The most useful piece of legislation to the Department of Homeland Security is the USA Patriot Act. According to our textbook, the act expanded or altered historic restrictions to information sharing, roving wiretaps, foreign intelligence and wire taps, sneak and peek warrants, and material support (Nemeth, 2016, p. 82). The USA Patriot Act is very controversial because it requires us to balance our rights and freedoms for the sake of security. When it was first proposed and authorized we were still feeling the effects of the terror attacks of September 11th and were focused on fighting terror by any means possible. The act has been reauthorized over the years and continues to be controversial. Despite this, the act gives important powers to law enforcement to help protect citizens from threats they may not even be aware of.
Homeland security should include what is deemed emergency management functions in addition to focusing on terrorism. Whether it is an act of terrorism or a hurricane, when a disaster occurs an emergency response is warranted. Emergency management plays a vital role in homeland security from threats of nature. Being left under the department of homeland security allows emergency management to be included in budgets and receive funding.
The three biggest threats to our homeland are cyber security, narcotic interdiction at the borders, and the current response to COVID-19. Cyber security has and will continue to be an important concern as technology continues to advance and criminals are finding new ways to commit crimes. Narcotic interdiction is important because of the current Opioid crisis that is affecting American’s throughout the nation. They could be affected by one of their own family members having an addiction to having an increase in crime in their neighborhood as a result of persons with addiction. The DHS website states, “While DHS focuses primarily on supply reduction, we recognize that demand reduction is a critical element in the U.S. government’s comprehensive efforts to combat opioid abuse” (DHS, 2019). Lastly, COVID-19 has been the biggest threat to our nation and the response by the DHS include the United States Coast Guard (USCG), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD), FEMA, TSA, science and technology, ICE, CBP, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) (DHS, 2019). The efforts come in the form of monitoring vessels that pose a risk to public health to delivering life saving PPE to many more efforts. Proverbs 24:11 (ESV) states “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.” Through its various functions the department of homeland security works to help those who are in danger from things such as natural disasters to terrorism to things such as opioid addiction. As Christians God tells us to rescue those in need and the ultimate mission of the department of homeland security is to do just that.
Department of Homeland Security. (2019). In Focus. https://www.dhs.gov/opioids
Bottom of Form