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U.S. Department of State

Passage of the Homeland Security Act of 2002

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Washington, DC
November 19, 2002

On behalf of the Department of State, I welcome the Senate's passage of President Bush's legislation authorizing a Department of Homeland Security.  We stand ready to work closely with the new Department to ensure that our nation has the best possible protection.

For every nation, including the United States, defense of the homeland begins beyond its borders.  In our increasingly globalized world, terrorists and other adversaries have unprecedented reach and mobility.  To safeguard our citizens in such an environment requires cooperation at all levels local, state and federal.  It also requires us to coordinate our security efforts at home and abroad and to work effectively with our allies and other countries across the globe.  Law enforcement, intelligence, the military, the private sector, ordinary citizens, and certainly the men and women of American diplomacy all have important roles to play.  And the new Department of Homeland Security will greatly strengthen the ability of all elements of our government and society to work in partnership to keep our country safe.

In the months and years ahead, the Department of Homeland Security will have the steadfast support of the Department of State.  We will work with the new Department to identify and prevent terrorists and other adversaries from doing harm, even as we maintain the fundamental openness that gives our democracy its dynamism and vibrancy and makes our country a beacon for international tourists, students, immigrants, and businesspeople.