• GOP lawmakers boycott DHS nominee hearing

    Senate Republicans boycotted a hearing last Thursday to consider President Obama’s nominee for deputy DHS secretary. Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman Tom Carper (D-Delaware) refused a request by GOP lawmakers for a delay in the hearing because of concerns about Alejandro Mayorkas, the current head of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agency. Mayorkas is under DHS IG investigation for authorizing an EB-5 investor visa to a Chinese businessman who was supposed to invest in a green-tech car company founded by Terry McAuliffe, the current Democratic candidate for the Virginia governorship, and represented by Anthony Rodham, Hillary Clinton’s brother. The visa application had been twice denied by USCIS before Mayorkas’s intervention.

  • DHS hobbled by vacancies at top positions

    Janet Napolitano’s departure from DHS has left the agency’s top spot open, but it is not the only position currently open. Fifteen top positions at the agency are now open, or will be in the near future. Some of these posts are filled on a temporary basis, including deputy secretary. Lawmakers are increasingly frustrated that the vacancies are not being filled, and want the Obama administration to move more energetically on the issue.

  • Candidate for DHS deputy secretary under IG investigation

    Alejandro Mayorkas, the director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has been named by the DHS Inspector General (IG) office as a target in an investigation of the foreign investor program run by the USCIS. Mayorkas is President Obama’s choice for the deputy secretary post at DHS. If Mayorkas is confirmed as deputy secretary, he would most likely serve as acting secretary of DHS until a full-time replacement for Janet Napolitano is confirmed.

  • Search begins for Napolitano’s successor

    DHS is the third-largest federal department, with a budget of $48 billion and a staff of more than 240,000. The names circulating as possible replacements for the departing Janet Napolitano include current and former lawmakers, police chiefs, and people with security experience.

  • Napolitano leaving DHS post

    DHS secretary Janet Napolitano announced earlier today that she would be leaving her post in early September to become president of the University of California system. Napolitano served as DHS chief during a contentious and event-filled period which saw her department dealing with issues such as immigration, border security, the Boston bombing, Superstorm Sandy, and deadly tornadoes in the Midwest.

  • U.S. infrastructure grade raised from D to a D+, but problems loom

    The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), in its just-released 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, gave the U.S. infrastructure an overall grade of D+, showing slight progress from the D in the last Report Card issued in 2009. The Report Card concludes that to raise the grades and get U.S. infrastructure to an acceptable level, a total investment of $3.6 trillion is needed by 2020. Currently, only about $2 trillion in infrastructure spending is projected, leaving a shortfall of approximately $1.6 trillion.

  • Budget pressures lead Nevada to reduces state’s anti-terrorism programs

    The Nevada Homeland Security Commission, faced with a 60 percent cut in federal homeland security funds, drastically reduced the state’s anti-terrorism programs; six programs eliminated, while remaining programs will have to manage with less

  • N.J. city augments surveillance cameras with spotlights

    Over the next three months, the East Orange police department will connect high-powered spotlights to their surveillance camera system, so that when camera operators spot suspicious activity they can turn on the bright lights of justice and deter would be criminals

  • Bipartisan panel calls for local emphasis in DHS intelligence

    A new report by a bipartisan group of security experts argues that DHS should shift its intelligence gathering efforts away from foreign enemies and focus on local threats by working with law enforcement agencies and the private sector to secure critical infrastructure, the border, and cities from domestic threats

  • Police chiefs at White House to discuss domestic radicalization

    Law enforcement officials from state and local agencies across the United States gathered on Wednesday at the White House to discuss the delicate balance between safeguarding against domestic extremism and maintaining the trust of the residents they serve