What is the US Department of Homeland Security?
If you are planning to immigrate to the United States you will have to deal with the Department of Homeland Security. This is an agency that has a great deal of power when it comes to the nations security and that includes over who is allowed to enter the country. For this reason it is important that you understand what the Department of Homeland Security is and what they do.
The Department of Homeland Security is the government agency that is assigned the job of protecting the United States. They do not include the military but they do include most of the civilian agencies that are required to do this. The department was created after the September 11 terrorist attacks when it became clear that having all of the different agencies that were required to protect the country run by different government departments was not working as well as it needed to be. The idea was that it should allow for better coordination.
From the perspective of potential immigrants the most important part of the Department of Homeland Security is the Citizenship and Immigration Service. Their job is to determine who is allowed to immigrate to the United States. As part of the reorganization that occurred a new agency called Immigration and Customs Enforcement was also created in an attempt to crack down on illegal immigration.
The reason that the immigration service was included in Homeland Security is that it has become necessary to make sure that the people who are coming to the United States are not a threat. In the past the big concern was whether or not a potential immigrant will be able to get a job, now it is whether or not they are a terrorist. As a result the background checks are much more thorough than they used to be. This has a few effects on potential immigrants, first of all it takes a lot longer to get approved than it used to. The other effect is that it is much more important to be able to document everything that you put on your application. The mere suspicion that you might represent a threat is enough to keep you out.
Because it is now so hard to get into the US a lot of people are resorting immigrating illegally. This is why a new service was created to catch illegal immigrants. It is a little bit odd in the way that it works, they are pretty good at catching people trying to sneak across the border but not at all good at finding illegal immigrants inside the country. This is a big part of why so many people try to sneak in, if you can make it across the border your chances of being caught are quite low. That being said there are severe penalties if you are caught so it really isn't worth risk.