Homeland Security Pertaining to Border and Coastal Security

Homeland Security Pertaining to Border and Coastal Security

Introduction

Homeland security is an umbrella in the United States supporting the national efforts of averting terrorist attacks. The same body minimizes vulnerability of United States from possible acts of terrorism and help averting local and international attacks. Homeland security was initialized after the reorganization of diverse government agencies that happened in 2003. United States Department of Homeland Security came to effect after the terrorist attacks that happened on September 11th, 2001. Homeland Defense (HD) protects United States from aggressions and threats on the domestic population, United States territory, infrastructure and sovereignty.

United States National Guard

United States National Guard is a reserve military force connected to the United States Armed Forces. United States National Guard is made up of units or members of each State in America and also supported by other territories such as Puerto Rico, Guam, District of Columbia and Virgin Islands, adding up to more than fifty four diverse organizations[1]. Militia of the United States is also part of National Guard of the United States as expressed in the United States constitution. Airmen and Soldiers attached to the United States National Guard serve on part time at the United States National Guard and work on full time basis in the civilian job.

Part time soldiers are also supported by the Active Guard and Reserve (AGC) in the Air National Guard, Army National Guard, Air Reserve Technician (ART), Army Reserve Technicians and Army National Guard connected to Air National Guard. United States National Guard works in togetherness with the Army National Guard, Department of Defense and Army and the Air National Guard among others[2].

United States National Guard has state duties and federal duties in protecting the borders from terrorist states. Once the United States National Guard has no duties assigned by the federal, United States National Guard protects the individual units in particular territories and states[3]. Each state has powers of employing respective National Guard Forces under the expense of the state as defined by the state’s statutes and constitution.

Federalized National Guard work on voluntary basis and also work on active duty model. In addition to partial mobilization, presidential reserve call-up and Federal Aid for state governments. Other duties are in Aid and Army National Guard, Interference with State and Federal law and use of Militia and Armed Forces in enforcing Federal Authority.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

FEMA was created in 1978, the current administrator is known as Craig Fugate and the deputy administrator is known as Richard Serino. The purpose of FEMA coordinates disaster responsiveness in the United States, particularly disasters that have overwhelmed the state and local authorities[4]. FEMA acts after the governor of a state declares a state of emergency. The same governor must request the federal government and FEMA to respond to the disaster. American Territories like Puerto Rico receive the services of FEMA. Examples of disasters handled by FEMA are the return flight disaster that happened in 2003 on the Space Shuttle Columbia and the bombing of the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in 1995 in Oklahoma.

FEMA has been empowered with mechanisms of supporting ground operations at the local and state governments. The experts in FEMA are armed with rebuilding efforts skills and in offering relief funds to the individuals affected by the disasters. FEMA also offers disaster preparedness training to individuals in the territories and United States. FEMA has been influential in protecting the borders against terrorist attacks. The actions of FEMA are limited to authorization of the president and that the governor of the affected state must request for the support of FEMA[5].

The United States Coast Guard (USCG)

USCG was established in 1790 with the role of maritime law enforcement and coastal defense. The motto of USCG is always to be ready. Previous engagements are related to the Quasi war, 1812 war, Seminole War, American Civil War, Mexican-American War, Spanish-American War and World War I[6]. Other engagements identify with World War II, Vietnam War (Operation Sea Dragon III), Korean War and Persian Gulf War. USCG was also prominent in Operation Allied Force and on Global War on fighting terrorism in Afghanistan/Iraq and antipiracy operations.

USCG is unique and can work in different capacities upon authorization of the president. In peacetime, USCG is under United States Department of Homeland Security and at war it is under United States Department of the Navy. A profound example on diversity of duties depending on the security issues was observed in World War 1 and World War II. USCG is one of the oldest bodies securing the borders from terrorist attacks. In the international arena, USCG is rated as the twelfth largest among the naval forces.

USCG works under the Title 10 in the United States Code. USCG has been prominent in issues of security, maritime security and stewardship. USCG is always ready to deal with complex situations in their jurisdictions of operations. The roles of USCG are attached to the body acting as an armed service, as a national response center and as a body to enforce the law.

Personnel working in USCG are related to commissioned officers, warrant officers, enlisted personnel, training and civilian personnel and women in the Coast Guard. Common equipments used by USCG are cutters, aircrafts, boats and advanced weapons[7]. USCG has a number of institutions within the body, the institutions identify with USCG Chief Petty Officers Association, USCG Aviation Association, USCG Chief Warrant and Warrant Officers Association and USCG CW Operators Association.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

CBP was created in 2003; preceding agencies to CBP were Immigration inspectors and Border Patrol, Customs Service and Department of Agriculture. Jurisdictional nature of CBP is connected to Federal Law enforcement and civilian agency. The purpose of CBP is related to facilitating and regulating international trade, enforcing the regulations of the United States, gathering import duties, enforcing regulations on trade, enforcing regulations on immigration and enforcing regulations in customs[8].

CBP is the largest body in the United States with headquarters based in Washington D.C. CBP has many roles, but the primary purpose of the body is attached to preventing actions of terrorists and in averting terrorist weapons from entering to the soil of the United States. Illegal immigrants are also apprehended by CBP, particularly to individuals with a reputation of criminal activities, persons facilitating illegal drugs, persons facilitating contraband products and protecting the economic and agricultural interests from dangerous diseases and pests that may enter United States through the borders. CBP has also been influential in protecting the firms from acts thefts on intellectual property.

Enforcement powers within CBP are related to civil penalties and criminal penalties. Personnel serving in CBP work under CBP officers, Agricultural Specialists (OFO), CBP Officer (OFO) ranks and insignia, Air and Marine Interdiction Agents (OAM), Border Patrol Agents (OBP) and Polygraphing among others[9].

Limitations of CBP are connected to the previous criticisms that the radiation detections within the emergency positioned at port detect kitty litter and have the capability of bypassing weapons that are dangerous. Surveys have indicated that the borders in the United States are very porous to an extent that congressional investigators have managed bypassing the security agents while carrying nuclear materials. In some occasions, CBP has been rated as weak and that the management is not up to the task. CBP has been accused of letting dangerous exports pass through the system undetected.

The practice of CBP in trains and buses has been accused by the general public as unconstitutional, coercive and facilitating racial profiling. In a number of court battles, CBP has been accused of engaging untrained chemists, and in some cases destroyed the evidence. CBP has been accused of manhandling people, an example is Peter Watts who was a marine biologist, he was accused of obstructing a federal officer, claims he was against since it was mostly falsified. Watts was prevented from ever going back to the United States[10].

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

ICE was formed in 2003. The preceding agencies were Investigative and Intelligence resources of the United States Customs Service and Criminal Investigation Resources of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service[11]. ICE is supported by the 2002 Homeland Security Act. The nature of ICE is connected to civilian agency and Federal Law Enforcement.

The purpose of ICE is to investigate, identify and dismantle vulnerabilities as pertaining to the security of the economy, borders, infrastructure and transportation. There are two primary components in ICE identifying with Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). ICE has been given powers to enforce and investigate to more than four hundred federal statutes.

ICE is also prominent in connecting United States embassies around the world. ICE is placed as the second largest organ dealing with criminal investigations. The first investigative organ in the United States is Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). The mission observed by ICE is to uphold the general public safety and to protect the United States by making sure that the custom and immigration laws are followed to the letter.

The structure of the ICE is in the form of office of Professional Responsibility, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA), Local and Tribal Coordination (OSLTC) and Office of State[12]. Investigative programs in ICE identify with National Security, child exploitation, operation community shield, cyber crimes section, cyber crimes and operation predator.

ICE has been influential in high profile deportations, anti-human trafficking, counter proliferation investigations, intellectual property and counter proliferation investigations. ICE has been accused of secret detentions that have been termed as unconstitutional; this is common with aliens trying entering United States illegally. ICE has also been accused of deaths in the detention centers.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

USCIS performs duties previously carried out by United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). USCIS was initially known as the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS)[13]. USCIS has the mandates of improving the customer services, promoting the national security and in eliminating case backlogs in the immigration.

USCIS has more than two hundred and fifty offices across the globe. USCIS processes naturalization petitions, immigrant visa petitions, refugee applications and asylum applications, managing benefits functions for immigrants and in making adjudicative decisions applied at the service centers.

USCIS also has responsibilities adjudicating asylum claims, granting citizenship of the United States, granting lawful permanent resident status, adjudicating petitions forwarded by non-immigrant temporary workers and issuing employment authorization documents (EAD)[14].

The United States Secret Service (USSS)

USSS was formed from United States Department of Homeland Security. Members of USSS are subdivided into Uniformed Division and Special Agents[15]. USSS was formed in 2003 working under the United States Department of the Treasury. USSS has two main responsibilities attached to dealing with financial crimes and protection of the leaders.

Financial crimes are concerned with investigating and preventing counterfeiting of United States treasury securities and United States currency. USSS also investigates major frauds. USSS has duties of protecting the former and the current national leaders and their subsequent families. National leaders identify with the current and former presidents, presidential candidates, vice president, foreign ambassadors and the visiting head of states among others. USSS managed to deal with the counterfeiting of the United States currencies that happened after the American civil war.

The roles of USSS have been evolving over time; the current duties have been refined to safeguarding the financial and payment systems. The roles are attached to telecommunications fraud, financial institution fraud and computer fraud[16].

Other roles of USSS are attached to accessing device fraud, investigating on the false identification documents, electronic funds transfers, advance fee fraud and money laundering among others. After the assassination of the president McKinley in 1901, the congress directed USSS to protect the current and former presidents.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

TSA was formed in 2001. Preceding agencies were Office of Civil Aviation Security and Federal Aviation Administration. The jurisdiction served by TSA identify with transportation systems. The current administer of TSA is known as John Pistole. Creation of TSA was after the Aviation and Transportation Security Act[17]. TSA has been carrying out passenger screening and checking the luggage. The undercover operations offered by TSA tests the effectiveness of the screening processes in diverse locations, in the United States.

The effectiveness of TSA has been questioned, taking the example of the collaboration of the different agencies in San Francisco International Airport where the screeners were alerted on the ongoing undercover tests by TSA in 2005. TSA officials were found corrupt by alerting the Covenant Aviation Security (CAS) on the impending undercover tests. In 2006, TSA was involved in another scandal, in Newark Liberty International Airport after the screening processes were leaked to the press.

The screeners at the airport failed twenty tests out of the twenty two tests, where the screeners did not detect bombs and guns in the system. TSA has been accused of using unsecured website in collecting information relating to the passengers. TSA has also been accused of stolen or lost employee records from the TSA headquarters. There have been complains from the general public that TSA had incomprehensive understanding of the American airports, leading to security breaches[18].

Civil Air Patrol (CAP)

CAP was formed in 1941 and its part of the United States Air Force. CAP is considered a volunteer organization accepting people of all lifestyles, backgrounds and occupations. CAP has the responsibility of emergency services on rescue and search, aerospace education and disaster relief operations[19]. CAP is also prominent in courier service missions and homeland security. CAP also relies on private agencies and governmental agencies on non-auxiliary; an example is on American Red Cross and Local Law Enforcement. Cadet programs focus on young people of twelve years to eighteen years and above. Most of the CAP members are licensed pilots after exposure to flying while serving emergency cores.

The missions of CAP are attached to emergency services, aerospace education and cadet programs. Membership of CAP is connected to senior members and cadet members. CAP has been influential in disaster relief operations particularly in Mississippi, Florida and Louisiana that are frequented by hurricanes.

CAP ground personnel and aircrews provide transportation services on officials and cargo, assessing aerial imagery of disasters and donations of equipments and personnel to the local people. CAP also coordinates with the other relief organizations. In 2004, CAP was prominent in serving Florida after it was hit by massive hurricanes[20].

Conclusion

Homeland Security has been prominent on the border and coastal security. There are diverse agencies that have contributed to the overall effectiveness of the Homeland Security in securing the borders from terrorism attacks. Some of the agencies have been very effective while some agencies have been accused of laxity. The success of Homeland Security has been possible through United States National Guard, FEMA, USCG, CBP, ICE, USCIS, USSS, TSA and CAP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Anderson, C. V. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema). Hauppauge, New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2003.

Hawley, Kip & Means, Nathan. Permanent Emergency: Inside the TSA and the Fight for the Future of American Security. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

Holden, Henry. To Be a U.S. Secret Service Agent. New York: Zenith Press, 2006.

Im US Department of Homeland Security. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Contracts. New York: BiblioGov, 2013.

Listman, W. John & Doubler, D. Michael. The National Guard: An Illustrated History of America’s Citizen Soldiers . Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2007.

Montgomery, Jeff. Aerospace: The Journey of Flight. Maxwell Air Force Base: Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters, 2008.

Ostrom, Thomas P. The United States Coast Guard: 1790 to the Present. Oakland: Elderberry Press (OR), 2006.

Rudman, Jack. Customs & Border Protection Officer. New York: National Learning Corporation, 2013.

Wernick, Allan. U.S. Immiration & Citizenship. New York: Prima Lifestyles, 2002.

White, Jonathan R. Terrorism and Homeland Security. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning, 2013.

 

 

[1] John, W. Listman & Michael, D. Doubler, The National Guard: An Illustrated History of America’s Citizen Soldiers, (Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2007) 101-200.

[2] Jonathan, R. White, Terrorism and Homeland Security, (Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning, 2013) 102-467.

[3] John, W. Listman & Michael, D. Doubler, The National Guard: An Illustrated History of America’s Citizen Soldiers, (Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska–Lincoln, 2007) 101-200.

[4] C. V., Anderson, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema), (Hauppauge, New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2003), 21-99.

[5] C. V., Anderson, The Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema), (Hauppauge, New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2003), 21-99.

[6] Thomas P. Ostrom, The United States Coast Guard: 1790 to the Present, (Oakland: Elderberry Press (OR), 2006) 54-176.

[7] Thomas P. Ostrom, The United States Coast Guard: 1790 to the Present, (Oakland: Elderberry Press (OR), 2006) 54-176.

[8] Jack, Rudman, Customs & Border Protection Officer, (New York: National Learning Corporation, 2013) 32-126.

[9] Jonathan, R. White, Terrorism and Homeland Security, (Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning, 2013) 102-467.

[10] Jack, Rudman, Customs & Border Protection Officer, (New York: National Learning Corporation, 2013) 32-126.

[11] Im US Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Contracts, (New York: BiblioGov, 2013) 15-77.

[12] Im US Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Contracts, (New York: BiblioGov, 2013) 15-77.

[13] Allan, Wernick, U.S. Immiration & Citizenship, (New York: Prima Lifestyles, 2002) 76-287.

[14] Allan, Wernick, U.S. Immiration & Citizenship, (New York: Prima Lifestyles, 2002) 76-287.

[15] Henry, Holden, To Be a U.S. Secret Service Agent, (New York: Zenith Press, 2006) 11-56.

[16]  Henry, Holden, To Be a U.S. Secret Service Agent, (New York: Zenith Press, 2006) 11-56.

[17] Kip, Hawley & Nathan, Means, Permanent Emergency: Inside the TSA and the Fight for the Future of American Security, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) 54-205.

[18] Kip, Hawley & Nathan, Means, Permanent Emergency: Inside the TSA and the Fight for the Future of American Security, (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013) 54-205.

[19] Jeff, Montgomery, Aerospace: The Journey of Flight, (Maxwell Air Force Base: Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters, 2008) 203-504.

[20] Jeff, Montgomery, Aerospace: The Journey of Flight, (Maxwell Air Force Base: Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters, 2008) 203-504.

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