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Updated: 51 min 28 sec ago

The Life Saving Missions of CBP

Mon, 08/20/2018 - 13:31

Bottom Line:  With more than 60,000 employees, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is one of the world's largest law enforcement organizations and is charged with securing our borders while facilitating lawful international travel and trade. As the United States’ first unified border entity, CBP takes a comprehensive approach to border management and control, combining customs, immigration, border security, and agricultural protection into one coordinated and supportive activity.

First, CBP is responsible for securing approximately 7,000 miles of land border, 95,000 miles of shoreline, 328 ports of entry, and the associated air and maritime space from the illegal entry of people and contraband into the United States.  The border environment in which CBP works is dynamic and requires continual adaptation to respond to emerging threats and changing conditions. 

  • To enhance CBP's capability in southwest border sectors, the Department of Defense (DOD), in conjunction with border state governors, has deployed the National Guard to assist in stopping the flow of deadly drugs and other contraband, gang members and other criminals, and illegal aliens into this country. 
    • There are currently 2,212 Department of Defense personnel supporting the mission to secure the Southwest border.
    • The Deployment of the National Guard has contributed to:
      • Removable alien arrests – 14,644
      • Marijuana Seized (lbs) – 14,243
      • Cocaine Seized (lbs) – 17
  • CBP hosts monthly briefings/teleconferences with federal, state, and local partners regarding the current state of the border – both northern and southern– to monitor emerging trends and threats and provide a cross-component, multi-agency venue for discussing trends and threats.
  • CBP is building more border wall right now than has been funded in a decade.
    • El Centro Pedestrian Fence Replacement Project (2.25 miles):
      • More than 2 miles already built with construction on schedule for completion in October 2018.
    • El Paso Vehicle Barrier Replacement Project (20 miles):
      • Nearly 13 miles of new wall already built with construction on schedule for completion in March 2019.
    • San Diego Primary Pedestrian Fence Replacement Project (14 miles):
      • More than 4 miles already built with construction on schedule for completion in May 2019.
    • El Paso Pedestrian Fence Replacement Project (4 miles):
      • Construction remains on track to start in September.
  • On a typical day in 2017 CBP conducted:
    • 851 apprehensions between U.S. ports of entry
    • 21 arrests of wanted criminals at U.S. ports of entry
    • 592 refusals of inadmissible persons  at U.S. ports of entry

Second, CBP plays a critical role in preventing dangerous drugs, including opioids, from reaching the American public.

  • CBP leverages targeting and intelligence-driven strategies, and works in close coordination with our interagency and international partners as part of our multi-layered, risk-based approach to enhance the security of our borders and our country. 
  • In Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 the efforts of Office of Field Operations (OFO) and U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) personnel resulted in the seizure of more than 545,000 lbs. of narcotics including over 38,000 lbs. of methamphetamine, over 35,000 lbs. of cocaine, and over 2,700 lbs. of heroin. In the transit zones, CBP’s Air and Marine Operations (AMO) disrupted 84,813 pounds of cocaine in FY 18.
    • CBP seizures of illicit fentanyl have significantly increased from approximately two lbs. seized in FY 2013 to approximately 1,131 lbs. seized by OFO and USBP in FY 2017.
    • Approximately 1,218 lbs. of illicit fentanyl have already been seized in FY 2018.  Fentanyl is the most frequently seized illicit synthetic opioid, but CBP has also encountered and identified 21 new fentanyl analogues crossing our borders through laboratory testing by CBP forensic scientists.  
  • CBP operates within nine major International Mail Facilities (IMF) inspecting international mail arriving from more than 180 countries, as well as 25 Express Carrier Consignment Facility (ECCF) located throughout the United States.
    • Just recently, CBP officers working at an ECCF in Cincinnati intercepted a package from Malaysia en-route to Texas, manifested as “clothing.” The package contained a single dress. Upon further inspection of the dress, a small anomaly sewn into the lining was discovered.  The lining of the dress was cut open and an object wrapped in paper towel was discovered.  The small package contained approximately .75 lbs. of heroin.
  • At ports of entry and in the international mail and express consignment environments, CBP utilizes technology, such as non-intrusive inspection (NII), x-ray, and gamma ray imaging systems to detect the illegal transit of synthetic drugs hidden on people, in cargo containers, and in other conveyances entering the United States. 
    • Since October of 2010, CBP has conducted more than 83 million NII examinations, resulting in more than 18,500 narcotics seizures, and more than $79 million in currency seizures.  

Third, CBP works to secure and facilitate imports arriving in the U.S., accommodating the increasing volume and complexities of international trade. CBP protects U.S. agricultural resources through active inspections at ports of entry.

  • With the Container Security Initiative, Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism, ten industry-based Centers of Excellence and Expertise, and the Automated Commercial Environment, CBP has a sturdy base of partnerships and technology to safeguard the American public and promote legitimate international commerce.
  • Approximately $4 trillion worth of international trade crosses our border every year.
  • CBP collected more than $40.1 billion in duties, taxes, and other fees in FY17.
  • As with travel, cargo volumes are up – particularly with the rise in electronic commerce shipments.
    • CBP processed $2.39 trillion in imports in FY17, equating to more than 28.5 million imported cargo containers at U.S. ports of entry – up by approximately 5 percent from FY16.
  • Driven by E-commerce, air cargo volumes are way up, with global air freight traffic climbing by nearly 8 percent year-over-year in November, the start of the peak shipping season.
    • Express cargo shipments in general, meanwhile, have increased by an astonishing 15 percent over FY16 levels – from 96 million bills to 110 million in FY17.
  • In compliance with the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act, CBP is:
    • Protecting Americans from counterfeit products and unsafe imports;
    • Protecting our domestic industries by:
      • Denying entry to imports made with forced labor; and
      • Enforcing anti-dumping and countervailing duty (AD/CVD) regulations.
    • Leveraging CBP's scientific expertise and laboratory capabilities to apply cutting-edge forensic science to further support its trade enforcement mission.
  • On a typical day in 2017, CBP discovered:
    • 352 pests at U.S. ports of entry and 4,638 materials for quarantine: plant, meat, animal byproduct, and soil

Finally, over a million times each day, CBP officers welcome international travelers, returning U.S. citizens, and over two million shipments into the United States. CBP secures and facilitates legitimate travel by growing trusted traveler programs, embracing business transformation initiatives, fostering public-private partnerships, and employing robust targeting and risk assessment strategies. Working closely with interagency and international partners, CBP keeps international travelers informed, secures the travel environment, and promotes modern global tourism.

  • CBP’s international programs and partnerships abroad extend the U.S. zone of security and facilitate legitimate travel.
  • On a typical day in 2017 CBP processed:
    • 1,088,300 passengers and pedestrians
    • 340,444 incoming international air passengers and crew
    • 55,709 passengers and crew on arriving ship/boat
    • 691,549 incoming land travelers
    • 283,664 incoming privately owned vehicles
    • 2,003,975 inbound shipments
    • 78,137 truck, rail, and sea containers
    • $6.5 billion worth of imported products
    • 90,959 entries of merchandise at our air, land, and sea ports of entry
    • $120.5 million in duties, taxes and other fees, including more than $94.8 million in duties
  • Every day, more than a million people arrive at our 328 U.S. ports of entry by air, land, and sea.  In FY17, that translated to more than 397 million international travelers.
    • International air travel to the United States jumped by 4.2 percent increase in just one year, from FY16 to FY17.  
  • As of December 1, 2017, CBP had more than 7 million Trusted Travelers.
  • Global Entry (GE) now has 4.8 million members, including the addition of 1.4 million new members in FY17.
    • GE kiosks are available at 58 U.S. airports. 
  • Other Trusted Traveler offerings include Automated Passport Control (APC) and Mobile Passport Control (MPC).
    • More than 56 million used APC kiosks in FY17 (more than 40 perent of all arriving air travelers).
    • APC is now available at 57 locations (all major U.S. airports and 12 Pre-clearance) – and recently it rolled it out on the ferry between San Juan and Santo Domingo;
    • MPC usage tripled from FY16 to FY17 to more than 2 million trips processed.
  • The Preclearance program is also instrumental in facilitating lawful travel, while pushing our zone of security outward. 
    • In FY 2017, CBP pre-cleared more than 19 million travelers – 16 percent of all inbound commercial air travel
Topics: Border Security
Keywords: Customs and Border Protection
Categories: Homeland Security

The Life Saving Missions of ICE

Mon, 08/20/2018 - 13:29

Bottom Line:  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) mission is to protect America from cross-border crime and illegal immigration that threaten national security and public safety. This mission is executed through the enforcement of more than 400 federal statutes and focuses on effective immigration enforcement, preventing terrorism and combating the illegal movement of people and goods.

First, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) upholds America's immigration laws at, within and beyond our borders through efficient enforcement and removal operations. ERO enforces the nation's immigration laws in a fair and effective manner. It identifies and apprehends removable aliens, detains these individuals when necessary and removes aliens from the United States in accordance with law.

  • Since ICE the establishment of ICE in March 2003, the agency has removed hundreds of thousands of criminal aliens, some of whom fall under the category of high-profile removals. High-profile removals are not only a danger to communities, but they also pose a threat to ERO officers who are responsible for escorting them back to their home countries.
  • During fiscal year FY 2017, ERO administratively arrested more than 127,000 aliens with criminal convictions or pending criminal charges.
  • Aliens administratively arrested by ICE ERO in FY 2017 were responsible for the following criminal convictions or pending criminal charges:
    • More than 48,000 assault offenses
    • More than 11,000 weapon offenses
    • More than 5,000 sexual assault offenses
    • More than 2,000 kidnapping offenses
    • More than 1,800 homicide offenses.
  • Despite numerous stories and allegations in the media falsely accusing ICE of conducting indiscriminate raids and sweeps, the fact is that all ERO operations are targeted against specific offenders of which 92% of the total aliens administratively arrested in FY 2017 had either criminal convictions, pending criminal charges, were an immigration fugitive, or illegally re-entered the United States after being previously removed.

Second, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security and is a vital U.S. asset in combating criminal organizations illegally exploiting America's travel, trade, financial and immigration systems within and beyond our borders.

  • HSI special agents are criminal investigators who enforce provisions of over 400 federal statutes. HSI’s workforce includes special agents, analysts, auditors and support staff. Its men and women are assigned to cities throughout the United States and to offices around the world.
  • HSI’s International Operations is the department’s largest investigative presence abroad and gives HSI one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement. This includes a network of approximately 400 personnel, including over 180 special agents deployed to 67 attache offices in 50 countries, who conduct investigations against transnational criminal organizations, terrorist, and other criminal organizations that threaten our national security.
  • HSI operations in FY2017 demonstrate its vital public safety mission.
    • In 2017, HSI continued its fight to combat transnational gangs, making 4,818 criminal arrests in the fiscal year. Of that number, there were 809 MS-13 arrests, 567 of which were criminal and 242 administrative.
    • ICE identified and assisted 518 human trafficking victims and more than 904 child exploitation victims.
    • ICE is also on the front lines of the fight against illegal narcotics trafficking that is contributing to the country’s deadly opioid epidemic. Special agents seized almost a million pounds of narcotics, including almost 7,000 pounds of heroin and more than 2,300 pounds of fentanyl, a drug so deadly, just a few grams can be lethal.

Third, ICE’s legal office, the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA), protects the homeland by diligently litigating cases while adhering to the highest standards of professional conduct, providing timely and accurate legal advice, and optimizing resources to advance the Department of Homeland Security mission. 

  • OPLA serves as the Department’s exclusive representative in administrative immigration proceedings before the nation’s immigration courts, handling a docket of well over 700,000 cases while they fight to keep terrorists, human rights violators, and other dangerous aliens in custody and get them ordered removed from the United States.
    • OPLA’s active national security caseload totals over 2,800.
    • OPLA’s active human rights violator caseload totals over 1,700.
    • OPLA has secured over 100,000 removal orders so far this fiscal year, including over 33,000 in cases involving criminal aliens.
  • OPLA provides daily advice and counsel to ICE’s law enforcement officers and mission support professionals on issues ranging from administrative and fiscal law to customs and criminal law, helping to ensure that the agency acts within the bounds of the law.
  • OPLA also acts as an indispensable partner to the Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys who prosecute trans-border crime and who defend ICE’s authorities in federal court from a constant onslaught of complex class action litigation designed to undermine our nation’s safety and sovereignty.
    • This OPLA-DOJ coordination was recently exemplified in the successful prosecution of Jucontee Woewiyu, a Liberian war criminal responsible for mass murder, rape, and child soldier recruitment during that country’s civil war, who was convicted last month in federal district court for immigration fraud based on evidence and witnesses that OPLA was instrumental in developing.
    • OPLA also partners with DOJ through a robust Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (SAUSA) program, with OPLA’s SAUSAs prosecuting over 2,300 federal criminal cases so far this fiscal year and securing over 1,700 convictions for a wide-range of border-related crime.

Fourth, ICE plays a central role in preventing terrorism.

  • ICE is involved in almost every foreign terrorism investigation related to cross-border crime. Foreign terrorists need to move money, weapons and people across international borders to conduct their operations, and ICE holds a unique set of law enforcement tools for disrupting these illicit activities.
  • ICE is the largest federal contributor to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). The agency also plays a critical leadership role through active participation in each of the JTTFs nationwide.
  • ICE is also leading the way with a successful joint task force model is the Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) initiative. BEST teams are ICE-led, multi-agency task forces that target illicit movement of people and contraband through border areas.
    • There are 62 BEST teams on the U.S.-Canada border and U.S.-Mexico border. Canadian and Mexican (multiagency) law enforcement partners work directly with DHS and other U.S. counterparts on investigative and interdiction missions.

Finally, ICE promotes homeland security and public safety.

  • ICE enforces over 400 federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration to promote homeland security and public safety.  With more than 20,000 employees and more than 400 offices across the United States and in 50 foreign countries, the men and women of ICE execute our mission humanely, professionally, and in accordance with the law.
Topics: Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Keywords: ICE, immigration enforcement
Categories: Homeland Security

Readout of Federal Commission on School Safety Event Hosted by DHS Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen

Thu, 08/16/2018 - 15:33

On August 16, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen hosted the fifth Federal Commission on School Safety meeting, which focused on best practices for school building security, active shooter training for schools, and school-based threat assessments. The Commission meeting was chaired by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and attended by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex M. Azar II.

The Department is committed to using the experience and expertise it has developed over the past fifteen years to better secure our schools. While schools present unique security challenges, DHS has led national efforts to protect the American people and our critical infrastructure from terrorist attacks.

The participants on all three panels shared their insight into what schools can do to create safe and secure learning environments. The panels focused on a diverse set of measures that can be tailored to the needs of individual schools from enhancing physical security to best practices to mitigate the threat of active shooters to establishing school-based threat assessments that can help avoid incidents through early intervention.

Over the last few months, the Commission has hosted several listening sessions, formal Commission meetings and field visits. For more information, please visit the FCSS website: Those with recommendations on how to increase school safety can send them to

Watch today’s Commission meeting here.

Topics: Emergency Communications, First Responders, Secretary of Homeland Security
Keywords: public safety, schools
Categories: Homeland Security

DHS Hosts National Exercise on Election Security

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 14:49

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) hosted the “Table Top the Vote 2018: DHS’ National Election Cyber Exercise,” a three-day, first-of-its-kind exercise to assist DHS and our federal partners, state and local election officials, and private vendors in identifying best practices and areas for improvement in cyber incident planning, preparedness, identification, response, and recovery. Through tabletop simulation of a realistic scenario, exercise participants discussed and explored potential impacts to voter confidence, voting operations, and the integrity of elections. Partners for this exercise include: 44 states and the District of Columbia; Election Assistance Commission; Department of Defense; Department of Justice; Office of the Director of National Intelligence; National Institute of Standards and Technology; National Security Agency; and the U.S. Cyber Command.

The scenario was based on a combination of real world events as well as potential risks facing election infrastructure, including:

  • News and social media manipulation related to political candidates and the conduct of elections;
  • Spear phishing campaigns targeting elections officials and personnel;
  • Disruption of voter registration information systems and processes;
  • Denial of service attacks and web defacements impacting board of election websites and web applications;
  • Malware infections impacting electronic voting machines and election management system software; and
  • The exploitation of state and county board of election networks.

 “Today’s exercise brought together our partners from all levels of government and the private sector in order to test our ability to respond to cyber incidents that could potentially effect an election, and build strong communication and incident response plans across the election community,” said DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. “The response we have received from this week’s participants has been overwhelmingly positive and we’ve identified areas we need to collectively focus on ahead of the midterm elections. In this environment, if we prepare individually, then we fail collectively, and I am grateful for everyone’s participation and partnership this week.”

The exercise provided election officials and other exercise players the opportunity to exercise and evaluate:

  • Cyber threat information sharing and how information shared by the federal government and the Election Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC) can be used for network defense purposes;
  • Processes for identifying potential cybersecurity threats or incidents;
  • Procedures for requesting state and federal incident response resources if county and state resources are exhausted;
  • The importance of a cyber incident response plan and how to incorporate the roles and responsibilities of federal, state, and local entities in responding to a cyber incident impacting elections infrastructure;
  • Development of public messaging and notifications related to an elections-focused cyber incident; and
  • Best practices and resources for managing cyber risk posed to different components of elections infrastructure and how to mitigate the potential consequences of an incident.

 Representatives from DHS have been working with state election officials for more than a year to exercise their cyber incident response plans and capabilities related to election infrastructure. For more information on election security, visit


Topics: Cybersecurity, Secretary of Homeland Security
Keywords: Cybersecurity, Election security
Categories: Homeland Security

DHS to Host Federal Commission on School Safety Meeting with Focus on Enhancing School Security Measures

Wed, 08/15/2018 - 12:22

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen will host the fifth Federal Commission on School Safety (FCSS) meeting this week. The session will focus on best practices for school building security, active shooter training for schools, and practitioner experience with school-based threat assessment.

WHO: Federal Commission on School Safety Members

  • Chair, Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education
  • Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland Security
  • Jeff Sessions, Attorney General of the United States
  • Alex M. Azar II, Secretary of Health and Human Services

WHAT: Commission Meeting: “Creating a Citadel of Learning: New Tools to Secure our Schools, Inside and Out”

WHERE: Eisenhower Executive Office Building’s Indian Treaty Room

WHEN: 2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. ET, Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Commission meeting will include three panels:

Panel 1: Best Practices For School Building Security

  • Jay Brotman, Managing Partner, Svigals & Partners and Member, American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Max Schachter, CEO and Founder, Safe Schools for Alex

Panel 2: Active Shooter Training For Schools

  • Jarrod Burguan, Chief of Police, San Bernardino Police Department
  • Chris Fraley, Region 2 Director, National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO)

Panel 3: Practitioner Experience With School-Based Threat Assessments

  • Donna P. Michaelis, Manager, Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety, Division of Law Enforcement, Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services
  • Susan Payne, Founder and Executive Director of Safe2Tell Colorado and Director of Safe Communities ~ Safe Schools

Press Access: Thursday’s Commission meeting will be pooled press and available via livestream here.

For more information, please visit the FCSS website:

Contacts: DHS Press Office, (202) 282-8010,

                  Education Press Office, (202) 401-1576,


Topics: Emergency Communications, Law Enforcement Partnerships, Secretary of Homeland Security
Keywords: public safety, schools
Categories: Homeland Security

Vice President Pence: Time Has Come for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

Mon, 08/13/2018 - 08:47

While speaking at the DHS National Cybersecurity Summit in New York City on July 31st, Vice President Pence calls on the United States Senate to take action before the end of the year to enact legislation creating the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

Topics: Critical Infrastructure Security, Cybersecurity, Election Security
Keywords: CISA, NPPD
Categories: Homeland Security

Readout from Secretary Nielsen’s Trip to California

Fri, 08/10/2018 - 15:22

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen traveled to Sacramento and Redding, California to address the ongoing wildfires. While in California, the Secretary participated in a briefing with state and local officials regarding the damage caused by the recent wildfires. She also participated in a ground survey of areas affected by the Carr fire. Secretary Nielsen discussed the importance of individual preparedness, fire safety and prevention in the United States, and the response and recovery support provided by the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency to state and local partners.

Additionally, Secretary Nielsen visited the United States Coast Guard Air Stations in Sacramento to meet with personnel. She thanked them for their service and dedication to the Department’s mission and acknowledged the challenging work they do for DHS and the American people.

On August 9, Secretary Nielsen met with California Governor Jerry Brown to discuss wildfire response and recovery efforts. They had the opportunity to address the need for long-term risk reduction to better protect communities across the state. Secretary Nielsen reiterated that the Department would continue to support California during what is looking to be a long and challenging wildfire season.


Topics: Disaster Assistance, Disaster Response and Recovery, Disasters, Emergency Communications, Secretary of Homeland Security
Keywords: disaster recovery plan tool, disaster relief
Categories: Homeland Security

Statement from DHS Press Secretary on July Border Numbers

Wed, 08/08/2018 - 09:18

On August 8, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Press Secretary Tyler Q. Houlton released the following statement on U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Southwest Border Migration numbers for July:

“Southwest Border Migration numbers dropped in July for the second month in a row.  This decrease shows that when there are real consequences for breaking the law, the conduct of those considering crimes will change.  In the month of July, we saw a decrease in illegal border crossings because human traffickers and Transnational Criminal Organizations were put on notice that this Administration was increasing prosecutions of those entering the country illegally.  Despite our terribly broken immigration laws, the administration has still been able to impact illegal immigration - but we need Congress to act to fix our system.

“At the same time, the number of family units apprehended at the border remains high and their percentage of total crossings has increased as court decisions prevent us from detaining and prosecuting family unit adults.  The inability to apply consequences to any law breaker ultimately threatens the safety and security of the nation and its communities.

“DHS is continuing to refer to DOJ single adult illegal border crossers for prosecution at historic rates.  Additionally, the Secretary has been engaging weekly with Mexican and Central American officials to more aggressively tackle the root causes of this crisis—and DHS has received commitments on specific actions that can be taken with and by our partners to confront the issue more decisively.”

CBP's Southwest Border Migration Numbers for July can be found HERE.


Topics: Border Security
Keywords: Border Security, CBP
Categories: Homeland Security

DHS Releases Fiscal Year 2017 Entry/Exit Overstay Report

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 11:35

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today released the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Entry/Exit Overstay Report. The report provides data on departures and overstays, by country, for foreign visitors to the United States who entered as nonimmigrants through an air or sea Port of Entry (POE) and were expected to depart in FY 2017. The in-scope population for this report includes temporary workers and families, students, exchange visitors, temporary visitors for pleasure, temporary visitors for business, and other nonimmigrant classes of admission.

DHS has determined that there were 52,656,022 in-scope nonimmigrant admissions to the United States through air or sea POEs with expected departures occurring in FY 2017; the in-scope admissions represent the vast majority of all air and sea nonimmigrant admissions. Of this number, DHS calculated a total overstay rate of 1.33 percent, or 701,900 overstay events.

The report also breaks down the overstay rates further to provide a better picture of those overstays who remain in the United States beyond their period of admission and for whom there is no identifiable evidence of a departure, an extension of period of admission, or transition to another immigration status. At the end of FY 2017, there were 606,926 Suspected In-Country Overstays. The overall Suspected In-Country Overstay rate was 1.15 percent of the expected departures. 

The U.S. government is using a multifaceted approach to enforce overstay violations, including improving entry and exit data collection and reporting, notifying visitors of an impending expiration of their authorized period of admission, cancelling travel authorizations and visas for violators, recurrent vetting of many nonimmigrants, and apprehending overstays present in the United States.

A further breakdown can be found below and the full report is available here.

Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Country Overstay Rate

This report separates Visa Waiver Program (VWP) country overstay figures from non--VWP country figures. For VWP countries, the FY 2017 Suspected In-Country Overstay rate was 0.51 percent of the 22,472,710 expected departures.

Non-Visa Waiver Program Participant Overstay Rate

For non-VWP countries, the FY 2017 Suspected In-Country Overstay rate is 1.91 percent of the 14,659,249 expected departures.

Student or Exchange Visitor Visa Overstay Rate

For nonimmigrants who entered on a student or exchange visitor visa (F, M, or J visa), DHS has determined there were 1,662,369 students and exchange visitors scheduled to complete their program in the United States. However, 4.15 percent stayed beyond the authorized window for departure at the end of their program.

Canada and Mexico Overstay Rates

Unlike other countries, a majority of travelers from Canada and Mexico enter the United States by land. Figures pertaining to Canada and Mexico are presented separately from the other countries due to the fact that air and sea information represent a much smaller portion of the Canadian and Mexican travel population. For Canada, the FY 2017 Suspected In¬-Country Overstay rate for those traveling through air and sea POEs is 1.01 percent of 9,215,158 expected departures. For Mexico, the FY 2017 Suspected In-Country Overstay rate for those traveling through air and sea POEs is 1.63 percent of 2,916,430 expected departures. This represents only travel through air and sea POEs and does not include data on land border crossings. DHS is currently working to improve its monitoring capability for land POEs.

# # #

Topics: Immigration and Customs Enforcement
Keywords: Visa Overstays
Categories: Homeland Security

Secretary Nielsen Statement on President Trump’s Intent to Nominate Ronald D. Vitiello to Serve as the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Mon, 08/06/2018 - 16:40

“I am pleased that President Trump intends to nominate Ronald D. Vitiello to serve as the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Since assuming the role of Deputy Director in late June, he has made clear his commitment to support the men and women of ICE, and ensure they are well-positioned to meet the demands of their incredibly challenging jobs. Deputy Director Vitiello’s leadership experience, combined with the unique perspective that comes from more than 30 years in law enforcement, makes him especially qualified to hold this important position. I encourage the Senate to act quickly in confirming Deputy Director Vitiello’s nomination, and I look forward to continuing to work with him and the remarkable team at ICE.”

Topics: Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Secretary of Homeland Security
Keywords: ICE
Categories: Homeland Security

DHS and Facebook Update Election Officials on Foreign Interference Operations

Mon, 08/06/2018 - 08:28

DHS Continues to Strengthen Election Security Efforts by Hosting Facebook Briefing on Malign Activity on Social Media Platforms

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Department of Homeland Security hosted a conference call with the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) and the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) – the nation’s lead election security officials – featuring a briefing by Facebook on the company’s actions last week to remove inauthentic behavior by malicious actors who seek to undermine our democratic institutions. DHS officials and Facebook’s security team spoke with election officials to provide an update on recent actions taken by Facebook, including tactics used by adversaries. This briefing provided elections officials a broader understanding of the threat environment as they develop plans to bolster the resilience of election systems. This call is also a clear example of how the federal government is partnering with social media companies and state and local officials to share information and collaborate on combatting threats to elections. 

“Strengthening collaboration between social media companies and federal, state, and local governments is critical to preventing foreign interference in our democratic processes, including elections. Today’s briefing is an excellent example of this growing partnership across industry and government,” said Christopher C. Krebs, Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate. “While recent operations identified by Facebook were not directly targeting elections or political campaigns, it is important for election officials to have an understanding of the techniques and tactics malign actors use, as well as countermeasures used to defeat those operations. This broader understanding will help elections officials develop response and communications plans to bolster resilience of our nation’s election systems.”

“Facebook is investing heavily in security so that we can find and address the threats posed by inauthentic actors, including by expanding our security teams and improving our artificial intelligence tools to detect and block fake accounts. Facebook is also working more closely with law enforcement and elections officials as well as other tech companies and research organizations so that we can share information and together address the challenges posed by determined adversaries. The call DHS hosted today with state election officials was a meaningful step and we look forward to even greater cooperation in the future,” said Kevin Martin, Facebook VP of Public Policy.

"We appreciate the efforts made by DHS to provide a more comprehensive picture of the lengths foreign adversaries will go to attack our democratic process. Learning about Facebook’s response to continued influence operations was extremely valuable for Secretaries of State and other state election officials. Election cybersecurity is a team sport. As we prepare for the 2018 midterm elections this increased information sharing and partnership between states, the federal government and the private sector will be critical to our success defending our elections from foreign threats,” said Jim Condos, President of the National Association of Secretaries of State and Vermont Secretary of State.

“Today’s call with Facebook is yet another example of the increasingly strong relationship between DHS and election officials. Even though it is not directly related to the administration of elections, NASED values the opportunity to better understand the tactics foreign adversaries use to attempt to influence American elections so that we can respond more effectively to maintain the integrity of our systems and ensure voters can have confidence in the outcomes. Responding to the cyber threats we face requires regular sharing of information across all levels of government, and, as today’s very informative call between Facebook, Secretaries of State, and Election Directors indicates, our partnership with DHS puts us in a more secure position than before,” said Keith Ingram, Director of Elections from Texas and President Elect, National Association of State Election Directors.


Topics: Election Security
Keywords: Election security, facebook
Categories: Homeland Security

Readout from Secretary Nielsen’s Trip to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands

Fri, 08/03/2018 - 17:37

On August 3, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands to discuss ongoing hurricane recovery and preparedness efforts. Secretary Nielsen was joined by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long and General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, Commander, United States Northern Command.

While in Puerto Rico, Secretary Nielsen received a briefing regarding ongoing recovery efforts from Federal Coordinating Officer Mike Byrne and met with FEMA employees working at the Joint Field Office. She thanked the group for their continued commitment to the people of Puerto Rico and acknowledged their steadfast efforts to provide resources and support to Puerto Rican municipalities, institutions, and citizens. Secretary Nielsen also received an operational tour of a FEMA call center. Additionally, Secretary Nielsen joined Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló and First Lady Beatriz Rosselló at a back-to-school event for students preparing for the new school year. Secretary Nielsen joined Governor Rosselló and the First Lady in distributing backpacks to students, and thanked them for their ongoing partnership with the Department of Homeland Security.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, Secretary Nielsen met with and received a briefing from Federal Coordinating Officer Bill Vogel and FEMA personnel working on ongoing recovery and preparedness efforts. She also met with Acting Governor Valdamier Collens, Stacey Plaskett, Delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, and other local officials. Secretary Nielsen joined local officials for a tour of the Arthur A. Richards Junior High School. The school was impacted by Hurricane Maria and is currently undergoing installation of temporary facilities so that students can begin the new school year with full day sessions.

(DHS Official Photo/Tara Molle)

(DHS Official Photo/Tara Molle)


Topics: Disaster Assistance, Disaster Response and Recovery, Disasters, Secretary of Homeland Security
Keywords: FEMA, Hurricane
Categories: Homeland Security

DHS Hosts Successful First-Ever National Cybersecurity Summit

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 18:22

On July 31, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) hosted the first-of-its-kind National Cybersecurity Summit in New York City, bringing together industry partners and top federal officials with the goal of laying out a vision for a collective defense strategy to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure. The summit brought together Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray, and Commander, U.S. Cyber Command and Director, National Security Agency General Paul M. Nakasone, DHS Under Secretary Chris Krebs, U.S. Secret Service Director Randolph Alles, and DHS Assistant Secretary Jeanette Manfra, alongside top CEOs from across industry including the telecom, financial, and energy sectors.

“We are not waiting for the next intrusion before we act,” said DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. “We are taking a clear-eyed look at the threat and taking action—and notably—collective action to combat them.”

Throughout the Summit, DHS and its government and industry partners agreed on a series of concrete steps to better understand what is truly critical and work together to reduce strategic risk. 

Secretary Nielsen announced the creation of the National Risk Management Center, which will coordinate national efforts to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure.

The National Risk Management Center will create a cross-cutting risk management approach across the federal government and our private sector partners through three lines of effort:

  • Identifying and prioritizing strategic risks to national critical functions;
  • Integrating government and industry activities on the development of risk management strategies; and
  • Synchronizing operational risk management activities across industry and government.

The National Risk Management Center advances the ongoing work of DHS and government and private sector partners to move collaborative efforts beyond information sharing and develop a common understanding of risk and joint action plans to ensure our nation’s most critical services and functions continue  uninterrupted in a constantly evolving threat environment. The Center will work closely with the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), which will remain DHS’s central hub for cyber operations focused on threat indicator sharing, technical analysis and assessment services, and incident response. The two centers will work hand-in-hand to ensure effective coordination between strategic risk management and tactical operations.

The Department also unveiled the formation of the Information and Communications (ICT) Supply Chain Risk Management Task Force, which will be comprised of subject matter experts from industry and government. The Task Force will be housed in the Center and will examine and develop recommendations for actions to address key strategic challenges to identifying and managing risk associated with the global information and communications technology supply chain and related third-party risk. The Task Force is intended to focus on potential near- and long-term solutions to manage strategic risks through policy initiatives and opportunities for innovative public-private partnership.

Secretary Nielsen also discussed DHS’ ongoing commitment to improving the nation’s cybersecurity posture through the timely sharing of actionable cyber threat indicators via the free Automated Information Sharing (AIS) program. DHS has prioritized working with industry to identify improvements to AIS and will roll out an updated platform in the fall with upgraded capabilities to improve our collective defense. These improvements are based on feedback received from industry and will include additional context and improved feedback mechanisms to be more relevant and meaningful to users.

In his closing keynote address, Vice President Pence highlighted the Administration’s focus on cybersecurity and the critical role this summit played in moving forward with these efforts. Vice President Pence also called on the U.S. Senate to enact legislation to create the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency before the end of the year.

At the summit, a diverse group of more than twenty CEOs from some of the largest companies in the world and senior-most government officials convened specifically to discuss cybersecurity and critical infrastructure risk management. They were joined by hundreds of others from across a wide range of industries. The Department will continue to lead the federal government’s efforts for an integrated, cross-sector approach to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure from the growing cyber threat.


Topics: Cybersecurity, Secretary of Homeland Security
Keywords: cybersecurity
Categories: Homeland Security

Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen’s National Cybersecurity Summit Keynote Speech

Tue, 07/31/2018 - 11:22

Thank you Chris for that kind introduction, and for giving us a beautiful roadmap for everything we look to accomplish today.

It is my great honor and pleasure to welcome you here today, it’s so wonderful when an idea with such passion actually comes to fruition, so it’s very much a pleasure of mine to see you all here today.

We have a lot of serious threats to discuss today. Americans are worried about what our digital enemies might do…whether it is taking down the power grid…holding healthcare systems hostage…or the nightmare scenario: blocking access to the web the day a new TV show drops on Netflix. I often hear about this from folks that that keeps them up at night.

But I’d like to thank Secretary Perry, Director Wray, and General Nakasone, who will join me on stage in just a little bit, for bringing their expertise and leadership to this discussion as well. What you will see before you today is a true effort from the United States government, to work with the private sector, and academia to combat these threats.

I’d also like to Director Alles of the United States Secret Service who is here bringing his level of expertise, of course Under Secretary Krebs, and those of you in the audience, and who are watching from home so-to-speak, to the men and women from DHS, for everything you do to protect our country, thank you. And whether you represent government, industry, or academia, we are glad to have you on our team, and I want to thank you for your continued collaboration and for the time you’re giving us today, and your future efforts to work with us as we look at these threats.

This afternoon, we will also have the pleasure of hearing from Vice President Pence. He will lay out how this Administration is strengthening cybersecurity across the board—and why we will be relentless against our cyber adversaries.

This event is the first of its kind. Today we are coming together—government leaders, CEOs, academics, and cyber experts—to send a message to these online threat actors: Game. Over. Our team is formed, our team is ready and we are ready to combat you wherever you might manifest your threat.

We are not waiting for the next intrusion before we act. We are taking a clear-eyed look at the threat and taking action—and notably, as Under Secretary Krebs mentioned—collective action to combat them.

And, that’s truly the only way we’ll win this struggle.

Today is a watershed moment, a chance for us to cement partnerships in order to protect our networks and repel digital invaders together.


This morning I’m going to give you a stark overview of the threat landscape. I won’t sugar-coat it.

But I will also tell you how DHS and this Administration are fighting back.

And I’d like announce bold new efforts—starting today—that will make the digital infrastructure of our country more resilient.

The Threat

So let me give you the bottom line up front: we are facing an urgent, evolving crisis in cyberspace. Our adversaries’ capabilities online are outpacing our stove-piped defenses.

In fact, I believe that cyber threats collectively now exceed the danger of physical attacks against us. This is a major sea change for my Department and for our country’s security.

Indeed, most Americans go about their daily lives without fear of personal injury or harm from our adversaries. But our digital lives are now in danger every single day.

And these virtual threats can have very real-world consequences. When the bad guys can remotely turn off the lights, steal money from your bank account, and shut down emergency services, the impacts go far beyond our smartphone screens.

But don’t get me wrong. Terrorists and criminals still pose a serious threat to our lives, we take this mission at DHS very seriously, and they are plotting against Americans daily; however, the “attack surface” in cyberspace is now broader and under more frequent assault.

This has forced us to rethink homeland security.

DHS was founded fifteen years ago to prevent another 9/11, but today I believe the next major attack is more likely to reach us online than on an airplane.

DNI Intelligence Dan Coats recently said that “the warning lights are blinking red” in cyberspace. I agree. Intruders are in our systems, they are seeking to compromise more of them every day, and they represent a very active threat to our digital security as a nation.

Everyone and everything is a target: individuals …industries …infrastructure …institutions …and our international interests. And the scope of the problem keeps getting wider.

The cyber-threat landscape is different today because cyberspace is not only a target. Cyber can also be used as a weapon, an attack vector, or a means for which nefarious activity can be conducted.

Today, our innovations can be stolen and used to diminish our prosperity…our infrastructure can be hijacked and used to hold us hostage…and our institutions can be compromised and used to undermine our democratic process.

Our smartphones and computers can be turned into bad-guy force multipliers without us even realizing it. Your compromised computer can become part of the bot army. Or your CPU power can be commandeered to steal Bitcoin to finance a rogue regime.

I wish I could tell you that we’ve rounded a corner. But last year was the worst-ever in terms of cyberattack volume. The headlines seemed never-ending, and not to be the Debby Downer but I think continue to see them this year.

Nearly half of all Americans had sensitive personal information exposed online in 2017. But that wasn’t the total for 2017. That resulted from a single breach, when cybercriminals hacked a major credit bureau.

We witnessed North Korea’s WannaCry ransomware spread to more than 150 countries, which held healthcare systems hostage and brought factories to a halt.

And we saw Russia probing our energy grid, compromising thousands of routers around the world, and unleashing NotPetya malware, which wreaked havoc and ended up being one of the costliest cyber incidents in history.

These incidents, though, are only the beginning. Rogue regimes and hostile groups are probing critical systems worldwide every moment as we speak. And without aggressive action to secure our networks, it is only a matter of time before we get hit hard in the homeland.

It’s not just risks to our prosperity, privacy, and infrastructure we have to worry about.

Our democracy itself is in the crosshairs. Let me take just a moment to touch on these because I think it’s important to do so.

Two years ago, as we all know, a foreign power launched a brazen, multi-faceted influence campaign to undermine public faith in our democratic process and to distort our presidential election.

That campaign was multifaceted and involved cyber espionage, leaks of stolen data, cyber intrusions into voter registration systems, online propaganda, and more.

Let me be clear: Our intelligence community had it right. It was the Russians. We know that, they know that. It was directed from the highest levels. And we cannot and will not allow it to happen again.

Although NO actual votes were changed in 2016, let me be clear in this, ANY attempt to interfere in our elections is a direct attack on our democracy, it is unacceptable, and it will not be tolerated.

Mark my words: America will not tolerate this meddling.

Key Challenges

So it’s clear that we are in a tough fight right now. The cybersecurity headwinds are against us. I could talk about this all day but let me give you a few examples.

First, increased connectivity has led to increased systemic risk.

There’s no getting around it. The wider and deeper the web gets, the more vulnerable we become.

The “internet of things”—which is really now the “internet of everything”—has compounded the problem by giving cyber criminals a direct route onto our doorsteps and into our homes.

Wherever and whenever you are connected to the internet, you are unlocking doors and windows you may not even be aware of to let the bad guys in.

What’s more, our growing digital dependence means that vulnerabilities can have widespread, unpredictable, and cascading consequences when they are exploited.

Whether it’s common tools such as GPS or payment systems, everything is closely intertwined.

An attack on a single tech company, for instance, can rapidly spiral into a crisis affecting the financial sector, the energy grid, water systems, or the healthcare industry.

Secondly, our cyber rivals are getting more sophisticated.

Several years ago, a cyber-intrusion by a foreign adversary might be similar to a sloppy home break-in. The window would be broken, furniture would be overturned, and missing jewelry would be a dead giveaway that someone had been in your house— that you had been hit.

But they are getting savvier. Now when you get home, the door is still locked, and your house appears exactly as you left it. But no, in reality, the intruder has been inside for hours, perhaps days and weeks, and will remain in hiding, waiting for the right moment to strike.

That’s what we’re up against.

So, to prevent cyber intrusions today, we don’t just need an alarm system. Or a neighborhood watch. Or security cameras. Or armed guards constantly roaming the hallways. We need it all.

Third, similar to the pre-9/11 days, and this is where we’ll focus today, we still have trouble “connecting the dots.”

Between all of us—government, the private sector, and individuals—we do have the data to disrupt and prevent cyberattacks.

But we aren’t sharing fast enough or collaborating deeply enough to make it happen.

This is partly because we are operating in a legal and operational paradigm designed for a different era—long before brand-name breaches could threaten to cripple entire industries.

We still have the walls up and we still have stovepipes, and we still have sidewalks.

How We Are Responding

So what are we doing about it?

First and foremost, let me say this: we are replacing complacency with consequences. To deter bad behavior, you have to punish it. And we cannot wait for “the big one” to do just that.

Our adversaries have the capability to destroy. So we cannot afford to bide time as they prep the battlefield and identify our hidden digital evacuation routes or try to outmaneuver us. We must act now.

That starts with calling out the offenders. Whether it is the North Koreans or the Russians, we are identifying countries that have compromised our systems or have unleashed destructive malware.

And we are imposing costs—whole of government costs, diplomatically, financially, legally, and through other means.

The United States possesses a wide range of response options—some of them seen, and some unseen—and we will no longer hesitate to use them to hold foreign adversaries accountable and to deter cyber hostility.

Let me also again take this opportunity today to issue a warning, as I have in other speeches, to any foreign power that would consider meddling in our networks or in the affairs of our democracy: The United States will no longer tolerate your interference. You will be exposed. And, you will pay a high price.

Second, we are changing our posture and setting course to confront systemic risk head on.

Traditionally, DHS, and our sector specific agencies, has focused primarily on protecting individual “assets,” companies, individual systems or “sectors.” But now we are looking more across government, across sectors, across government-private, at those nationally critical “functions.” What are they? These are the lifeblood of our economy, of our national security, and of our day-to-day lives.

We must identify single points of failure, concentrated dependencies and interdependencies that can create those ripple effects across sectors.

To do this, we are launching voluntary supply-chain risk management programs. Under Secretary Krebs will talk about that later. And we are partnering with companies to hunt down unseen security weaknesses and to limit our attack surface.

I urge you to join us and lend your expertise to these efforts.

Third, we are reorganizing ourselves for a new fight.

I am working with Congress to pass legislation to establish the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency within DHS.

This would recast what is now NPPD, or the National Protection and Programs Directorate—our cybersecurity arm—into an ambitious operational agency capable of better confronting digital threats.

But we all know that waiting for Congress to act is like waiting for a new Game of Thrones book to come out. You really, really want it—but you don’t hold your breath.

So in the meantime we are taking other steps—including one that I will announce today—to make sure we keep up and stay ahead of our online adversaries.

This also includes dramatically ramping up efforts to protect our election systems, including through a new Elections Task Force and deploying a vast array of services, programs, and partnerships nationwide to help our partners secure our election infrastructure.

Finally, we are embracing a “collective defense” posture.

As I’ve said many times before, in a hyper-connected world, and as Chris mentioned in his introduction, your risk is now my risk and my risk is your risk. Each of us is on the frontlines of the digital battlefield, so we must work together to protect ourselves.

Any of us could be the weak link that not only allows adversaries to infect our systems but allows them to use our systems to spread further into others.

The adversary’s approach is like a flood. It will find every crack, crevice, and seam. Even if I place sandbags around my house to prepare for the flood, if my neighbors don’t do it too, my house will be underwater.

Collective defense calls for all of us to use sandbags, if you will—to optimally configure our systems, to employ patch management, to share, receive, and act on threat indicators.

To that end, DHS is improving and expanding our information-sharing programs, including those focused on sharing threat indicators.

And we are developing novel ways for government and industry to collaborate to identify threats before they hit our networks and to respond more quickly and effectively to incidents, which we will discuss throughout the day.

Taking the Next Step & Call to Action

We’ve made a lot of progress. But it’s simply not enough.

We must move beyond routine information sharing. And we must do better at teaming up with the private sector to combat our common enemies in cyberspace—to understand their goals, to understand their actions, to understand the operational effects and implications of their intrusions, manipulations, and disruptions.

As we all here know, the majority of U.S. infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector—not the government.

So we must be working to enable those in this room—across industries—to better defend your systems and our critical functions.

For far, far too long we have lacked a single focal point to bring government agencies and industry together to assess the digital dangers we face—and to counter them…a place where analysts and network defenders can address these risks together through the full myriad of mission sets when we address cyber.

I am pleased to announce that we are going to change that.

This week the Department of Homeland Security is launching the National Risk Management Center—an initiative driven by industry needs and focused on fostering a cross-cutting approach to defend our nation’s critical infrastructure.

It will employ a more strategic approach to risk management borne out of the re-emergence of nation-state threats, our hyperconnected environment, and our survival and its need to effectively and continually collaborate with the private sector.

So what does that actually mean in practice?

Housed at DHS, the Center will bring together government experts with willing industry partners so that they can influence how we support them. Our goal is to simplify the process—to provide a single point of access to the full range of government activities to defend against cyber threats.

I occasionally still hear of companies and locals that call 9-1-1 when they believe they’ve been under a cyberattack, the best thing to do would be to call this center. This will provide that focal point, we will work with our partners in government who will be on stage today, and others, to provide you what you need to help repel, to help mitigate, to root out the adversary from your systems.

We will be able to take a piece of intelligence, and with the help of the private sector, ask ourselves “so what,” and determine what we’re going to do about it—together.

These days, cyber threat data is like a puzzle piece, for those of you when you started to begin a puzzle with your children and they pick up a puzzle piece, the first question is, “what puzzle does that puzzle piece belong to?” Having the private sector with us will help us to determine what puzzle it belongs to, and then determine how it fits into the puzzle so we can see the trend, we can see the thread, and we can see the purpose, perhaps, of the attack, but certainly the implications and effects. So this is where the expertise of the private sector comes in, to help us contextualize the threat both in the planning phase as well as in the response and recovery. The private sector also knows its operational environment better than we will ever know in the government, so we will look to their expertise to help us understand how the pieces fit together.

So, we will welcome industry experts, side-by-side with ours, to break down the silos and engage daily to develop actionable solutions to defend our critical infrastructure.

We will begin with a tri-sector model focusing on financial services, telecommunications, and energy sectors.

We will push this effort forward in 90-day “sprints” starting immediately to identify key priorities and to conduct joint risk assessments. And we will have a major cross-sector exercise this fall.

We will look to you to influence how we can support you best…to help us tailor our assessments, plans, and playbooks that you can then action.

As I often say from a Department with myriad missions – let’s do what we do best and partner with you to do the rest.

But time is not on our side. So we are moving quickly. I ask all of you to consider working with us to develop the Center and deepen engagement so that we can fortify our defenses.

I would also ask that everyone here—whether you are from a federal agency, a Fortune 500 company, a think tank, or a university—identify at least one new actionable, operational way you can contribute to our nation’s collective cyber defense.

That’s why we are here today. Think about it now. Think about it throughout the day. Commit to it this afternoon. And follow through on it when you leave.

We don’t put together summits to keep admiring all the problems. We do it to solve them.

Our adversaries are crowdsourcing attacks, and today I am pleased to say we will crowdsource our response.


I am sure I speak for my colleagues when I say we do not take your presence here lightly. We appreciate your time, your efforts, your commitment, your leadership, and we thank you for being here. And we hope to enlist your continued efforts in this fight if you’re not already in it with us.

Our digital enemies are taking advantage of all of us. They are exploiting our open society to steal, to manipulate, to intimidate, to coerce, to disrupt, and to undermine. They are using our interconnectedness to attack us—but let’s use the fact that we are all connected to our advantage.

As I noted at the beginning, we are in crisis mode—the “Cat 5” hurricane has been forecast. And now we must prepare.

That leaves us with a choice: admit defeat and assume that our devices and networks will always be compromised—OR respond decisively and dramatically in order to restore security and resiliency to the web. If we prepare individually, we will surely fail collectively.

You’re here today because you believe in working together with clear-eyed urgency. And together, I have no doubt we will turn the tide. So thank your attendance today, thank you for your participation, we look forward to many conversations to come, and we look at the end of the day to announce some very tangible actions that we will agree to throughout the day. So thank you very much and again thank you for joining us at this summit.

Topics: Cybersecurity, Secretary of Homeland Security
Keywords: Cybersecurity, cybersecurity event
Categories: Homeland Security

Secretary Nielsen Meets with Mexican Secretary of Governance Alfonso Navarrete Prida

Mon, 07/30/2018 - 18:08

On July 30, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen met with Mexican Secretary of Governance Alfonso Navarrete Prida to reaffirm the importance of a strong, coordinated approach to border security that includes joint actions and robust information sharing. The two discussed ways the United States and Mexico can engage regional governments, international organizations, and the private sector to develop a strategic, long-term approach to regional migration control. Secretary Nielsen stressed the need to take bold steps to provide protection to refugees and asylum seekers and to jointly expand enforcement activities for migrants who do not qualify for protection. The two agreed there are major challenges in the region and made specific commitments to take immediate action to address them. Both Secretaries noted the importance of collaborating to reduce weapons trafficking, to address human smuggling and trafficking, and to explore options to improve the ability to provide access to labor markets. Recognizing the importance of border security and migration control to both countries, both Nielsen and Navarrete committed to continued engagement with Central American governments to reduce the root causes of migration.

This meeting was part of Secretary Nielsen’s ongoing discussions with international partners on border security and migration control. Both Secretaries also agreed to work together on an action-oriented summit in the United States in September focused on addressing regional migration, security, and prosperity issues.


Topics: International Engagement, Secretary of Homeland Security
Keywords: International partnerships, Mexico
Categories: Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security Announces National Cybersecurity Summit Participants

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 15:23

WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced participants, including Vice President Mike Pence, attending the DHS National Cybersecurity Summit on July 31 in New York City. Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray, Commander, U.S. Cyber Command and Director, National Security Agency General Paul M. Nakasone, and top CEOs from the financial services, energy, information technology, and telecom sectors will all participate in the summit.

The goal of the summit is to bring together government and private sector officials to lay out a vision for a collective defense model to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure. Through panels, keynote addresses, and breakout sessions, the summit will serve as a launching point for a number of DHS initiatives to advance cybersecurity and critical infrastructure risk management.

A livestream to the summit will be available here. Some of the executives in attendance include:

Financial Services
Ajay Banga, Mastercard

Tom Fanning, Southern Company
Duane Highley, Arkansas Electric
John McAvoy, Con Edison
Jim Torgerson, Avangrid
Gil Quiniones, NYPA
Kevin Wailes, Lincoln Electric

Rob Arnold, Threat Sketch
Pat Gelsinger, VMware
Mark McLaughlin, Palo Alto Networks
Mike Gregoire, CA Technologies

John Donovan, AT&T Communications
Robert Hubbard, Hubbard Television Group
Rusty Moore, Big Bend Telephone
Bob Udell, Consolidated Communications
Anand Vadapalli, Alaska Communications


# # #

Topics: Cybersecurity
Keywords: Cybersecurity
Categories: Homeland Security