from the DHS
the Department of Homeland Security


from the DHS
the Department of Homeland Security - US Department of Homeland Security


US Department of Homeland Security

"We are here to do the work that ensures no other family members have to lose a loved one to a terrorist who turns a plane into a missile, a terrorist who straps a bomb around her waist and climbs aboard a bus, a terrorist who figures out how to set off a dirty bomb in one of our cities. This is why we are here: to make our country safer and make sure the nearly 3,000 who were taken from us did not die in vain; that their legacy will be a more safe and secure Nation."

-- Barack Obama, Speech in the U.S. Senate, March 6, 2007


Homeland Security

The first responsibility of any president is to protect the American people. President Barack Obama will provide the leadership and strategies to strengthen our security at home.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden's strategy for securing the homeland against 21st century threats is focused on preventing terrorist attacks on our homeland, preparing and planning for emergencies and investing in strong response and recovery capabilities. Obama and Biden will strengthen our homeland against all hazards -– including natural or accidental disasters and terrorist threats -- and ensure that the federal government works with states, localities, and the private sector as a true partner in prevention, mitigation, and response.

Defeat Terrorism Worldwide

  • Find, Disrupt, and Destroy Al Qaeda: Responsibly end the war in Iraq and focus on the right battlefield in Afghanistan. Work with other nations to strengthen their capacity to eliminate shared enemies.

  • New Capabilities to Aggressively Defeat Terrorists: Improve the American intelligence apparatus by investing in its capacity to collect and analyze information, share information with other agencies and carry out operations to disrupt terrorist networks.

  • Prepare the Military to Meet 21st Century Threats: Ensure that our military becomes more stealthy, agile, and lethal in its ability to capture or kill terrorists. Bolster our military's ability to speak different languages, navigate different cultures, and coordinate complex missions with our civilian agencies.

  • Win the Battle of Ideas: Defeat al Qaeda in the battle of ideas by returning to an American foreign policy consistent with America's traditional values, and work with moderates within the Islamic world to counter al Qaeda propaganda. Establish a $2 billion Global Education Fund to work to eliminate the global education deficit and offer an alternative to extremist schools.

  • Restore American Influence and Restore Our Values: Stop shuttering consulates and start opening them in the tough and hopeless corners of the world. Expand our foreign service, and develop the capacity of our civilian aid workers to work alongside the military.

Prevent Nuclear Terrorism

Barack Obama and Joe Biden have a comprehensive strategy for nuclear security that will reduce the danger of nuclear terrorism, prevent the spread of nuclear weapons capabilities, and strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation regime. They will:

  • Secure Nuclear Weapons Materials in Four Years and End Nuclear Smuggling: Lead a global effort to secure all nuclear weapons materials at vulnerable sites within four years -- the most effective way to prevent terrorists from acquiring a nuclear bomb. Fully implement the Lugar-Obama legislation to help our allies detect and stop the smuggling of weapons of mass destruction.

  • Strengthen Policing and Interdiction Efforts: Institutionalize the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), a global initiative aimed at stopping shipments of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, and related materials worldwide.

  • Convene a Summit on Preventing Nuclear Terrorism: Convene a summit in 2009 (and regularly thereafter) of leaders of Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and other key countries to agree on preventing nuclear terrorism.

  • Eliminate Iran's and North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Programs Through Tough, Direct Diplomacy: Use tough diplomacy -- backed by real incentives and real pressures -- to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and to eliminate fully and verifiably North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

  • Strengthen the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA): Seek to ensure that the Agency gets the authority, information, people, and technology it needs to do its job.

  • Control Fissile Materials: Lead a global effort to negotiate a verifiable treaty ending the production of fissile materials for weapons purposes.

  • Prevent Nuclear Fuel from Becoming Nuclear Bombs: Work with other interested governments to establish a new international nuclear energy architecture -- including an international nuclear fuel bank, international nuclear fuel cycle centers, and reliable fuel supply assurances -- to meet growing demands for nuclear power without contributing to proliferation.

  • Set the Goal of a Nuclear-Free World: Show the world that America believes in its existing commitment under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to work to ultimately eliminate all nuclear weapons. America will not disarm unilaterally.

  • Seek Real, Verifiable Reductions in Nuclear Stockpiles: Seek deep, verifiable reductions in all U.S. and Russian nuclear weapons and work with other nuclear powers to reduce global stockpiles dramatically.

  • Work with Russia to Increase Warning and Decision Time: Work with Russia to end dangerous Cold War policies like keeping nuclear weapons ready to launch on a moment's notice, in a mutual and verifiable manner.

  • Appoint White House Coordinator for Nuclear Security: Appoint a deputy national security advisor to be in charge of coordinating all U.S. programs aimed at reducing the risk of nuclear terrorism and weapons proliferation.

  • Strengthen Nuclear Risk Reduction Work at Defense, State, and Energy Departments: Expand our foreign service, and develop the capacity of our civilian aid workers to work alongside the military. Thwarting terrorist networks requires international partnerships in military, intelligence, law enforcement, financial transactions, border controls, and transportation security.

Strengthen American Biosecurity

Biological weapons pose a serious and increasing national security risk. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will work to prevent bioterror attacks and mitigate consequences. They will:

  • Prevent Bioterror Attacks: Strengthen U.S. intelligence collection overseas to identify and interdict would-be bioterrorists before they strike.

  • Build Capacity to Mitigate the Consequences of Bioterror Attacks: Ensure that decision-makers have the information and communication tools they need to manage disease outbreaks by linking health care providers, hospitals, and public health agencies. A well-planned, well-rehearsed, and rapidly executed epidemic response can dramatically diminish the consequences of biological attacks.

  • Accelerate the Development of New Medicines, Vaccines, and Production Capabilities: Build on America's unparalleled talent to create new drugs, vaccines, and diagnostic tests and to manufacture them more quickly and efficiently.

  • Lead an International Effort to Diminish Impact of Major Infectious Disease Epidemics: Promote international efforts to develop new diagnostics, vaccines, and medicines that will be available and affordable in all parts of the world.

Protect Our Information Networks

Barack Obama and Joe Biden -- working with private industry, the research community and our citizens -- will lead an effort to build a trustworthy and accountable cyber infrastructure that is resilient, protects America's competitive advantage, and advances our national and homeland security. (Learn more about the administration's ongoing review of cybersecurity.) They will:

  • Strengthen Federal Leadership on Cyber Security: Declare the cyber infrastructure a strategic asset and establish the position of national cyber advisor who will report directly to the president and will be responsible for coordinating federal agency efforts and development of national cyber policy.

  • Initiate a Safe Computing R&D Effort and Harden our Nation's Cyber Infrastructure: Support an initiative to develop next-generation secure computers and networking for national security applications. Work with industry and academia to develop and deploy a new generation of secure hardware and software for our critical cyber infrastructure.

  • Protect the IT Infrastructure That Keeps America's Economy Safe: Work with the private sector to establish tough new standards for cyber security and physical resilience.

  • Prevent Corporate Cyber-Espionage: Work with industry to develop the systems necessary to protect our nation's trade secrets and our research and development. Innovations in software, engineering, pharmaceuticals and other fields are being stolen online from U.S. businesses at an alarming rate.

  • Develop a Cyber Crime Strategy to Minimize the Opportunities for Criminal Profit: Shut down the mechanisms used to transmit criminal profits by shutting down untraceable Internet payment schemes. Initiate a grant and training program to provide federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies the tools they need to detect and prosecute cyber crime.

  • Mandate Standards for Securing Personal Data and Require Companies to Disclose Personal Information Data Breaches: Partner with industry and our citizens to secure personal data stored on government and private systems. Institute a common standard for securing such data across industries and protect the rights of individuals in the information age.

Improve Intelligence Capacity and Protect Civil Liberties

  • Improve Information Sharing and Analysis: Improve our intelligence system by creating a senior position to coordinate domestic intelligence gathering, establishing a grant program to support thousands more state and local level intelligence analysts, and increasing our capacity to share intelligence across all levels of government.

  • Give Real Authority to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Board: Support efforts to strengthen the Privacy and Civil Liberties Board with subpoena powers and reporting responsibilities. Give the Board a robust mandate designed to protect American civil liberties and demand transparency from the Board to ensure accountability.

  • Strengthen Institutions to Fight Terrorism: Establish a Shared Security Partnership Program overseas to invest $5 billion over three years to improve cooperation between U.S. and foreign intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

Protect Americans from Terrorist Attacks and Natural Disasters

  • Allocate Funds Based on Risk: Allocate our precious homeland security dollars according to risk, not as pork-barrel spending or a form of general revenue sharing. Eliminate waste, fraud and abuse that cost the nation billions of Department of Homeland Security dollars.

  • Prepare Effective Emergency Response Plans: Further improve coordination between all levels of government, create better evacuation plan guidelines, ensure prompt federal assistance to emergency zones, and increase medical surge capacity.

  • Support First Responders: Increase federal resources and logistic support to local emergency planning efforts.

  • Improve Interoperable Communications Systems: Support efforts to provide greater technical assistance to local and state first responders and dramatically increase funding for reliable, interoperable communications systems. Appoint a National Chief Technology Officer to ensure that the current non-interoperable plans at the federal, state, and local levels are combined, funded, implemented and effective.

  • Working with State and Local Governments and the Private Sector: Make the federal government a better partner to states and localities, one that listens to local concerns and considers local priorities. Reach out to the private sector to leverage its expertise and assets to protect our homeland security.

Protect Critical Infrastructure

  • Create a National Infrastructure Protection Plan: Develop an effective critical infrastructure protection and resiliency plan for the nation and work with the private sector to ensure that targets are protected against all hazards.

  • Secure our Chemical Plants: Work with all stakeholders to enact permanent federal chemical plant security regulations.

  • Improve Airline Security: Redouble our efforts to adequately address the threats our nation continues to face from airplane-based terrorism.

  • Monitor our Ports: Redouble our efforts to develop technology that can detect radiation and work with the maritime transportation industry to deploy this technology to maximize security without causing economic disruption.

  • Safeguard Public Transportation: Work to protect the public transportation systems Americans use to get to work, school and beyond every day.

  • Improve Border Security: Support the virtual and physical infrastructure and manpower necessary to secure our borders and keep our nation safe.

Modernize America's Aging Infrastructure

  • Build-in Security: Ensure that security is considered and built into the design of new infrastructure, so that our critical assets are protected from the start and more resilient to naturally-occurring and deliberate threats throughout their life-cycle.

  • Create a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank: Address the infrastructure challenge by creating a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank of $60 billion over 10 years, to expand and enhance, not supplant, existing federal transportation investments. This independent entity will be directed to invest in our nation's most challenging transportation infrastructure needs, without the influence of special interests.

  • Invest in Critical Infrastructure Projects: Invest in our nation's most pressing short and long-term infrastructure needs, including modernizing our electrical grid and upgrading our highway, rail, ports, water, and aviation infrastructure. Establish a Grid Modernization Commission to facilitate adoption of Smart Grid practices to improve efficiency and security of our electricity grid.


DHS Announces Nearly $970 Million in Preparedness Grant Final Allocations

from the Dept. of Homeland Security

Release Date: April 8, 2009

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

FY 2009 Preparedness Grants
(PDF, 22 pages - 149 KB)

FY 2009 Preparedness Grants (TXT)

The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency announced today final allocations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 Preparedness Grants for 10 federal grant programs, totaling nearly $970 million in federal funding to assist state, local and tribal governments and private industry in strengthening community preparedness.  Awards will be made on a rolling basis over the summer.  From 2003 through 2009, more than $26.7 billion will have been provided to strengthen our nation's ability to prevent, protect, respond and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters or other emergencies.

“Today's grant allocations provide more transparency and openness than ever before, as stakeholder feedback drove significant improvements in the grant guidance and peer review process, increasing the value of what states get with their dollars,” said Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano.  “As we continue to expand our state, local, tribal and private sector partnerships, our combined efforts will improve and hone our grant programs – which helps us strengthen and protect individual communities and the entire nation.”

Seven years of homeland security investments have established the foundation for future preparedness initiatives from the initial start-up years, building baseline capabilities in the states and increasing cross-border and regional preparedness.  The FY 2009 Preparedness Grants underline this effort by focusing on improving strategic planning and preparedness and measuring performance.

Grant program allocations for FY 2009 are:

  • Transit Security Grant Program (TSGP) – $388.6 million to protect critical transit infrastructure from terrorism, including:
    • Freight Rail Security Grant Program (FRSGP) – $15 million to target resources for security plans, vulnerability assessments, employee security awareness training and GPS tracking systems for railroad cars transporting toxic inhalation materials.
    • Intercity Passenger Rail (Amtrak) – $25 million for Amtrak to protect critical surface transportation infrastructure and the traveling public from acts of terrorism, major disasters and other emergencies within the Amtrak rail system.
  • Intercity Bus Security Grant Program (IBSGP ) – $11.7 million to assist operators of fixed-route intercity and charter bus services to support security plans, facility security upgrades and vehicle and driver protection.
  • Trucking Security Program (TSP) – $2.2 million to implement security improvement   measures and policies that focus on the purchase, installation or enhancement of equipment and systems related to tractor and trailer tracking systems; to help develop a system for DHS to monitor, collect and analyze tracking information; and to develop plans to improve the transport and distribution of supplies and commodities during catastrophic events. DHS did not receive enough applications to fully fund the program through the initial solicitation, so only $2.2 million is being announced at this time. 
  • Port Security Grant Program (PSGP ) – $388.6 million to protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism, enhance maritime domain awareness and risk management capabilities to protect against improvised explosive devices and other non-conventional weapons; and to conduct training and exercises and support implementation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).
  • Buffer Zone Protection Program (BZPP ) – $48.6 million to increase preparedness capabilities of jurisdictions responsible for safeguarding critical infrastructure sites and key resource assets, such as chemical facilities and nuclear power plants, through planning and equipment acquisition.
  • Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Grant Program – $33 million to improve emergency management and preparedness capabilities by supporting flexible, sustainable, secure and interoperable EOCs to address identified deficiencies and needs.  The grant provides funding for construction or renovation of a state, local or tribal government's principal EOC. 
  • Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program (IECGP) – $48.6 million for planning, training, exercises and equipment to states, territories, local and tribal governments to carry out initiatives identified in Statewide Communication Interoperability Plans, and improve interoperable emergency communications for responding to natural disasters and acts of terrorism. 
  • Driver's License Security Grant Program (DLSGP) – $48.6 million to prevent terrorism, reduce fraud and to improve the reliability and accuracy of personal identification documents that states and territories issue.

Further information on preparedness grant programs is available at and .

Fact Sheet: Southwest Border: The Way Ahead

from the Dept. of Homeland Security

Release Date: April 15, 2009

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

The United States depends on a secure Southwest border in order to ensure the safety of its citizens and those of Mexico, facilitate legal trade and transit, support lawful immigration and prevent illegal smuggling of guns, drugs, money, and people. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to meet recent increases of cartel violence in Mexico with strong action and solidified coordination with federal, state, local, tribal and Mexican authorities.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced at the White House last month a major set of Southwest border initiatives designed to support Mexico's campaign against violent drug cartels by limiting the flow of firearms and cash from the United States to Mexico. These initiatives bring more personnel to the Southwest border and place additional technology at strategic locations in order to crack down on the illegal activities that fuel the drug war in Mexico.

DHS has formalized the following operational enhancement plan, building from last month's announcement, which lays out specific information about how each initiative will be implemented. The initiatives will be budget-neutral to the Department, funded by realigning from less urgent activities, tapping available fund balances, and, in some cases, reprogramming to deploy resources where they are currently needed the most.

DHS and the Southwest Border

  1. Guard against violent crime spillover into the United States
  2. Support Mexico's crackdown campaign against drug cartels in Mexico
  3. Reduce movement of contraband in both directions across the border

The exact placement of these increased resources will be determined by shared intelligence and coordinated with all relevant stakeholders: federal, state, local, tribal and international. Specific deployment location information is law enforcement sensitive and is not detailed below to protect operational planning. Furthermore, resources will be supplemented or moved based on continual changes in intelligence information and operational needs. Finally, these deployments parallel the Mexican government's efforts to combat drug trafficking and associated criminal activity. As an example, Mexican officers are embedded in the DHS Border Enforcement Task Forces that are being augmented by this initiative.

Doubling Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) Staffing

  • DHS will double the number of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents assigned to BESTs—teams that bring together federal, state, local and Mexican authorities in an effort to increase cross-border crime investigations, arrests and prosecutions at strategic locations along the Southwest border.
  • Doubling assignments of  ICE special agents to BESTs from 95 to 190 will help to facilitate seamless cross-border enforcement actions. The 95 additional ICE investigators will augment BEST task forces at the following locations: San Ysidro and Imperial Valley, Calif.; Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz.; Deming and Las Cruces, N.M.; and El Paso, Laredo, and Rio Grande Valley, Texas. In addition, to further BEST efforts in Mexico, the Department will assign an additional four agents to the Mexico City Attaché to help coordinate BEST investigations.
  • BEST details have already begun and the additional personnel are currently in place.
  • Cost: $5.7 million

Tripling DHS Intel Analysts on the SWB

  • DHS will triple the number of intelligence analysts working at the Southwest border, providing a greater capability to develop pre-operational intelligence reports, strategic intelligence products and post-operational impact assessments—to ensure DHS resources have the maximum impact possible to protect public safety.
  • Thirteen U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement analysts are currently assigned to Southwest-border operations. Eight are assigned to BESTs and five are assigned to the Border Violence Intelligence Center (BVIC) in El Paso, Texas.
  • ICE will detail 26 additional analysts to the Southwest border—16 will be assigned to BESTs in Imperial Valley, Calif.; Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma, Ariz.; and El Paso, Laredo and Rio Grande Valley, Texas; five will go to the BVIC and five more to ICE Attaché offices in Hermosillo, Juarez, Mexico City, Monterrey, and Tijuana, Mexico.
  • Intelligence analyst details have already begun and the additional personnel are currently in place.
  • Cost: $3.3 million

Increasing ICE Attaché Personnel in Mexico by 50 percent

  • DHS will increase ICE Attaché personnel in Mexico by 50 percent. This program supports the Mexican government, as well as domestic ICE offices, by pursuing investigations inside Mexico involving money laundering, narcotics or human trafficking, and weapons smuggling.
  • Twenty-four ICE Attaché personnel are currently assigned in Mexico. ICE will detail an additional twelve Office of International Affairs personnel to Attaché offices in Hermosillo, Juarez, Mexico City, Monterrey, and Tijuana, Mexico.
  • Cost: $650,000

Doubling Violent Criminal Alien Sections Assignments

  • DHS will double the number of ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) personnel assigned to Violent Criminal Alien Sections along the Southwest border.  These sections work to expedite identification, processing for removal and prosecution of recidivist criminal aliens.
  • Due to the large volume of cases of repeat offenders, namely criminal aliens, doubling Violent Criminal Alien Sections manpower will allow DHS to expand its ability to identify perpetrators, develop casework and prosecute these violators.
  • Fifty DRO officers are currently assigned along the Southwest border; ICE will detail an additional 50 officers to support ICE and CBP operations in San Diego, Calif.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and El Paso, San Antonio, and Houston, Texas.
  • Cost: $2.3 million

Quadrupling the Number of Border Liaison Officers (BLOs)

  • DHS will quadruple the number of ICE Border Liaison Officers (BLOs) assigned along the Southwest border. These men and women work to identify and combat cross-border criminal organizations with a focus on coordination between U.S. and Mexican law enforcement authorities.
  • Ten BLOs are currently deployed along the SWB: five are assigned in San Diego, Calif., and five in San Antonio, Texas. ICE will increase the number of BLOs by designating 30 additional special agents already deployed to the Southwest border to serve in this capacity—resulting in a total of 40 BLOs operating at the border.  The additional assignments will be in San Diego, Calif.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and El Paso and Laredo, Texas.
  • No cost—existing positions are already in place.

Bolstering Secure Communities Biometric Identification Deployment

  • The Secure Communities program uses biometric identification technology to share information between law enforcement agencies in order to focus resources on assisting communities in removal of high-risk criminal aliens.
  • Currently, 23 counties in the Southwest Border States of Arizona and Texas use the Secure Communities biometric identification technology. Secure Communities plans to make this capability available to an additional 26 SWB counties in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas within 90 days.
  • ICE will also activate Secure Communities biometric identification technology in Los Angeles County, Calif., Ventura County, Calif., and San Diego County, Calif..  San Diego County is expected to be activated in early May.
  • Cost: $95 million

Implementing 100% Southbound Rail Screening

  • Using non-intrusive inspections systems, CBP can screen 100 percent of southbound rail traffic to identify the presence of any contraband, such as weapons or currency. In early March, CBP launched 100 percent southbound rail screening at all Southwest border rail crossings.

Increased Maritime Interdiction Operations

  • In response to numerous U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and CPB reports of go-fast boats loitering or moving north along the California Baja, DHS began focused interdiction operations. Additional operations over the past year have successfully stopped drugs and undocumented migrants from entering the U.S.
  • Operation Baja Oleada:  This maritime operation, which began in December 2005, cracks down on illegal migrant and drug smuggling along the California Baja to the arrival zone in northern Baja and San Diego area. The Coast Guard maintains a twenty-four hours a day, seven days per week patrol boat presence and frequently surges additional patrol boats, with air support as available. In FY 2009, the operation has resulted in seizures of four vessels and more than 50,000 pounds of marijuana.
  • Operation Red Zone:  This highly successful interagency operation to detect, deter and disrupt transnational smuggling threats in the maritime approaches to southern California and off Baja California ran from Feb. 1 through March 31, 2009. It involved USCG, CBP, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Navy, local police and Mexican Navy (SEMAR).

Immediate Port of Entry (POE) resources enhancements

  • Mobile X-Rays.  This technology enhances the ability of law enforcement authorities to identify currency and weapons in passenger vehicles that may contain weapons and/or currency. Previously, seven mobile x-ray units were deployed along the Southwest border—four in San Diego, two in El Paso, Texas, and one in Laredo, Texas. Two additional units have recently been moved to Tucson, Ariz., and Laredo, Texas. (Cost: $30,000)
  • Border Patrol Agents.  One hundred Border Patrol Agents currently stationed in the area will be reassigned from non-critical tasks to augment southbound vehicle and pedestrian inspection operations. More than 16,400 CBP agents currently work between ports of entry along the Southwest border. No personnel will be transferred to implement this initiative. (No cost)
  • Canine Detection Teams.  CBP dual-detection canine teams, which can recognize both currency and weapons, provide enhanced detection capabilities in cargo and vehicles and on passengers. CBP currently uses dual-detection teams along the Southwest border; 7 additional dual-detection canine teams have been deployed, for a total of 12 teams in California, Arizona, and Texas. Up to 15 additional teams will be deployed to locations yet to be determined. (Cost: $440,000)
  • Mobile Response Teams (MRT) .  Mobile Response Teams are deployed for short operations along the Southwest border, providing increased enforcement presence and personnel to conduct additional inspections of southbound individuals and vehicles. Four MRTs, consisting of 25 officers each, are currently available for special deployments along the Southwest border. Twelve additional MRT officers have already been deployed to Texas and Arizona field offices; 24 more are scheduled to be deployed to the California, Texas and Arizona field offices in early May. Combined with the four existing teams, these 36 officers will comprise eight additional teams for a total of 12. Additional deployments will be determined operationally.  (Cost: $3.2 million)
  • Operation Stonegarden Grants .  DHS designed these grants to enhance cooperation and coordination among federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies in a joint mission to secure the border. On March 24, DHS distributed an informational bulletin to all eligible state and local entities outlining modified grant guidance for the remaining FY 2006-2008 balances (totaling up to $59 million).  The new guidance does not take funding away from any states. Rather, it expands the scope of how the remaining balances can be spent to enhance current state, local and tribal law enforcement operations and assets on the Southwest border.  Eligible expenses include activating reserve and part-time law enforcement personnel, deploying existing law enforcement personnel, and covering overtime expenses, travel or lodging for deployment to the Southwest border. Secretary Napolitano waived the 50 percent cap on personnel and operational activity costs for local eligible jurisdictions along the border to provide additional resources where they are needed most.
  • License Plate Readers (LPR).  License plate readers are intended to automatically read vehicle license plates and automate law enforcement queries.  Southbound LPR information provides valuable intelligence, enhances domestic and international partnerships and assists with current weapon and currency southbound operations. CBP currently operates 52 outbound LPR lanes at 16 Southwest border crossings. CBP has initiated and expanded outbound operations and is moving quickly to replace the 52 LPRs currently equipped in southbound lanes to improve accuracy rates and enhance capability.

Periodic Evaluation and Review of the SWB Initiative

  • DHS will employ an iterative and risk-based decision making process that will guide the nature and makeup of DHS operations on the border. Key considerations will be threats and priorities across of all the Department's missions. Actions and deployments within this initiative will remain flexible in order to respond quickly and effectively to the most current information and intelligence.
  • Secretary Napolitano will be regularly briefed regarding DHS operations on the Southwest Border and will conduct quarterly reviews of DHS enhancements.

DHS Announces Guidance for More than $500 Million in Recovery Act-Funded Preparedness Grants

from the Dept. of Homeland Security

Release Date: May 29, 2009

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today released application guidance for more than $500 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) preparedness grants for fire station construction, port and transit security—funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

“These Recovery Act funds will strengthen our economy while improving our ability to prepare for terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies,” said DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. “The grants announced today will go directly to local projects, revitalizing communities while updating our nation's infrastructure and enhancing our security.”

The guidance released today includes $150 million for the Port Security Grant Program, $150 million for the Transit Security Grant Program and $210 million for the Fire Station Construction Grant Program. Signed into law by the President on Feb. 17, ARRA committed more than $3 billion to DHS and GSA in support of homeland security programs across the country.

The Port Security Grant Program provides $150 million to protect critical port infrastructure from terrorism; enhance maritime domain awareness and risk management capabilities to protect against improvised explosive devices and other non-conventional weapons; and support the implementation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).  These funds are in addition to the $388.6 million in DHS port security grants announced in April 2009.

The Transit Security Grant Program provides $150 million to hire transit law enforcement officers, mobile explosive detection screening teams, and anti-terrorism teams; shovel-ready anti-terrorism security enhancements that must begin within 90 days of the release of funds and be completed within two years; and other security projects, including improvements to high-density tunnels, stations and bridges. These funds are in addition to the $388.6 million in DHS transit security grants announced in April 2009.

The Fire Station Construction Grant Program will provide $210 million directly to fire departments to build new or modify existing fire stations in order to enhance response capabilities and protect communities from fire-related hazards. These grants will replace unsafe or uninhabitable structures and expand fire protection coverage to meet increased service demand in compliance with National Fire Protection Association standards. These fire grants are in addition to the $565 million in Assistance to Firefighters grants announced earlier this year. 

Applications for the Port Security Grant Program and Transit Security Grant Program will be submitted electronically to DHS-FEMA through Applications for the Fire Station Construction Grant Program will be submitted electronically at Full guidance and more information on preparedness grant programs can be found at