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DHS | Department of Homeland Security U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Remarks by Secretary Tom Ridge at DHS Employees Event in Selfridge, Michigan

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 19, 2003
* Remarks as Prepared *

[ ... ]

Let's look at a typical day in homeland security:

[ ... ]

At our airports, seaports and border crossings, our agents and inspectors - hundreds more than before 9-11 -- will process more than one million passengers, arriving in 323,000 vehicles, 580 vessels and 2,400 aircraft.

They will inspect 57,000 trucks and containers, using state-of-the-art scanners and detectors provided by this year's budget -- not to mention 1,200 dog teams, which technology can never replace!

They will seize nearly 5,000 pounds of narcotics, nearly half a million dollars in illegal merchandise, and more than $700,000 in illegal currency on a typical day.

And they will apprehend more than 2,600 people trying to cross illegally into the United States.  That number has gone down this year, perhaps because our improved security is sending the right message.

[ ... ]

The Department's employees perform other duties not directly related to the terrorist threat, but are no less important to this nation.

For instance, we'll provide 1,000 students and school administrators with information on how to survive a tornado.  We'll help communities save $2.7 million in damage through flood plain management.  And we'll help more than 200 Americans recover from disasters through low-interest loans, insurance and temporary housing.

Finally, we will naturalize, on average, 1,900 new citizens -- people drawn by the American way of life that you and I work so hard to protect.

That way of life is based on the individual - individuals with the freedom to make the right choices.

At the end of the day, that's what homeland security, comes down to as well.  Individuals free to make decisions, but held accountable for them.

[ ... ]