A specialized branch of forensic medicine devoted to the proper examination, handling, identification; and presentation of dental evidence in the interest of justice and community service.

DHS News Releases

  1. Readout Of DHS Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Meeting With Australian Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull And NSA Director Mike Rogers On Cybersecurity
    Release Date: 
    February 22, 2018

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen participated in a roundtable discussion on cybersecurity hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). Secretary Nielsen was joined by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and National Security Agency Director Admiral Mike Rogers, as well as representatives from the private sector.

    The group discussed the strong U.S.-Australian partnership on cybersecurity issues, and the shared goal of improving deterrence and holding malicious cyber actors accountable. Secretary Nielsen discussed DHS’s ongoing work to mitigate risks to our supply chain, which is being targeted by sophisticated adversaries with increasing regularity. Finally, the participants recommitted to their joint efforts to deter malicious cyber activity and strengthen the global cyber landscape.

    # # #

  2. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen Statement on Cybersecurity for the Nation’s Election
    Release Date: 
    February 20, 2018

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

    WASHINGTON - Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released the following statement on Department of Homeland Security (DHS) participation in a series of coordination meetings with state and local election officials, private sector companies, and federal partners to discuss cybersecurity for the nation’s election infrastructure.

    “The American public’s confidence that their vote counts -- and is counted correctly -- relies on secure election infrastructure. The first primaries of the 2018 midterm election cycle are just around the corner, and DHS and our federal, state and local partners have been working together for more than a year to bolster the cybersecurity of the nation’s election infrastructure. Last week, I had the opportunity to meet with the Executive Board of the National Association of Secretaries of States, who were in town along with representatives from all 50 states and a number of local jurisdictions for a series of meetings and briefings on this important issue. I thanked them for their partnership and pledged the Department will continue its support to state and local election officials, primarily through sharing timely and actionable threat information and offering cybersecurity services.”

    A readout of DHS meetings with state election officials and other election sector partners is available here.

    ###

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  3. Readout of DHS Meetings with State Election Officials and Other Election Sector Partners
    Release Date: 
    February 19, 2018

    WASHINGTON – Last week, senior officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) participated in a series of coordination meetings with state and local election officials, private sector companies, and federal partners to discuss cybersecurity for the nation’s election infrastructure.

    Thursday, Feb. 15, 2018

    DHS, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), and state and local election officials convened a meeting of the Government Coordinating Council (GCC) for the Election Infrastructure Subsector.  The GCC was established in October and provides a well-tested mechanism for sharing threat information between the federal government and council partners, advancing risk management efforts, and prioritizing focus of services available to sector partners in a trusted environment. 

    DHS met with private sector election industry representatives in Arlington, Va., who had gathered to formally establish a Sector Coordinating Council (SCC) for the Election Infrastructure Subsector, the private sector counterpart to the GCC.  This GCC-SCC structure is used by the 16 critical infrastructure sectors to facilitate joint engagement with government and private sector entities and to coordinate security and resilience efforts.  The charter organizations of the SCC for the Election Infrastructure Subsector include 25 private sector and non-government organizations (listed below).

    Friday, Feb. 16, 2018

    On Friday, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen met with the NASS Executive Board to discuss DHS’ commitment to working with state election officials on cybersecurity for the midterm elections and beyond.

    In addition, DHS joined together with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to sponsor classified briefings for election officials from all 50 states.  A similar briefing occurred on Sunday, February 18, 2018. These briefings focused on increasing awareness of foreign adversary intent and capabilities against the states’ election infrastructure, as well as a discussion of threat mitigation efforts.

    Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018

    On Saturday, DHS met with Secretaries of State and other chief election officials at the NASS Winter Conference and National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) Winter Conference.  National Protection and Programs Directorate Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary Chris Krebs and Acting Deputy Under Secretary Bob Kolasky addressed attendees at the NASS conference.  Acting Deputy Under Secretary Kolasky then met with NASED.  At both conferences, DHS reiterated the department’s commitment to working with election officials and system owners to support their efforts and determine where DHS support adds the most value. The department lends its expertise and services to election partners on a voluntary basis, including risk and vulnerability assessments, cyber hygiene scans, providing real-time threat intelligence feeds, issuing security clearances to state officials, partnering on incident response planning, and delivering cybersecurity training.

    Members of the GCC are available here.

    Members of the SCC include:

    • Associated Press (AP) Elections*
    • BPro, Inc.
    • Clear Ballot Group
    • Crosscheck
    • DemTech Voting Solutions
    • Democracy Live
    • Democracy Works (Parent organization for the Voting Information Project)
    • Dominion Voting Systems
    • ELECTEC Election Services Inc.
    • Election Systems & Software
    • ERIC
    • Everyone Counts
    • Hart InterCivic
    • Microvote General Corp.
    • PCC Technology Inc.
    • Pro V&V
    • SCYTL
    • SLI Compliance
    • Smartmatic
    • Tenex Software Solutions
    • Unisyn Voting Solutions
    • VOTEC
    • Votem
    • VR Systems

    *AP Elections is responsible for the election night projections.  The SCC membership does not include journalists.

    # # #

  4. DHS Secretary Nielsen Joins Vice President Pence Along the Southern Border
    Release Date: 
    February 16, 2018

    Discuss the Need for Border Security with DHS Frontline Personnel

    WASHINGTON – Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen joined Vice President Mike Pence along the southern border in McAllen, Texas. While in McAllen, Secretary Nielsen and Vice President Pence took an operational tour of the Hidalgo Port of Entry. They also participated in a roundtable discussion with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) personnel from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection, and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. During the roundtable, the group discussed the need to end dangerous loopholes and secure our borders to keep American communities safe.

    “Today, we heard about the importance of the DHS mission firsthand from the people who protect our communities every day,” said Secretary Nielsen. “It is clear that we must take action to secure our border on behalf of  American families. I’m grateful for the men and women of DHS for sharing their stories today, and for their dedication to their often difficult and dangerous jobs.”

    (DHS Official Photo/Jetta Disco)

    (DHS Official Photo/Jetta Disco)

    DHS remains committed to immigration reform that will secure our border, end the visa lottery, end chain migration, and provide a permanent solution for DACA.

    # # #

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  5. Readout of Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen's Meeting with Guatemalan Minister of Government Enrique Degenhart
    Release Date: 
    February 16, 2018

    Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen met this morning with Guatemalan Minister of Government, Enrique Degenhart, whom she congratulated on his appointment as Minister. During the meeting, she outlined her priorities on enhancing air, land, and maritime border security, combating transnational criminal organizations (TCO) and gangs, and deterring illegal immigration, specifically the rise in unaccompanied alien children flooding the Southern border. Secretary Nielsen and Minister Degenhart spoke about their shared commitment to securing the border to improve regional security, combating corruption and the rise of gangs, and improving information sharing and cyber collaboration.

    # # #

  6. ODNI, DHS, FBI To Lead National-level Classified Dialogue for State Election Officials
    Release Date: 
    February 15, 2018

    Cross-posted from DNI.gov

    On February 16 and February 18, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), together with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), will sponsor a classified briefing for election officials from all 50 states. This national-level classified dialogue with officials from the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), and the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) is part of an ongoing effort to ensure the integrity and security of the nation's election infrastructure, particularly as the risk environment evolves. The briefings will focus on increasing awareness of foreign adversary intent and capabilities against the states’ election infrastructure, as well as a discussion of threat mitigation efforts. The goal of this collaborative event is to build an enduring partnership to ensure the sharing of timely, substantive information on threats to our nation’s critical infrastructure.

    # # #

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  7. Unaccompanied Alien Children and Family Units Are Flooding the Border Because of Catch and Release Loopholes
    Release Date: 
    February 15, 2018

    Border security includes the ability to remove illegal aliens that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) apprehends, otherwise we are stuck with a system that sanctions catch and release. Due to legal loopholes and court backlogs, even apprehended illegal aliens are released and become part of the temporary, illegal population of people that we cannot remove. This must end now.

    Legal loopholes are exploited by minors, family units, and human smugglers, and are a magnet for illegal immigration

    • In 1997, the former Immigration and Naturalization Service entered into the Flores Settlement Agreement relating to the detention and release of unaccompanied alien children (UACs) . The Flores settlement agreement has now been litigated for over twenty years, spawning multiple onerous court decisions that handicap the government’s ability to detain and promptly remove UACs.
      • Under the Flores Agreement, DHS can only detain UACs for 20 days before releasing them to the Department of Health and Human Services which places the minors in foster or shelter situations until they locate a sponsor.
      • When these minors are released, they often fail to appear for court hearings or comply with removal orders.
      • These legal loopholes lead to “catch and release” policies that act as a “pull factor” for increased future illegal immigration.
      • This has incited smugglers to place children into the hands of adult strangers so they can pose as families and be released from immigration custody after crossing the border, creating another safety issue for these children.
    • The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 limits DHS’s ability to promptly return UACs who have been apprehended at the border and creates additional loopholes.
      • Under TVPRA, UACs who are not from Mexico and Canada are exempt from prompt return to their home country. We must amend the TVPRA so that all UACs who are not victims of human trafficking, regardless of country of origin, can be safely and promptly returned to their home countries.
      • We must amend TVPRA to limit the period to file asylum claims for UACs to one year consistent with all other applicants for asylum and ensure that these asylum cases are heard only in immigration court (no second bite at the apple).
      • We must end abuse of the Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) visa to ensure the applicant proves reunification with both parents is not viable due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment and that the applicant is a victim of trafficking. This is necessary as many UACs are able to obtain a Green Card through SIJ status even though they were smuggled here to reunify with one parent present in the United States.

    Once released into the interior of the United States, with few exceptions, UACs will generally remain in the country.

    • UACs frequently abscond and fail to appear for their removal hearings before an immigration judge—with 66% of all removal orders for UACs from FY15 to FY17 resulting from a UAC’s failure to appear for a hearing.
    • Only 3.5 percent of unaccompanied minors apprehended are eventually removed from the United States.
    • Over 100,000 UACs were released into the interior from FY16 to today.
    • The 100,000+ UACs who were released are in addition to the more than 167,000 family units (i.e. alien children who are accompanied by an adult claiming to be a relative or guardian) that were apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection from FY16 to date.
      • Nearly all of these Family Units are released into the interior of the United States because of judicially-imposed constraints on ICE’s authority to detain the entire family units as a result of recent rulings in the Flores consent decree litigation.

    These loopholes create a pull factor that invites more illegal immigration and encourages parents to pay and entrust their children to criminal organizations that will smuggle them in—often while abusing and molesting those children along the way.

    • In recent months, there has been a staggering increase in the apprehension of UACs and Family Units from Central America crossing the southern border and being released into the United States.
    • The number of family units crossing the border increased by 625% since last April.
    • In December, officials apprehended over 4,000 UACs and 8,000 Family Units—an increase of 30 percent and 68 percent respectively since October.
    • Thousands of these unaccompanied children—particularly young teenage girls—are subjected to sexual abuse by smugglers, criminals, and even government officials along their journey to the United States. Many also never make it to the United States, instead pressed into service at brothels and bars in Mexico and Guatemala.

    The influx of unaccompanied alien minors also creates recruiting opportunities for brutal gangs such as MS-13

    • UACs provide fertile recruiting ground for violent gangs, such as MS-13. While there are no official statistics on the number of UACs involved with gangs, anecdotal evidence suggests this gang recruiting strategy is working. For example, a June 2017 review of UACs in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Refugee Resettlement found that 39 of 138 UACs (28%) were involved with gangs, with the vast majority of those involved voluntarily.[1]
    • Other enforcement examples suggest similar numbers. For example, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Operation Matador resulted in 39 MS-13 arrests in 30 days in the New York City area, 12 of whom had entered the country as unaccompanied minors. Fox News reported in November 2017 that, of 214 MS-13 members rounded up in the span of a few weeks, officials said at least a third would have been classified as UACs.[2]
     

    [1] See Letter from Barbara Pisaro Clark, Acting Assistant Secretary for Legislation, Department of Health and Human Services, to the Honorable Ron Johnson, Chairman, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (June 21, 2017), https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/download/orr-response-to-sen-johnson.

    [2] See Joseph J. Kolb, Feds crack down on MS-13, but immigration policy lets new recruits in, figures show, Fox News (Nov. 30, 2017), http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/11/30/as-raids-target-m-13-gang-fears-resurgent-ranks-linger.html.

    Keywords: 
  8. To Make America Safe Again, We Must End Sanctuary Cities and Remove Criminal Aliens
    Release Date: 
    February 15, 2018

    Non-cooperative jurisdictions that do not honor U.S. Immigration and Customs (ICE) detainer requests to hold criminal aliens who are already in their custody, endanger the public and threaten officer safety by releasing criminal aliens back into the community to re-offend. In addition to causing preventable crimes, this creates another “pull factor” that increases illegal immigration.

    We must take criminal aliens off our streets and remove them quickly once they are apprehended. 

    • The 2001 Supreme Court decision in Zadvydas v. Davis significantly restricts the ability of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to detain aliens with final orders of removal, including serious felony offenders, if their home countries will not accept their return.
      • In Fiscal Year 2017, more than 2,300 aliens were released because of that court decision, including more than 1,700 criminal aliens.
    • In addition to those who enter illegally, visa overstays account for roughly 40 percent of all illegal immigration in the United States.
    • Some jurisdictions do not honor ICE detainer requests to hold or provide adequate notice of release of criminal aliens who are already in custody, endangering the public and threatening officer safety by releasing criminal aliens back into our communities to re-offend.
    • Instead of allowing ICE officers to take custody of criminal aliens in a secure environment, such as a local jail, jurisdictions that refuse to honor ICE detainers put ICE officers and others at risk by forcing them to go into often perilous environments to arrest dangerous criminal aliens.
    • There are nearly one million aliens with final orders of removal, and not enough officers or resources to deport them.
    • Of the 53,908 criminal cases filed by federal prosecutors in the 94 U.S. District Courts in fiscal year 2016, 23,573 cases (43.7 percent) were located in just the five border districts (Arizona, Southern District of California, New Mexico, Southern District of Texas, and Western District of Texas).
    • Half of all federal criminal cases filed in U.S. District Courts in Fiscal Year 2016 (25,965 of 53,908 cases) were referred by the DHS.
    • While noncitizens made up approximately 7.2 percent of the U.S. population in 2016,[1] they accounted for 41.7 percent of all federal offenders sentenced for felonies or Class A misdemeanors in that fiscal year. Even excluding all types of immigration offenses, noncitizens accounted for more than 20 percent of all federal offenders sentenced for felonies or Class A misdemeanors—nearly three times their share of the general population.
    • In the five border districts, noncitizens accounted for 73.5 percent of all federal offenders sentenced for felonies or Class A misdemeanors in fiscal year 2016, and 47 percent of all federal non-immigration felonies or Class A misdemeanors.

    The American people overwhelmingly favor the removal of criminal aliens.

    • According to a recent Harvard-Harris poll,[2] 80 percent of American voters share the common-sense view that cities that arrest illegal aliens for crimes should be required to turn them over to immigration authorities.
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  9. We Need to End Unchecked Chain Migration and Eliminate the Reckless Visa Lottery to Secure the Nation and Protect the American Worker
    Release Date: 
    February 15, 2018

    Our current immigration system does not protect American workers or our economy.

    • The United States currently admits 1.1 million immigrants per year. That is more than the population of San Francisco or Indianapolis every year.
    • Currently, 70 percent of legal immigration into the United States is based on family relations, while only 1 in every 15 legal immigrants—less than seven percent—are admitted to the United States based on skill or employment.

    End Chain Migration

    • Under our current law, a single immigrant can sponsor numerous relatives to come to the United States as lawful permanent residents.
    • Each family member of the original immigrant who came to the United States as a lawful permanent resident can, in turn, sponsor relatives once they become a citizen.
    • The result is known as chain migration because each new immigrant can sponsor his or her own extended family members, who ultimately have little connection to the original immigrant.
    • Academic research has found each immigrant on average sponsors 3.45 additional family members for green cards.
    • Between 2005 and 2016, the United States permanently resettled 9.3 million immigrants based on family relations—a population larger than the size of Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and Cleveland combined.
    • Chain Migration, which has been the primary source of low-skilled legal immigration into the United States, has depressed wages and job opportunities for comparably skilled American workers. This has had a profoundly negative impact on African American and Hispanic workers in particular. It is for that reason that famed Civil Rights leader and late Democratic Congresswoman Barbara Jordan called for ending Chain Migration in the mid-1990s.

    Cancel the Outdated Visa Lottery

    • The visa lottery system admits 50,000 immigrants a year, many who have no existing connections to our country, minimal education, and no job offers.
    • At the time of submitting their visa application, selectees are only required to have a high school education or two years of work experience at the time of submitting their visa application.
    • This program is susceptible to fraud and has been exploited by national security threats. It does not advance our interests.
    • Past reports show that the visa lottery system has a long history of fraud and abuse. 
    • A report published by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in 2007 found that the visa lottery system was vulnerable to fraud committed by and against lottery applicants.
      • The GAO report found difficulties in verifying applicant identities, which raised serious security concerns.
      • At some of the consular posts they reviewed the majority of visa lottery applicants had hired “visa agents” to enter the lottery.
    • In 2003, the State Department Office of Inspector General (OIG) authored a report that found the program was subject to widespread abuse.
      • The OIG found that despite restrictions against duplicate visa lottery submissions, thousands of duplicate submissions were detected each year.
      • The report asserted that identity fraud was endemic in the system and that it was commonplace for applicants to use fraudulent documents.
    • From 2007 to 2016, the United States admitted nearly 30,000 individuals that originated from countries designated as “State Sponsors of Terrorism” through the visa lottery system. This is a direct threat to our national security.
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  10. We Must Secure The Border And Build The Wall To Make America Safe Again
    Release Date: 
    February 15, 2018

    Walls Work. When it comes to stopping drugs and illegal aliens across our borders, border walls have proven to be extremely effective. Border security relies on a combination of border infrastructure, technology, personnel and partnerships with law enforcement at the state, local, tribal, and federal level.

    • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehends over 1,100 people a day crossing the border illegally. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) refuses entry to 7 known or suspected terrorists every day, 50 every week, and 2,500 every year.
    • DHS has seen a 300 percent increase in unaccompanied alien children (UACs) in the last eight months of 2017 – and a 600 percent increase in family units.
    • In Fiscal Year 2017, Border Patrol saw a 73 percent increase in assaults on officers along the Southwest border.
    • Thousands of aliens illegally re-enter the United States each year, with approximately 15,700 sentenced for illegal reentry in fiscal year 2016. This does not even include the many thousands more who evade detection, or those who are not charged with illegal reentry as part of a plea agreement.
    • The border jurisdictions bear the brunt of illegal alien crime, which is a large portion of the total crime in the United States. Of the 53,908 criminal cases filed by federal prosecutors in the 94 U.S. District Courts in fiscal year 2016, 23,573 cases (43.7 percent) were located in just the five border districts (Arizona, Southern District of California, New Mexico, Southern District of Texas, and Western District of Texas). In the five border districts, noncitizens accounted for 73.5 percent of all federal offenders sentenced for felonies or Class A misdemeanors in fiscal year 2016, and 47 percent of all federal non-immigration felonies or Class A misdemeanors.
    • Half of all federal criminal cases filed in U.S. District Courts in fiscal year 2016 (25,965 of 53,908 cases) were referred by the Department of Homeland Security.
    • Simply put—walls work. They have worked in Yuma, Arizona as a result of the 2006 Bipartisan Secure Border Act. They have also worked in San Diego. Both areas have seen 95 percent drops in attempted illegal border crossings.
    • Only 3.5 percent of UACs apprehended are eventually removed from the United States.

    Illegal immigrants are incentivized to illegally enter by the low standard for credible fear and the lack of cost or sanction for filing a baseless asylum claim, which allows many of them to assert meritless claims that will not be adjudicated for years.

    • There has been a 1,700 percent increase in Credible Fear receipts from 2008 to 2016.
    • Annual asylum applications have tripled in the last 3 years.
    • There has been a 1,750 percent increase in the asylum backlog over the last 5 years. The affirmative asylum backlog at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has grown to 313,214 cases, as of January 28th. Another 290,000 asylum cases are pending in our immigration courts as of February 9.
    • The increase in claims filed is not associated with an increase in meritorious claims. As of FY 17, the asylum grant rate for defensive applications in immigration court is approximately 30%. On average, out of 88 claims that pass the credible fear screening, fewer than 13 will ultimately result in a grant of asylum.
    • The backlog of cases in our immigrations courts is approximately 675,000 cases.
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