The terrorist attack on the United States of America, on September 11th, 2001, prompted the United States government and citizens to be more concerned about security measures, both domestically and internationally. Hence, the birth of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), whose mission was “to secure the nation from the many threats we face” (DHS, n.d.). So, armed with over 240,000 employees, doing various jobs dealing with security measures aimed at keeping America safe, the DHS stepped into its and vowed: “With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values” (DHS, n.d.). The Department of Homeland Security includes the following divisions:
1. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
2. United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
3. The United States Coast Guard
4. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
5. The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
6. United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
7. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
8. The United States Secret Service (USSS)
9. The Management Directorate
10. The National Protection and Programs Directorate
11. The Science and Technology Directorate
12. The Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD)
13. The Office of Intelligence and Analysis
14. The Office of Operations Coordination (Homeland Security, n.d.)
Border security fell under the umbrella of the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), whose mission was to keep terrorists and their weapons out of the one of the United States. It was also responsible “for securing and facilitating trade and travel while enforcing hundreds of U.S. regulations, including immigration and drug laws.” Another division, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), “promoted homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws governing border control, customs, trade, and immigration.” While yet another, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) “administered the nation’s lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values.” All these divisions helped in one way or another to ensure that the borders of the United States remained secure and safe with no threat of terrorists entering the country. (Homeland Security, n.d.)
Root Causes
Shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which stunned the nation of the United States of America, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge was appointed as the first Director of the Office of Homeland Security. In November 2002, Congress passes the Homeland Security Act, that gave the DHS the authority to carry out measures of national security. It then became the task of the DHS to set up and implement a comprehensive national strategy to not only safeguard the country against terrorism but as well as to prevent or respond to any future attacks.