HLS210 3 – Intelligence And Information Offices And Agencies In The DHS

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a member of the intelligence community in U.S. its Office of Intelligence and Analysis is in charge of using the information and intelligence from various sources to identify and assess any current and future threats to the U.S.

DHS Intelligence aims at four strategic areas thatinclude promoting knowledge of threats through intelligence analysis, collecting information and data crucial to homeland security, sharing information necessary for action and managing intelligence for the homeland security at large. The Under Secretary for I&A serves as DHS’ chief intelligence officer, and both the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence are answerable.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is a component of U.S DHS that performs many administrative functions. The USCIS promotes national security, eliminates immigration case backlogs and improves customer services. The body is in charge of processing immigrant visa petitions and making adjudicative decisions performed at the service centers among other functions.The agency works at thestate level where unlike most other federal agencies, USCIS is funded almost entirely by user fees, (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 2005).

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is one of the armed forces of U.S and the only military organization within DHS. The agency operates at thefederal level and since 1790, it has safeguarded the Nation’s maritime interests and theenvironment around the world, (The United States.& United States, 2007).

On the other hand, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is one of the largest federal law enforcement agency operating in the U.S. It is within the DHS and charged with regulating and facilitating international trade, enforcing U.S. regulations such as trades and collecting import duties.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is an American enforcement agency working at thefederal level under U.S DHS, which handles identifying and investigating loopholes regarding the nation’s border and infrastructure security. It has two primary components which are Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Enforcement and Removal Operations.

Lastly, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is an agency of the U.S. DHS with the authority over the security of the traveling public in the United States. The organization gets charged with developing policies to protect U.S. transportation especially in airport security and also prevention of hijacking.

The TSA works at both local and state levels where it oversees security for highways, railroads, buses and ports. However, the bulk of the TSA’s efforts is in aviation security where it is in charge of screening passengers and baggage at the airports.

In U.S., the ability to federal, state and local levels to share accurate information quickly is essential to the security and resilience. Therefore, National Protection and Programs Directorate’s Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP) plays a vital role in enabling informed decisions and timely actions among the intelligence agencies at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The information-sharing process is applied to enhance informed action on three levels that include situational awareness in both day-to-day operations and crisis or event, such as suspicious activity reporting, (The United States, 2008). The Operational and tactical risk management actions and Strategic planning and investment. Tools such as alerts, threats, warnings, effective risk management programs and collaboration are used to support information sharing at the agencies.

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