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Pros and Cons of Homeland Security

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Is the Department of Homeland Security fulfilling its main purpose?

Filomena, 5, has been crying frequently and has occasionally even vomited out of sorrow since Border Patrol authorities separated her from her father on May 16. Numerous young immigrants have horrifying incidents like the one described above. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was specifically instructed by the Trump Administration to prevent illegal immigration, which resulted in these horrible occurrences. But the real question is: What direct threat is currently facing the United States? Is the current threat to the United States from illegal immigration real? Most importantly, by emphasizing illegal immigration, is the DHS accomplishing its primary goal? Al-Qaeda attacked the twin buildings on September 11. The creation of DHS was prompted by this horrible incident that will live on in American history. The DHS was established in response to the September 11 attacks to combat terrorism. One year after the 9/11 events, it was formally added to the cabinet. It is now the newest cabinet position as a result.

On September 11, the twin towers were attacked by Al- Qaeda. This tragic event that is engraved in U.S history is what caused the birth of DHS. The DHS was created in order to fight against terrorism after the September 11 attacks. It was installed officially as a cabinet position one year after the 9/11 attacks. This makes it the newest cabinet position.

Recently in a progress check released by the DHS, it was stated that foreigners were currently the main focus of the DHS. Secretary of the DHS, Jeh Johnson stated, “We are concerned about the so-called foreign fighter who leaves his home country, travels to another country to take up the fight there, links up with terrorist extremists, and may return home – whether it’s this country or one of our allies — with a terrorist extremist purpose. We are concerned about terrorist organizations’ new, slick and skilled use of the internet to publicly recruit individuals to conduct attacks within their own homelands.” Johnson goes on to state, “One of our executive actions that the President announced on November 20 is to direct our Office of Immigration Statistics to collect, maintain and report consolidated DHS-wide data on the number of people we apprehend, remove, return or repatriate every year, in a manner that can be made public. Those who have committed no serious crimes, have been in this country since January 1, 2010, and have children here who are citizens or lawful permanent residents, are eligible to be considered for this program. The reality is that these immigrants are not enforcement priorities.”

Although Johnson states that “lawful immigrants” are not enforcement priorities, the Department of Homeland Security expressed in its 2003-2012 strategic plan (“Operation Endgame”) the commitment to detain and deport all “removable aliens” residing in the U.S. by 2012 (Joyner). The term removable aliens refer to all immigrants who hold no citizenship. This means that even those who are on the pathway to citizenship or those who came to seek asylum in the United States are destined to be deported. Unauthorized immigrants who have entered the country illegally have committed a criminal offense (i.e., a misdemeanor), whereas those who are unauthorized for other reasons (e.g., an overstayed visa) have committed a civil offense. Both of these groups are removable but the DHS and its predecessor (Immigration and Naturalization Service) have long prioritized the identification and removal of “criminal aliens,”.

In addition, as stated by the Harvard Latino Law review, “DHS has faced ongoing criticism in recent years for the deplorable conditions in many of its immigration detention centers, as overseen by ICE. Fatally negligent medical care, sexual abuse, barriers to language access, inaccessible legal services, and solitary confinement are among the issues plaguing immigration detention centers across the nation.” (Beck). We are all currently aware of the horrific inhumane actions taking place at the U.S border. We all have also witnessed the immigrant children who are stored in cages as their parents are sent back to Mexico without being given a chance for asylum. Recently a case of wrongful death was filed against the U.S after the 19-month-old toddler, Mariee died shortly after she has released from Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody in Texas after authorities failed to properly diagnose her symptoms and allowed a treatable infection to become deadly (Sacchetti). Her mother states that her baby grew sicker every day, vomiting and growing weaker. In this case, lawyers and advocates were used as witnesses and they claimed to have witnessed “squalid, cramped conditions at U.S. border facilities.” (Sacchetti).

These actions do not reflect the values of the United States. The United States is known as the land of the free. Many people come from many different lands in search of freedom and opportunity. In addition, the United States is undeniably a land of immigrants. As we all have learned in history class, the Native Americans (Indians) were the first on this land. Then after America was discovered, the pilgrims arrived, the Indians were massacred, and the U.S was then run by the English settlers. Then slavery took place. After slavery, many immigrants came through New York, and currently, America continues to be the destination of many immigrants. This being said, immigration cannot be reasonably seen as a threat to the United states’ security.

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In fact, the most recent terrorist attacks on the U.S are school shootings and public shootings committed by U.S citizens. 21 weeks into last year, there were already 23 school shootings where someone was hurt or killed. That averaged out to more than 1 shooting a week (Ahmed). The number of mass shootings in the US this year has already reached 366, as of November 14, according to the Gun Violence Archive’s tally (Gal). Sadly, Dayton has joined the list of mass shootings this year. On August 4, 17 people were injured and 10 were killed after Connor Stephen Betts opened fire in an Oregon District bar. This is one of the main events that influenced # Dayton Strong. Even last week on November 14, there was a school shooting in Santa Clarita in which two students died (Gonzales).

The previous facts show that mass shootings are prevalent in the United States currently. This makes mass shootings the main threat to American security. The DHS should be focused on coming up with security measures that prevent mass shootings, especially school mass shootings. We have reached the point where students fear attending school. In this recent school shooting, Jilli Spencer, 17, wrote in a poem, ‘I don’t want to live with this fear on my chest,’ ‘This guilt. I wasn’t there. I was down the street. Hoping they weren’t coming to me.'(CNN).

Despite the prevalence of school shootings, many continue to believe that the main threat to U.S security is the immigrants. This belief is sponsored by the current president of the United States, Donald J. Trump. Even before he was elected president, Trump called Mexicans rapists and drug dealers. Following those remarks, when Trump became president, he enforced the Muslim ban and began working on building a wall between the U.S and Mexico. Trump shifted the focus of the DHS to immigration, claiming that immigrants are the main threat to U.S national security because they supposedly bring drugs into the U.S. Therefore, many trump supporters, hold this belief.

Logically speaking, I believe many people choose to ignore the horror of Trump’s immigration policy and support it because of the myth that immigrants fill up American jobs. In fact, Trump stated, “We’re losing our jobs. People are pouring into our country. The other day, we were deporting 800 people. And perhaps they passed the wrong button, or perhaps worse than that, it was corruption, but these people that we were going to deport for good reason ended up becoming citizens. Now it turns out it might be 1,800, and they don’t even know.” (On the issues). Everyone needs a job to survive by paying for bills and other necessities, so Trump hits a sensitive area when he speaks about jobs being taken by immigrants.

Although the sense of emergency caused by this myth can be understood, it is completely false. Contrary to popular belief, immigrants do not take away jobs from American workers. Instead, they create new jobs by forming new businesses, spending their incomes on American goods and services, paying taxes, and raising the productivity of U.S. businesses. Immigrants are good for the economy, not the other way around (American Civil Liberties Union). Immigrants pay more than $90 billion in taxes every year and receive only $5 billion in welfare. Without their contributions to the public treasury, the economy would suffer enormous losses (American Civil Liberties Union).

In conclusion, the DHS is not fulfilling its main purpose. The DHS was created to fight against terrorism after the 9/11 attacks. Recently the DHS has shifted its focus to immigration enforcement. This has led to many human injustices and broken families. Immigrants are deported for unfair, yet lawful reasons, and immigrant children are put into cages and neglected. While all of this is taking place, the rates of mass shootings in the United States is dangerously increasing. The increasing rates show that gun violence is the main threat to American national security. Yet, the DHS is mainly focused on immigration enforcement. This causes one to question whether the DHS is fulfilling its main purpose. The previous analysis shows that the DHS is not fulfilling its main purpose.

Works Cited

  1. Ahmed, Saeed. CNN. 25 May 2018. article. 17 November 2019.
  2. American Civil Liberties Union. ACLU. n.d. 17 November 2019.
  3. Beck, Katherine L. ‘INTERPRETING INJUSTICE: THE.’ Harvard Latino Law Review (2017): 50. pdf.
  4. Gal, Skye Gould, and Shayanne. Insider. 14 November 2019. article. 17 November 2019.
  5. Gonazales, Bill Chappel and Richard. NPR. 14 November 2019. article. 19 November 2019.
  6. Joyner, Kara. ‘Arresting Immigrants: Unemployment and Immigration Enforcement.’ Sinclair library database (2018): 25. pdf.
  7. On the issues. 8 November 2016. article. 17 November 2019.
  8. Sacchetti, Maria. Washington Post. 10 July 2019. article. 17 November 2019.

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Pros and Cons of Homeland Security. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 24, 2023, from
“Pros and Cons of Homeland Security.” Edubirdie, 27 Dec. 2022,
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