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About the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a full cabinet department of the U.S. federaal government  (a sort of a Ministery of Interior) , created in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks .

The primary responsibilities of the DHS are :

a)      protecting the territory of the U.S. from terrorist attacks and

b)      responding to natural disasters.

In FY 2010 it was allocated a budget of $42.7 billion and spent, net, $56.4 billion.

The Department of Homeland Security works in the civilian sphere to protect the United States within, at, and outside its borders.

Its stated mission is to:

a)      prepare for,

b)      prevent,

c)      and respond to domestic emergencies, particularly terrorism.

On March 1, 2003, DHS absorbed the Immigration and Naturalization Service and assumed its duties. In doing so, it divided the enforcement and services functions into two separate and new agencies: Immigration and Customs Enforcement ICE and the Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Additionally, the border enforcement functions of the INS and  the U.S. Customs Service were consolidated into a new agency under DHS: U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

With more than 200,000 employees, DHS is the third largest Cabinet department within the federal government, after the Departments of Defense and Veteran Affairs.

Homeland Security policy is coordinated at the White House by the Homeland Security Council.

According to analysts, the creation of DHS constituted the most significant U.S. government reorganization since the Cold War, and the most substantial reorganization of U.S. federal agencies since the U.S. National Security Act of 1947.

DHS also constitutes the most diverse merger of federal functions and responsibilities, incorporating 22 government agencies into a single organization.