000 employees tasked with various responsibilities and in 2016 has a budget of $41.2 billion. The Department of Homeland Security was created in response to attacks that occurred on the world trade center on September 11 2001. At the time of this writing there have been four secretaries of the department of Homeland Security appointed by two different presidents.
The attacks on the world trade center would change the how the United States viewed terrorism and how it organized its domestic defense. The agencies that make up The Department of Homeland Security, individually have an immense amount of responsibilities and they all bring a vast amount of expertise to the DHS. Even though these numerous agencies help make up the DHS the issues of changing structures and combining multiple agencies in a new agency would prove challenging.Order now
The DHS is consistently scrutinized by the American people as well as the government of the United States, with different issues occurring within its vast agencies it has created a new challenge for the DHS to face. Listed below is short history as well as an overview of the agencies that make it up the Department of Homeland Security.
The Department of Homeland Security was originally suggested by the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century in February 23 1999. They wrote in the phase III report “We therefore recommend the creation of an independent National Homeland Security Agency (NHSA) with responsibility for planning, coordinating, and integrating various U.S. government activities involved in homeland security” (The United States Commission on National Security/21st Century, 2001). While this was suggested in the report, congress would not take any action. The Attacks on the world trade center on September 11 would fast track the need for the sharing information and intelligence across multiple agencies.
The first Director of the Office of Homeland Security would be appointed on September 22 2001, just eleven days after the attack on world trade center (Department of Homeland Security, 2015). Tom Ridge would be appointed by President George W. Bush to the position of Director of the Office of Homeland Security. Tom Ridge previously a member of the House of Representatives and Governor of the state of Pennsylvania. Would serve as the Director Homeland Security until 2005.
The Department of Homeland Security would begin in after the attacks on the United States. The Office of Homeland Security and the Homeland Security Council would be officially created by President George w. Bush on October 8, 2001 with the issuing of Executive Order 13228 (Federation of american scientists, n.d.). The Department of Homeland security would be made official by the Homeland Security Act of 2002. The bill was passed by congress and signed by President George W. Bush in 2003.
There were 22 agencies that made up the Department of Homeland Security, This will give a brief overview of the agencies and what they do.
The U.S. Customs Service dating back to the formation of the United States, tasked with collecting tariffs on incoming goods for from foreign countries. Today members of Immigration inspectors, U.S. Customs Service, Agriculture inspectors, and Border Patrol agents make up U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. Customs and Border Protection, n.d.).
The Immigration and Naturalization Service established in 1864 as a federal immigration agency. In 1933 the new Immigration and Naturalization Service was made by Executive Order 6166 signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as member of the department of justice (LERNER, 2004). Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) became a part of The Department of Homeland Security in 2003.
The Federal Protective Service origins began 1790 with the presidential authorization allowing the appointment of commissioner’s to create federal land for us government use. The commissioners employed six security guards that guarded buildings that would be used a government buildings. The FPS would evolve over time becoming a member of the public building service and guard a large amount of America’s federal interest (House Report 106-676 – FEDERAL PROTECTIVE SERVICE REFORM ACT OF 2000 , n.d.).
The Transportation Security Administration created by the Airport Security Federalization Act of 2001 in response to the attacks of September 11, previously security had been controlled by civil authorities. The TSA responsibilities included security for all public aviation, training and staffing security officers at 400 airports all over the United States and Guam, and 100 percent screening of all baggage. The TSA was transferred from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Homeland security in 2003 (Transportation Security Administration , 2014).
Federal Law Enforcement Training Center created in 1970 under the Department of Treasury to combine federal law enforcement training into one updated training center. The training site was moved from Washington D.C. to Glynco Naval Air Station in Brunswick, Georgia where it remains today. In 2003 the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center was moved from the Department of Treasury to the Department of Homeland Security (Federal Law Enforcment Training Centers, n.d.).
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service although still under the Department of Agriculture, inspectors where shifted from APHIS to US Customs and Border Protection. The APHIS is responsible for agriculture health and welfare as well as wildlife damage. The US Customs and Border Protection is now responsible for agricultural imports and entry inspections (Department of Homeland Security , 2015).
Office for Domestic Preparedness originally under the Department of Justice would move to the Department Of Homeland security under FEMA. Today it runs the center of domestic preparedness which trains first responders.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency the early stages of FEMA started with the Congressional Act of 1803. Created officially by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 by signing Executive Order 12127. Responsible through the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to assist in federal government relief. FEMA is the foremost federal response to disasters in the United States (FEMA, 2015). FEMA became part of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003.
Strategic National Stockpile and the National Disaster Medical System, “was returned to Health and Human Services, July, 2004” (Department of Homeland Security , 2015).
Nuclear Incident Response Team, Domestic Emergency Support Teams, National Domestic Preparedness Office, were all three responsibilities under Department of Energy, Justice, and FBI. The responsibilities were shifted and became part of FEMA.
CBRN Countermeasures Programs known now as the National Strategy for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Standards. sets standards and training for responses to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosives through the Department of Homeland Security, Environmental Measurements Laboratory currently known as the National Urban Security Technology Laboratory. National Urban Security Technology Laboratory is responsible for creating and testing new technology for use in emergency response, fire, and law enforcement. National Urban Security Technology Laboratory falls under the jurisdiction of the Science and Technology (The Department of Homeland Security, n.d.).
National BW Defense Analysis Center responsible for bio defense and created by the Department of Homeland Security after the anthrax attacks in 2001. National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center maintains a large facility in Fort Detrick, Maryland, and falls under the jurisdiction of the Science and Technology (The Department of Homeland Security, n.d.).
Plum Island Animal Disease Center is facility in Orient Point, New York. PIADC laboratory works to prevent Foot and Mouth disease and protecting America’s agriculture. The PIADC falls under the jurisdiction of the Science and Technology (The Department of Homeland Security, 2014).
Federal Computer Incident Response center became part of US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team) under the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center. US-CERT is responsible for defense of the nation’s Cyber Security. The Department of Homeland Security describes US-CERTS mission as “US-CERT is the 24-hour operational arm of the Department of Homeland Security ‘s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC)” (The Department of Homeland Security, n.d.).
National Communications System was created in 1963 after the Cuban missile crisis, it would grow in size after issuing of Executive Order 12472 signed by President Ronald Reagan. National Communications System assisted in creating communications between different agencies of the federal government during normal and emergency situations (Federation of American Scientists, 1998). Originally under the Department of Defense it was moved to the Department of Homeland Security in 2003
National Infrastructure Protection Center created in 1998 under the Federal Bureau of Investigation. NIPC was made up of multiple agencies responsible for defense agencies included FBI, CIA, NSA, Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, and Department of Defense (Free Encyclopedia of Ecommerce , n.d.). NIPC became the Office of Infrastructure Protection who responsible is to protect national infrastructure.
Energy Security and Assurance Program designed to ensure energy protection originally handled by the department of Energy would be dispersed into the Office of Infrastructure Protection (The Department of Homeland Security, 2015).
U.S. Coast Guard beginnings date back to the American Revolution was one of the first military organizations in the United States pre dating the formation of the US Navy. The U.S. Coast Guard originally functioned as revenue cutters. The U.S. Revenue Service and the U.S. Life-Saving Service would be joined together in 1915 to create the U.S. Coast guard known today. The US Coast Guard has 11 missions and they are defined as “ Ports, waterways, and coastal security, Drug interdiction, Aids to navigation, Search and rescue, Living marine resources, Marine safety, Defense readiness, Migrant interdiction, Marine environmental protection, Ice operations, Other law enforcement” (United States Coast Guard, 2014).
The U.S. Coast Guard can operate under the Department of the Navy upon presidential directive. The US Coast Guard was transferred form the Department of Transportation to the Department of Homeland security in 2003.
U.S. Secret Service established in 1865 to stop counterfeiting of currency and then expanded to investigate fraud against the US Government. Under the Department of Treasury they would also become tasked with presidential protection. Today they are responsible for multiple different responsibilities including protection of leaders of different countries as well as those of the United States and investigations in to fraud financially, electronically, and communications (United States Secret Service , n.d.). The US Secret Service was transferred form the Department of Treasury to the Department of Homeland Security in 2003.
SECRETARIES. There has been four secretaries of The Department of Homeland security, they are listed below.
Tom Ridge: January 24, 2003 – February 1, 2005. Tom Ridge previously a member of congress and a governor of the state of Pennsylvania, was the first person to become the secretary of the DHS by President George W. Bush (The Department of Homeland Security, 2014).
Michael Chertoff February 15, 2005 – January 21, 2009 was the second secretary of DHS he previously was a federal judge on the U.S. court of appeals, federal prosecutor, and a United States District attorney for the state of New Jersey. He is accredited in strengthening many of the programs in the DHS. Michael Chertoff was also appointed by President George W. Bush (The Department of Homeland Security, 2014).
Janet Napolitano January 20, 2009 – September 6, 2013 was previously governor of the State of Arizona and appointed as the third Secretary of the DHS my President Barak Obama (The Department of Homeland Security, 2013).
Jeh Johnson December 23, 2013 – is the fourth secretary of the DHS previously work in National Security, law enforcement and also work as was General Counsel of the Department of the Air Force. Secretary Johnson was appointed to secretary of the DHS by President Barack Obama and is the current secretary (The Department of Homeland Security, 2014).
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY TODAY. The DHS has had a lot of hurdles from its creation and still to this day battles with concerns of relevance and budgetary issues. The future will bring with it a lot of changes in how the Department of Homeland security will operate. With Cyber-attacks increasing and the ever present risk of terrorist attacks from foreign and domestic terrorist the DHS will need to keep one step ahead of new emerging threats. FEMA is still living in the shadow of its response to the disaster during hurricane Katrina, it received positive response for its response to hurricane Sandy. The Secret Service faces issues with break-ins to the white house and misconduct scandals, all of which reflects poorly on the DHS. Reports have recently been issued which paint the DHS in a poor light as far as working conditions for employees. No government group or agency has been without its blemishes and the fact the DHS is relatively young it will continue it should be able to improve and meet the demands of securing the nation.