The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a Federal cabinet-level department created after September 11, 2001. DHS was formed under the Homeland Security Act in 2002 and brought together 22 different agencies and departments under one umbrella. The broad goal of this department is to prevent terrorism and protect the nation’s borders.
What Does DHS Do?
DHS has a wide variety of functions from border security and immigration to securing cyberspace. The department articulates that its five main goals are focused on:
- Counterterrorism and preventing vulnerability to terrorism
- Border security and management
- Protection and response to cyberspace threats
- Responding to terrorism, natural disasters , and other emergencies
What Organizations Are Included under DHS?
DHS consolidated several formerly independent agencies under one common goal. Many agencies have since changed names or reorganized. For example, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is now split into U.S. Customs and Border Protection , U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS). Each of these agencies focuses on a different aspect of immigration and border security.
Some of the other agencies now under DHS include:
- Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
- U.S. Coast Guard
- U.S. Secret Service
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Should I Speak with an Attorney?
You may interact with DHS for a variety of reasons, for example if you are applying for a visa, if you are traveling, or moving goods. If you are entering into legal proceedings, you should speak to an immigration attorney so that your interests can be properly represented. If you would like to report suspicious activity or a potential threat, you should contact DHS directly.