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What is Homeland Security?

The term homeland security was not widely used in the United States, if at all, before the Office of Homeland Security’s inception in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks on the nation. After the reorganization and consolidation of nearly 40 governmental agencies, that office would later become the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Homeland security, today, means the efforts to protect the nation from terrorism, as well as minimizing the damage and facilitating the recovery from manmade and natural disasters.

The practice and regulation of homeland security came with the Homeland Security Act of 2002, with DHS becoming operational on January 24, 2003. It now has five departmental missions:

  • Prevent terrorism and enhance security;
  • Secure and manage the nation’s borders;
  • Enforce and administer immigration laws;
  • Safeguard and secure cyberspace; and
  • Ensure resilience to disasters.

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