Report Recommends Reimagining the Role of the Department of Homeland Security

June 23, 2021

A new report released by the Center for American Progress examines the Department of Homeland Security twenty years after its creation and the events of 9/11. Recognizing that the United States faces different challenges than it did in 2001—both from within and beyond its borders—the report presents a new framework for the department that would reduce its focus on law enforcement and countering external threats and recalibrate its missions around safety and service, shifting its focus toward America’s needs instead of its fears.

This brief video outlines the report's recommendations.

Watch the video

The Center for American Progress today issued a major new report and video with key recommendations on how to reform the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the modern era.

The report urges the Biden administration and Congress to update DHS’s mission to elevate its focus on safety and services alongside its traditional protecting roles. This pivot would move the agency toward a model that would better serve the country.

“Recalibrating the DHS mission would provide greater value to Americans and allow the agency and its workforce to play a more effective role in the federal bureaucracy,” said Mara Rudman, executive vice president for policy at CAP. “Policymakers should focus on identifying how the agency can provide maximum return on investment for the American people and define the department’s role in that context.”

The proposed framework for DHS would bring the department’s existing responsibilities into balance and realign its priorities around five new core values—connecting, communicating, facilitating, welcoming, and helping. In recommending this shift, CAP acknowledges that threats to Americans’ safety and security will continue to require a strong and coordinated response from DHS.

Read the report

Public Policy

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