The Department of Homeland Security

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Introduction

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) became operational on January 24, 2003 60 days after the Senate passed the Homeland Security Act of 2002 into law. The Department of Homeland Security is the third largest cabinet department, only after the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296 was enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress. The Department of Homeland Security is an executive department of the United States within the meaning of title 5, United States Code.

MISSION

The primary mission of the Department is to (a) prevent terrorist attacks within the United States; (b) reduce the vulnerability of the United States to terrorism; (c) minimize the damage, and assist in the recovery, from terrorist attacks that do occur within the United States; (d) carry out all functions of entities transferred to the Department, including by acting as a focal point regarding natural and manmade crises and emergency planning; (e) ensure that the functions of the agencies and subdivisions within the Department that are not related directly to securing the homeland are not diminished or neglected except by a specific explicit Act of Congress; (f) ensure that the overall economic security of the United States is not diminished by efforts, activities, and programs aimed at securing the homeland; and (g) monitor connections between illegal drug trafficking and terrorism, coordinate efforts to sever such connections, and otherwise contribute to efforts to interdict illegal drug trafficking (DHS.gov)

HISTORY

The former President George W. Bush directed Homeland Security Advisor Tom Ridge to study the federal government as a whole to determine if the current structure allows us to meet the threats of today while anticipating the unknown threats of tomorrow. After careful study of the current structure – coupled with the...
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