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Fact Sheet: U.S. Department of Homeland Security Five-Year Anniversary Progress and Priorities

There is no parallel in government to the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) start-up five years ago, and the degree of maturity it has reached in the short period since. The department's growth is testament to its 208,000 employees, who every day put service before self - patrolling borders, protecting ports, defending the skies, enforcing immigration laws, and responding to disasters and emergencies. The department has experienced a number of significant tests in its short history, is intensely focused on the next major task: ensuring a smooth transition from one administration to the next, through rigorous plans, exercises and best practices. In its five years, the department has achieved much to protect and secure the United States:

Protecting the Nation from Dangerous People
DHS prevents the entry of terrorists and criminals while facilitating the legitimate flow of people by strengthening interior security efforts and continuing to gain effective control of America’s borders.

Expanded Border Fencing and Patrol: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has completed more than 302 miles of fencing, with approximately 167.7 miles of primary pedestrian fence and approximately 134.7 miles of vehicle fence now in place. CBP is well on its way to constructing a total of 670 miles of fencing by the end of CY 2008: 370 miles of pedestrian and 300 miles of vehicle fencing. Additionally, the FY 2009 budget seeks to hire, train and equip 2,200 new Border Patrol agents, which will more than double the size of the Border Patrol to 20,000 agents by the end of September 2009.

Connecting the Dots: DHS renewed its Passenger Name Record (PNR) agreement with the European Union, which requires airlines to provide DHS with PNR data for all flights carrying passengers into and out of the U.S. PNR data enables DHS to pre-screen all flights to identify passengers that may warrant additional screening upon arrival to the U.S.

Better Biometrics: Ten‑fingerprint collection is underway at nine major U.S. airports and will roll out to the remaining 275 ports of entry by the end of 2008. This upgrade from two‑fingerprint collection enables DHS to check visitors’ full set of fingerprints against latent fingerprints collected from terrorist training camps, safe houses and battlefields around the world. Additionally, US-VISIT and the U.S. Coast Guard have partnered to use mobile biometric collection to identify migrants and smugglers attempting to illegally enter the United States through waters near Puerto Rico, resulting in 118 prosecutions and a 40 percent reduction in the flow of illegal migration. This program will expand to the Florida Straits in 2008.

Secure Documentation Standards: Compliance with Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative requirements for air travel has exceeded 99 percent since implementation in January 2007. New procedures at land and sea ports of entry implemented in January 2008 ended oral declarations and limited acceptable documents further secure our borders. DHS also issued the REAL ID final rule, establishing uniform standards that enhance the integrity and reliability of driver’s licenses and identification cards, while dramatically reducing state implementation costs by roughly 73 percent.

Enhanced Aviation Security: The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has increased by more than 175 percent the number of personnel trained in behavior detection techniques to identify potentially high-risk passengers in airports. Further, TSA now requires that holders of airport-issued credentials be perpetually vetted against the Terrorist Screening Database and is expanding its Travel Document Checking program at passenger security checkpoints. It also has harmonized the 3-1-1 liquids rule with the European Union and many other countries, and published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in August 2007 to assume watch-list checking from the airlines under the Secure Flight program.

Record-Breaking Law Enforcement: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has removed a record 276,912 illegal aliens from the U.S. and dramatically increased penalties against employers whose hiring processes violate the law, securing fines and judgments of more than $30 million while making 863 criminal arrests and 4,077 administrative arrests. ICE arrested a record 3,302 gang members and associates in cities nationwide. ICE’s Operation Predator targeted sexual predators who prey on children; arrests by the program since its inception topped 10,000 in June 2007, with more than 5,500 having been removed from the United States. Under DHS, the U.S. Secret Service made nearly 29,000 criminal arrests for counterfeiting, cyber and other financial crimes, 98 percent of which resulted in convictions, and seized more than $295 million in counterfeit currency. In the last five years, the U.S. Coast Guard has interdicted and repatriated over 40,000 illegal migrants at sea, saving countless lives in the process.

Protecting U.S. and World Leaders: The U.S. Secret Service continues to meet unprecedented challenges of protecting U.S. and world leaders. In addition, protection of presidential candidates and comprehensive plans for securing the 2008 presidential campaign are being implemented. Under DHS, the Secret Service has led the security planning and implementation for 11 designated National Special Security Events.

E-Verify: This U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services program allows employers to use an automated system to verify name, date of birth and Social Security Number, along with immigration information for non-citizens, against federal databases to confirm the employment eligibility of both citizen and non-citizen new hires. Currently, more than 54,000 employers in every state are enrolled in E-Verify and, on average, the program increases by about 1,000 new employers each week.

Protecting the Nation from Dangerous Goods
As a part of its risk-based approach, the Department is focused on programs to identify, track, and intercept nuclear and radiological components and systems at ports of entry and in transportation systems within U.S. borders. The Department is also intensifying efforts to strengthen capabilities that reduce the risk of a biological attack in the United States.

Comprehensive Radiation Detection: The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), in coordination with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Coast Guard, has deployed more than 1,000 radiation detection devices to the nation’s land and sea ports of entry. 100 percent of cargo containers crossing the southern border and 91 percent at the northern border are scanned for radiation, and more than 97 percent are scanned at our seaports.

Ports, Waterways, and Coastal Security: Under Operation Neptune Shield, the U.S. Coast Guard escorts vessels carrying especially hazardous cargo, protecting them – and nearby population centers and infrastructure – from external attack. In 2007, the Coast Guard escorted over 1,100 vessels/barges carrying such hazardous cargoes.

Record-Breaking Narcotics Seizures: The U.S. Coast Guard removed more than 355,000 pounds of cocaine at sea this year – a record-breaking 160 metric tons – worth an estimated street value of more than $4.7 billion. Since the formation of DHS, the Coast Guard has removed over 2.65 million pounds of drugs. CBP frontline personnel seized more than 3.2 million pounds of narcotics at and between ports of entry. In fiscal 2007, ICE seized 241,967 pounds of cocaine, 4,331 pounds of heroin, 2,731 pounds of methamphetamine and 1.3 million pounds of marijuana. Additionally, ICE drug investigations led to 8,920 arrests and 5,539 convictions of individuals associated with narcotic violations.

Stemming the Flow of Weapons, Cash and Counterfeit Goods: ICE’s Shield America program achieved new successes in intercepting illegal exports of weapons, military equipment and sensitive technology, significantly increasing results with 188 arrests and 127 convictions in fiscal 2007. A new ICE initiative targeting unlicensed money services businesses that illegally transfer funds yielded 39 arrests, 30 convictions and seizures of more than $7.9 million.

Reducing Risk from Small Vessels: The U.S. Coast Guard worked with small boat manufacturers, industry groups and the public to identify mitigation strategies to address the security risks posed by small vessels. The Coast Guard’s 12 Maritime Safety and Security Teams, part of a 3,000-person Deployable Operations Group, are stationed at strategic ports nationwide and are uniquely trained to counter the small vessel threat. The Coast Guard and DNDO are collaborating with local authorities on a pilot program in Puget Sound and San Diego waterways on small vessel radiation detection.

BioWatch: The FY 2009 budget seeks to fund procurement of BioWatch automated detection sensors under the Office of Health Affairs and initiate deployment of additional automated sensors in ten BioWatch jurisdictions, for a total if 12 jurisdictions. Automated detection will enhance the capabilities of the BioWatch environmental monitoring system designed for early warning of bioterrorism incidents.

Protecting Critical Infrastructure
The Department aims to protect critical infrastructure and key resources, essential government operations, public health and welfare, and the nation’s economic and national security interests to mitigate potential vulnerabilities and to ensure terrorist plans are not successful.

Setting Chemical Security Standards: The National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) established national standards for chemical facility security in a comprehensive set of regulations to protect chemical facilities from attack and prevent theft of chemicals that could be used as weapons.

Increasing Cyber Security: DHS established the Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) to provide a 24-hour watch, warning, and response operations center, which in 2007 issued over 200 actionable alerts on cyber security vulnerabilities or incidents. US-CERT developed the EINSTEIN intrusion detection program, which collects, analyzes, and shares computer security information across the federal civilian government. EINSTEIN is currently deployed at 15 federal agencies, including DHS, and plans are in place to expand the program to all federal departments and agencies.In addition, the Secret Service currently maintains 24 Electronic Crimes Task Forces to prevent, detect, mitigate and aggressively investigate cyber attacks on our nation’s financial and critical infrastructures.

Greater Information Sharing: The Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) leads DHS efforts to improve the sharing of information and intelligence with federal, state, local and tribal partners, and to change the culture from a “need to know” approach to a “responsibility to provide.” I&A has deployed 22 intelligence officers to Fusion Centers across the country, with a goal of 35 by the end of 2008. DHS has also deployed networks such as the Homeland Security Data Network, a system for securely communicating classified information, to 18 centers and anticipates deploying to 40 centers next year.

Credentialing Port Workers: Since its October 2007 launch, more than 104,000 port workers have enrolled in the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) biometric credential program. More than 750,000 longshoremen, truck drivers, port employees and others requiring unescorted access to secure areas of ports ultimately will be required to obtain a TWIC.

Protecting the Federal Workforce: ICE’s Federal Protective Service (FPS) officers protected approximately 9,000 federal facilities nationwide. In fiscal 2007, FPS was responsible for approximately 3,000 citations and arrests and intercepted roughly 760,000 prohibited items.

Counter-Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Efforts: In addition to TSA explosives detection technology at airports and Transportation Security Officer training, Science and Technology development, and the coordination efforts of the Office for Bombing Prevention, the department has also made billions of dollars in grants available to states and communities for IED prevention and protection.

Building a Nimble, Effective Emergency Response System and a Culture of Preparedness
The Department continues to improve its capabilities and prepare those who respond to acts of terror and other emergencies by incorporating lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina, other disasters, and the 9/11 Commission Recommendations.

Response to over 400 Disasters: Since March of 2003, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has responded to 402 major disaster and emergency declarations that included floods, tornadoes, winter and tropical storms, landslides and mudslides, earthquakes, droughts, typhoons and hurricanes. In responding to these, FEMA has provided direct material and financial assistance to more than 3.78 million individuals across the nation.

Federal Grant Programs: FEMA has provided extensive support to state and local governments to help them prepare for and mitigate the impact of natural and man-made disasters. Over the past five years, FEMA and DHS have provided over $23.8 billion for state and local projects through disaster grant programs, and an additional $2.5 billion in firefighter grants. By providing more than $26 billion to state and local partners and involving non-profit and private sector elements, FEMA grants help to improve our nation’s preparedness for any disaster.

Sector Partnership Framework: The National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) was issued in 2006, and 17 Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources (CIKR) Sector Specific Plans (SSPs) were issued in 2007. The NIPP serves as the national plan to unify and enhance CIKR protection efforts through an unprecedented partnership involving the private sector, federal, state, local and tribal governments, setting forth a comprehensive risk management framework and clearly defining roles and responsibilities for all security partners.

Disaster Readiness and Support Activities: FEMA’s expanded disaster operations and logistics management capabilities – including the creation of 214 pre-scripted mission assignments across 27 federal agencies that strengthen and streamline response capabilities, and the coordination of numerous nationwide exercises that include leaders at all levels of federal, state and local government – have greatly improved our nation’s ability to coordinate disaster response.

Supporting Local Security Plans: Protective Security Advisors worked in state and local Emergency Operations Centers providing expertise and support to local authorities, the Principal Federal Official and the Federal Coordinating Officer responsible for domestic incident management, including the Virginia Tech shootings in Blacksburg, Va., the Chevron Refinery Fire in Pascagoula, Miss., the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, Minn., and the Florida and California wildfires.

Building Stronger Response Partnerships: DHS engaged state and local leadership, first responders and stakeholders on developing the National Response Framework, which outlines how our nation prepares for and responds to all-hazard disasters across all levels of government and community sectors.

Saved Over One Million Lives: The U.S. Coast Guard reached a remarkable milestone in 2007, saving more than 1,109,310 lives throughout its 217-year history.

Realizing Interoperable Communications: The Science & Technology Directorate published results of the National Interoperability Baseline Survey – a nationwide survey of first responders and law enforcement that assesses progress in achieving interoperable communications. The Department also established the Office of Emergency Communications to consolidate interoperability programs and address new responsibilities, such as the development of the National Emergency Communications Plan.

Strengthening and Unifying DHS Operations and Management
DHS was created five years ago to serve as the unifying core for the vast national network of organizations and institutions involved in securing our nation. DHS has further integrated core management functions and systems throughout headquarters and the components, achieving a more cohesive and unified department.

Consolidation of Network Sites: The department has consolidated more than 1,780 network sites into a single network that allows transparent monitoring of system performance and activity, prioritization of traffic, and a vastly improved security posture.

Improved Workforce Accommodations: The Office of the Chief Administrative Officer established initial DHS headquarters facilities, accommodated unplanned growth, and set in motion a master housing plan for consolidation of all headquarters functions. Planning includes the redevelopment of the St. Elizabeths West Campus and reducing the number of facilities within the National Capital Region from 40 locations to eight.

Enhanced Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties: The Privacy Office and the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties have worked to enhance privacy and civil rights and civil liberties through the department’s work in cyber security, the use of satellite technology, airport screening protocols, and partnerships with Muslim-American communities.

Strengthened Business Processes and Technology: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services launched a new fee schedule designed to bring decades-old systems into the 21st century and improve customer service.

Enhancing Staffing and Training: In 2007, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center trained a record 60,458 students from all three branches of the federal government, as well as international, state, local, campus, and tribal law enforcement agencies. In addition, DHS recently launched new training and communications tools including DHSCovery, a state-of-the-art online training system.

Improved Recruitment and Hiring: DHS decreased the average time it takes to hire new DHS employees, now four days shorter than Office of Personnel Management targets. DHS also exceeded targeted goals by hiring more than: 2,300 protection officers; 11,200 transportation security officers; 700 immigration enforcement agents and 450 deportation officers.

Building One DHS Acquisition Workforce and Streamlining Acquisitions: The Office of the Chief Procurement Officer is creating a unified DHS acquisition culture. Through the Acquisition Professional Career Program, the department is recruiting new talent for entry-level acquisition positions to develop a pipeline for future acquisition leaders. Acquisition process improvements ensured the critical U.S. Coast Guard Deepwater recapitalization program continued to move forward and resulted in the successful machinery trials of the first National Security Cutter, the USCGC BERTHOLF and the delivery of the first three Ocean Sentry Maritime Patrol Aircraft in 2007.

Systems Consolidation: The Office of the Chief Financial Officer is reducing the number of DHS financial systems to realize cost savings and operational efficiencies. The department also will continue to consolidate its 17 legacy data centers into two enterprise-wide data centers. This consolidation will result in improved cyber security, information sharing and configuration management.

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