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DHS | Department of Homeland Security U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Fact Sheet: A Day in the Life of Homeland Security

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 19, 2003

The Department of Homeland Security has one mission but uses many tools and areas of expertise to accomplish our goal of securing the homeland. On any given day, we perform a variety of different tasks and functions to make America safer and our citizens more secure. Although our responsibilities are varied, we are united in a common purpose - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Below is a sampling of what the men and women of DHS do in a day.

Today, Customs and Border Protection agents will:

  • Process over 1.1 million passengers arriving into our nation's airports and seaports
  • Inspect over 57,006 trucks and containers, 580 vessels, 2,459 aircraft, and 323,622 vehicles coming into this country
  • Execute over 64 arrests
  • Seize 4,639 pounds of narcotics in 118 narcotics seizures
  • Seize an average of $715,652 in currency in 11 seizures
  • Seize an average of  $23,083 in arms and ammunition and $467,118 in merchandise
  • Deploy 1200 dog teams to aid inspections
  • Make 5,479 pre-departure seizures of prohibited agricultural items
  • Apprehend 2,617 people crossing illegally into the United States  
  • Rescue 3 people illegally crossing the border in dangerous conditions
  • Deploy 350,000 vehicles, 108 aircraft, 118 horses on equestrian patrol, and 480 all-terrain vehicles
  • Utilize 238 Remote Video Surveillance Systems, each system using 1-4 cameras to transmit images to a central location
  • Maintain the integrity of 5,525 miles of border with Canada and 1,989 miles of border with Mexico


Today, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will:

  • Make 217 arrests on immigration-related violations
  • Make 41 arrests on customs violations
  • Remove 407 criminal aliens and other illegal aliens
  • Investigate 12 cases involving unauthorized employment threatening critical infrastructure
  • Participate in 24 drug seizures resulting in the seizure of 5,511 pounds of marijuana, 774 pounds of cocaine, and 16 pounds of heroin
  • Make seven currency seizures, totaling $478,927
  • Make grand jury appearances resulting in the indictment of a combination of 32  people and companies
  • Launch 20 vessels in support of marine operations protecting the territorial seas of Puerto Rico, South Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and Southern California
  • Fly 25 surveillance flights supporting criminal investigations in Puerto Rico and the Continental United States
  • Disseminate 80 criminal investigative leads to field offices
  • Review 1,200 classified intelligence cables
  • Protect over 8,000 federal facilities
  • Screen over 1 million Federal employees and visitors entering Federal facilities
  • Make 6 arrests for criminal offenses on Federal property
  • Intercept 18 weapons from entering Federal facilities to include firearms, knives, and box cutters

Today, TSA employees will:

  • Screen approximately 1.5 million passengers before they board commercial aircraft
  • Intercept 2 firearms.  In the month of May, TSA intercepted nearly 516,000 prohibited items, including 50 firearms.  
  • Deploy thousands of federal air marshals to protect the skies  

Today, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center will:

  • Provide law enforcement training for more than 3,500 federal officers and agents from 75 different federal agencies

Today, the Office for Domestic Preparedness will:

  • Disburse millions of dollars to states and cities across the country

Today, U.S. Coast Guard units will:

  • Save 10 lives  
  • Assist 192 people in distress
  • Protect $2.8 million in property
  • Interdict 14 illegal migrants at sea  
  • Conduct 109 search and rescue cases  
  • Seize $9.6 million of illegal drugs  
  • Respond to 20 oil and hazardous chemical spills  
  • Conduct 50 Port Security Patrols
  • Conduct 20 Homeland Security Air Patrols
  • Board 2 high interest vessels
  • Escort 8 vessels, such as cruise ships or high interest ships, in and out of port
  • Embark Sea Marshals on 2 vessels
  • Maintain over 90 security zones around key infrastructure in major ports or coastal areas
  • Educate 502 people in Boating Safety Courses    

Today the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services will:

  • Provide information and services to approximately 225,000 customers in one of its 250 field locations every day
  • Respond to 75,000 daily calls to its 1-800 customer service number
  • Naturalize approximately 1,900 new citizens every day
  • Process approximately 19,000 applications for a variety of immigration related benefits

Today, FEMA employees will:

  • Provide an average of $917,808 in grants to America's fire departments through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program
  • Provide 11,305 fire education publications through FEMA's U.S. Fire Administration to help Americans better prevent and respond to fires
  • Improve the effectiveness of 220 fire service personnel through courses offered by FEMA's National Fire Academy
  • Help protect 1,000 students at risk for tornadoes by providing their school administrators with information about how to properly construct tornado shelters
  • Provide critical preparedness, prevention, response and recovery information through the FEMA website, , to Americans who view the site 2.5 million times each day
  • Provide 4,000 people per day volunteer opportunities to help better prepare their communities through Citizen Corps at its website,  The site receives 36,000 hits per day
  • Help save $2.7 million in damages from flooding across the country through DHS flood plain management
  • Spend $10.6 million to help communities respond and recover from disasters
  • Help protect an additional 104 homes from the devastating effects of flooding through flood insurance policies issued by the National Flood Insurance Program
  • Help 224 Americans recover from disasters by providing direct federal disaster relief assistance in the forms of low-interest loans, unemployment insurance, crisis counseling and temporary housing
  • Partner with the Small Business Administration to provide almost 60 low-interest loans worth approximately $3.6 million to help America's businesses recover from disasters
  • Distribute $45,243 to state and local governments through FEMA's Emergency Management Performance Grants to help develop, maintain and improve their emergency management capabilities
  • Distribute $51,506 through FEMA's Community Emergency Response Team grants to help state emergency managers initiative, organize, train and maintain teams of citizens who are qualified to assist in responding to disasters
  • Distribute $221,917 through FEMA's Emergency Operations Center grants to state governments to help them develop and improve emergency management facilities
  • Distribute $218,493 through FEMA's Interoperable Communications Equipment grants to help develop and support communications interoperability among first responders and public safety emergency officials

Today, DHS Science and Technology employees will:

  • Receive approximately 27 new homeland security technology proposals from large and small businesses
  • Receive an average of 6 homeland security technology proposals submitted via the email address
  • Meet with an average of 4 industry leaders to discuss new technologies to protect the homeland

Today, DHS Information Analysis and Infrastructure Protection employees will:

  • Receive and review 500 cyber security reports from Internet security firms, government organizations, private companies and foreign governments
  • Review more than a 1,000 pieces of intelligence from the intelligence community and law enforcement agencies
  • Distribute 4 information bulletins or warning products to critical infrastructure about vulnerability assessments, risk reduction and protective measures

Today, the United States Secret Service will:

  • Protect dozens of high profile government officials including the President, the Vice President, visiting heads of state, and former Presidents
  • Suppress 2 counterfeit operations
  • Open 23 new financial investigations