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01/17/2022   Sophos Security
Found love online? Sending them money? Friends and family warning you it could be a scam? Don't be too quick to dismiss their concerns...
01/14/2022   Department of Homeland Security

Colleagues,

On Monday, people across the United States will pause to honor the life of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This is a moment for all of us to reflect on Dr. King’s vision and consider how his message of nonviolence and his pursuit of justice can remain a part of our Department’s daily work to keep our communities safe and secure.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is also a National Day of Service. For our extraordinary DHS workforce – for all of you – service is a part of who we are. We demonstrate it by doing our jobs and always answering the call.

In the spirit of this day, I will join our partners at On Ramps to Careers and Urban Alliance to engage with youth from across the country, including those here in Washington, D.C. Some of these remarkable young people are serving, or have served, as interns at DHS. Through their willingness to step up and strengthen our communities and our country, they embody the spirit of Dr. King.

As we mark MLK Day, I hope you will take the time to find a volunteer opportunity or service project in your area. Please visit MLK Day | AmeriCorps to learn more. Many of you, of course, will be marking the day by serving in your DHS role; we in DHS safeguard our homeland every single day.

As Dr. King stated, “The time is always right to do what is right.” Thank you for everything you do to honor Dr. King and strengthen our nation.

 

Alejandro N. Mayorkas
Secretary of Homeland Security

With honor and integrity, we will safeguard the American people, our homeland, and our values.

Keywords: Employee Resource, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics:
01/14/2022   Sophos Security
Imagine if someone who didn't have your password could sneakily modify data that was encrypted with it.
01/14/2022   Sophos Security
The Russian Federal Security Bureau has just published a report about the investigation and arrest of the infamous "REvil" ransomware crew.
01/13/2022   Sophos Security
Latest episode -listen to it or read it now!
01/12/2022   Sophos Security
One bug in the January 2022 Patch Tuesday list is getting lots of attention: "HTTP Protocol Stack Remote Code Execution Vulnerability".
01/12/2022   Department of Homeland Security

WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the creation of a new Climate Change Professionals Program to recruit recent graduates and current federal employees to support the Department’s growing focus on adapting to climate change and improving resilience.  The program is one of many new activities under the umbrella of the DHS Climate Change Action Group, established in 2021 by Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. 

“The Climate Change Professionals Program will be instrumental in helping the Department adapt to our changing climate by providing hands-on experience and guidance to young professionals interested in climate adaptation and resilience,” said Secretary Mayorkas.  “This program will develop the next generation of climate experts, improve climate literacy throughout the Department, and help us execute our Climate Action Plan to remain mission-resilient while reducing our own impacts on the environment.” 

This two-year program will be run by the DHS Office of the Chief Readiness Support Officer and provide participants with hands-on opportunities to contribute to new initiatives that have the potential to substantially help DHS adapt to climate change and improve resilience.  Upon successful completion of the program, participants will receive a Climate Change Professional accreditation from the Association of Climate Change Officers and be eligible for permanent, full-time positions at DHS. 

Participants in the program will work under the leadership of the Climate Change Action Group.  The CCAG is comprised of senior officials from across the Department and focuses on promoting resilience and addressing multiple climate change-related risks, including flooding, extreme heat, drought, and wildfires. 

The Climate Change Professionals Program is part of the Secretary’s Honors Program, which was launched in July 2021 to recruit recent graduates and current federal employees with degrees in relevant fields for professional development programs at DHS.  Climate change is the second field included in the Secretary’s Honors Program, following the launch of the cybersecurity program last year. 

Interested applicants can view the first job postings for the Climate Change Professionals Program on the DHS is Hiring webpage.  To learn more about DHS’s climate commitment, visit DHS Actions: Climate Change

Keywords: Climate, Climate Change, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics: Homeland Security Careers, Secretary of Homeland Security
01/11/2022   Sophos Security
Got a router that supports USB access across the network? You might need a kernel update...
01/11/2022   Sophos Security
Two popular open source JavaScript packages recently got "hacked" in a symbolic gesture by the original project creator.
01/08/2022   Sophos Security
Where were YOU on the night of 17 May 2002? And what about the day after that?
01/07/2022   Sophos Security
"It's Log4Shell, Jim, but not as we know it." How to find and fix a JNDI-based vuln in the H2 Database Engine.
01/07/2022   Department of Homeland Security

New integrated financial, procurement, and asset management system improves DHS resource management

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Management Directorate announced that the United States Coast Guard (USCG) has recently transitioned to an updated integrated financial, procurement, and asset management system, called the Financial System Modernization Solution (FSMS). The new system includes automated and integrated controls, a common appropriations structure and accounting line, standard business practices, up-to-date security, and functionality that will assist the USCG in overseeing their annual budget of more than $12 billion more efficiently and effectively.

“Modernizing our financial support systems is vital to the Department of Homeland Security and is one of our top priorities,” said Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Chief Financial Officer Stacy Marcott. “The new system will vastly improve the U.S. Coast Guard’s business systems, help employees be more productive, and allow them to achieve more reliable results when paying bills, procuring goods and services, reporting and managing budgets, and much more.”

The DHS Financial Systems Modernization initiative works by updating legacy financial systems to provide greater security, data integrity, efficiency, and flexibility. These improvements will lead to more accurate reporting, therefore improving transparency and accountability.

“This is truly the beginning of a new era for the United States Coast Guard’s Financial Management and Procurement Services,” says Rear Admiral Mark Fedor, Assistant Commandant for Resources & Chief Financial Officer, U.S. Coast Guard. “I’m honored to help lead the Coast Guard through this financial transformation and confident the Service will be more efficient, adaptable to our dynamic operational environment, and better stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars. Hundreds of people have invested thousands of hours to make this vision a reality, so it’s fitting to celebrate this milestone achievement.”

USCG is the third DHS component to transition to FSMS. In October 2019, the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) made the transition, and in October of 2020, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) also successfully transitioned to the new system.

Keywords: Financial Services Sector, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)
Topics: Homeland Security Enterprise
01/06/2022   Sophos Security
We're back for 2022 - listen now!
01/06/2022   Department of Homeland Security

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working with its federal, state, local, and non-governmental partners to support the needs of the areas affected by the devastating wildfires in Colorado.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) remind the public that sites that provide emergency response and relief are considered protected areas for purposes of ICE and CBP enforcement actions. To the fullest extent possible, ICE and CBP do not conduct enforcement activities at protected areas such as along evacuation routes, sites used for sheltering or the distribution of emergency supplies, food or water, or registration sites for disaster-related assistance or the reunification of families and loved ones.

At the request of FEMA or local and state authorities, ICE and CBP may help conduct search and rescue, air traffic de-confliction, and other public safety missions. ICE and CBP provide emergency assistance to individuals regardless of their immigration status and are not also conducting immigration enforcement in these roles. DHS officials do not and will not pose as individuals providing emergency-related information as part of any immigration enforcement activities.

DHS encourages all eligible individuals to apply for and seek out assistance. Please go to www.disasterassistance.gov/get-assistance/forms for instructions on how to apply for FEMA disaster assistance. DHS is aware that some disaster survivors may fear applying for FEMA assistance due to their immigration status. FEMA does not collect information regarding the immigration status of an applicant or any member of an applicant’s household and does not proactively provide personal information to ICE or CBP for immigration enforcement. However, in rare circumstances, based on a specific request, ICE or CBP could request this information if a person poses a current threat to national security or public safety based upon an articulable risk of death, violence, or physical harm to any person. Please see, FACT SHEET: Citizenship Status and Eligibility for Disaster Assistance FAQ.

If individuals believe that the emergency event may affect their U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) application, petition, or immigration status, they should contact USCIS or go to www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/special-situations for more information.

DHS is committed to ensuring that every individual who seeks shelter, aid, or other assistance as a result of the wildfires is able to do so regardless of their immigration status. DHS carries out its mission without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, national origin, or political associations, and in compliance with law and policy.

Keywords: Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
Topics: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
01/04/2022   InfoWorld Security

If 2020 was the year that we became acutely aware of the consumer goods supply chain (toilet paper, anyone? Anyone?), then 2021 was the year that the software supply chain rose in our collective consciousness. In perhaps the most infamous attack of the year, thousands of customers, including several US government agencies, downloaded compromised SolarWinds updates.

Alas, SolarWinds was not alone. Indeed, the weaknesses in our software supply chain were all too evident with the recent Log4j vulnerability. Log4j is a widely used open source Java logging framework, so the vulnerability has put tens of thousands of applications (ranging from data storage services to online video games) at risk.

To read this article in full, please click here

12/31/2021   Department of Homeland Security

WASHINGTON — Yesterday, the last group of Afghan nationals temporarily housed at Fort Bliss, Texas as part of Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) departed the base. Fort Bliss is the third of eight Department of Defense (DOD) installations supporting the resettlement of Afghan nationals that are also known as “safe havens” to complete operations. To date, more than 52,000 Afghan evacuees have been resettled in communities across the country. These resettlement efforts are led by the Department of State in close coordination with more than 290 local resettlement affiliates.

“The end of operations at Fort Bliss marks another important step in our mission to safely and successfully resettle our Afghan allies. We are thankful for the partnership the local communities have forged with our teams and their support for this historic effort,” said Robert J. Fenton, Jr., Senior Response Official for Operation Allies Welcome. “We have made incredible progress over the last four months thanks to the dedication of our workforce and the backing Operation Allies Welcome has received from veterans, faith groups, non-governmental organizations, and Americans across the country. This is truly a whole-of-society effort to support the people who supported our Nation over the last twenty years.”

DOD continues to provide temporary housing facilities for the remaining approximately 22,500 vulnerable Afghans who are in the process of completing their resettlement while at the following five military installations: Camp Atterbury, Indiana; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico; Fort Pickett, Virginia; and Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. While on these installations, Afghan evacuees have access to a range of services, including medical care and resettlement services, and they can apply for work authorization.

“I am incredibly proud of the military men and women of Task Force Bliss and the entire interagency team who enabled the resettlement of approximately 11,400 Afghan evacuees,” said Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, commander of U.S. Northern Command. “Over the past four months, our service members at this and other military installations provided essential support to Operation Allies Welcome for this important mission, ensuring Afghan nationals had what was needed while they completed resettlement requirements and prepared to transition to their new communities across America. As Task Force Bliss concludes its support, the service members and the entire team should take pride in the professionalism, selflessness, and empathy they demonstrated as they carried out this incredibly complex endeavor.”

As of December 31, the U.S. has welcomed more than 75,000 Afghans to the United States through Operation Allies Welcome, providing them with support and assistance as they begin their new lives in America – and we are prepared to welcome additional qualifying Afghans over the coming weeks and months. Prior to entering the United States, Afghan evacuees must successfully complete a rigorous, multi-layered screening and vetting process that includes biometric and biographic screenings conducted by intelligence, law enforcement, and counterterrorism professionals from multiple federal agencies. Afghan evacuees also receive critical vaccinations – which include measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), varicella, polio, COVID-19, and others – as a condition of their humanitarian parole. All OAW arrivals are tested for COVID-19.

Those who are interested in supporting the resettlement of vulnerable Afghans can go to www.welcome.us to learn more about how to get involved. Welcome.US is a national non-profit initiative to welcome and support Afghan nationals as they rebuild their lives in communities across America. Groups of individuals and community organizations can also apply to form a sponsor circle to directly support arriving Afghan evacuees. For more information on the Sponsor Circle Program and to learn how to apply to form a sponsor circle, visit www.sponsorcircles.org.

###

Operation Allies Welcome is the coordinated effort across the federal government to support and resettle vulnerable Afghans, including those who worked on behalf of the United States.  For more information, visit www.dhs.gov/allieswelcome

Keywords: Operation Allies Welcome
Topics:
12/28/2021   InfoWorld Security

Ten years ago, many CIOs had a negative opinion about cloud computing; few CIOs landed on the positive side. Cloud subject matter experts like me got walked out of the building on a regular basis. 

These days it’s a career killer to not leverage cloud computing. Most CIOs now have at least 20% of their applications and data moved to the cloud with 10% to 15% scheduled to move in the next year or so.

With that shift in thinking, CIOs are now all in with cloud computing. However, I still hear some common complaints these days. Here are the gifts most cloud-using CIOs want to receive in 2022:

To read this article in full, please click here

12/27/2021   InfoWorld Security

Earlier this month, security researchers uncovered a series of major vulnerabilities in the Log4j Java software that is used in tens of thousands of web applications. The code is widely used across consumer and enterprise systems, in everything from Minecraft, Steam, and iCloud to Fortinet and Red Hat systems. One analyst estimate millions of endpoints could be at risk.

Log4j is just the latest in a series of software supply chain attacks, including SolarWinds (which had a compromised build process) and Kaseya (where attackers had substituted malware-laced code).

To read this article in full, please click here

12/23/2021   Department of Homeland Security

WASHINGTON — Yesterday, the last group of Afghan nationals temporarily housed at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia as part of Operation Allies Welcome (OAW) departed the base. Marine Corps Base Quantico is the second of eight Department of Defense (DOD) installations supporting the resettlement of Afghan nationals that are also known as “safe havens” to complete operations. To date, more than 49,000 Afghan evacuees have been resettled in communities across our country. These resettlement efforts are led by the Department of State in close coordination with more than 290 local resettlement affiliates.

“As another one of our safe haven locations completes operations, we remain steadfast in our commitment to safely welcome our Afghan allies to the United States,” said Robert J. Fenton, Jr., Senior Response Official for Operation Allies Welcome. “With operations now completed at Marine Corps Base Quantico, I would like to thank all the federal staff, servicemembers, and volunteers who made it possible for more than 49,000 Afghan evacuees to begin to rebuild their lives in America. We are grateful for the support the local community has shown our Afghan allies and the staff working with them throughout this historic effort.” 

DOD continues to provide temporary housing facilities for the remaining approximately 25,000 vulnerable Afghans who are in the process of completing their resettlement while at the following six safe havens: Camp Atterbury, Indiana; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey; Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Pickett, Virginia; and Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. While on these military installations, Afghan evacuees have access to a range of services, including medical care and resettlement services, and they can apply for work authorization.

“Over the past four months, the men and women in uniform at Task Force Quantico have provided unflagging support to Operation Allies Welcome, working with myriad partners enabling the successful resettlement of more than 49,000 Afghans into their new communities throughout the United States,” said Gen. Glen D. VanHerck, commander of U.S. Northern Command.  “I met with service members, interagency partners, and volunteers at each of the eight military installations that supported Operation Allies Welcome over the course of the mission. In every instance, l was impressed with the incredible professionalism and compassion displayed, and I am extraordinarily proud of what members of DOD did to contribute to a brighter future for these Afghans.

As of December 23, the U.S. has welcomed more than 75,000 Afghans to the United States through Operation Allies Welcome, providing them with support and assistance as they begin their new lives in America – and we are prepared to welcome additional qualifying Afghans over the coming weeks and months. Prior to entering the United States, Afghan evacuees must successfully complete a rigorous, multi-layered screening and vetting process that includes biometric and biographic screenings conducted by intelligence, law enforcement, and counterterrorism professionals from multiple federal agencies. Afghan evacuees also receive critical vaccinations – which include measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), varicella, polio, COVID-19, and others – as a condition of their humanitarian parole. All OAW arrivals are tested for COVID-19.

Those who are interested in supporting the resettlement of vulnerable Afghans can go to www.welcome.us to learn more about how to get involved. Welcome.US is a national non-profit initiative to welcome and support Afghan nationals as they rebuild their lives in communities across America. Groups of individuals and community organizations can also apply to form a sponsor circle to directly support arriving Afghan evacuees. For more information on the Sponsor Circle Program and to learn how to apply to form a sponsor circle, visit www.sponsorcircles.org.

Keywords: Operation Allies Welcome
Topics:
12/21/2021   InfoWorld Security

As with many zero-day vulnerabilities, organizations are scrambling to identify and remediate the impact of the Log4Shell vulnerability in Log4j. This particular vulnerability is extraordinarily dangerous because it was found in a pervasive library and is easy to exploit. One critical element here is that it was already being actively exploited before details were made public, making time of the essence.

Once security and application teams catch their collective breath after round-the-clock remediation efforts, they will conduct retrospectives and reviews to identify ways to better prepare for the next zero-day vulnerability, because there will be a next one. In this new environment, the software bill of materials (SBOM) is becoming a vital security imperative that enables visibility as software moves across the supply chain. Organizations must act now to establish a critical new capability: SBOM management.

To read this article in full, please click here

12/21/2021   Department of Homeland Security

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a pilot program in select cities where ICE law enforcement officers will begin to wear body worn cameras for pre-planned operations.

“With its body worn camera pilot, ICE is making an important statement that transparency and accountability are essential components of our ability to fulfill our law enforcement mission and keep communities safe,” said Secretary Mayorkas.  “The Department will continue to seek ways to ensure the safety and security of our workforce, our state and local partners, and the public, while at the same time building confidence with the communities we serve.”

The deployment of body worn cameras will occur in phases throughout the United States, beginning with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents and to be followed by Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers at a later date.  The HSI pilot locations are Houston, TX; New York City, N.Y.; and Newark, N.J.  The HSI phase of the pilot will be conducted with members of the special response teams (SRT) that operate as a federal special weapons and tactics (SWAT) element for the office’s area of responsibility.

“The body worn camera pilot is an effort to increase transparency between ICE and the communities we serve, enhance officer safety, and deliver on our commitment to accountability,” said Acting ICE Director Tae D. Johnson.  “Safety of both ICE personnel and the public are the primary consideration when implementing these new technologies and tools.”

ICE personnel participating in the pilot program received training on the proper use of the devices, adherence to the ICE Directive outlining the pilot program, legal considerations, and privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties safeguards, as well as training on data uploading, storage, retention, and tagging.  The body worn camera will be mounted on an officer’s or agent’s outerwear (e.g., vest, shirt, or helmet).

The use of body worn cameras will enhance ICE operations, including at-large arrests and searches incident to arrest; execution of search warrants; and questioning of individuals encountered in the field.  Body worn cameras are expected to increase the transparency of ICE in communities, as footage may be used in assessments of police conduct, including in instances where force was used.  Additionally, footage can be used for non-investigative purposes, including for training and assessing officer performance. 

ICE recently posted a privacy impact assessment by the DHS Office of Privacy detailing the broader implementation of body worn cameras. ICE looks forward to expanding the body worn camera pilot to ERO in the near future.  The timing of the ERO pilot is dependent on the conclusion of negotiations with the ERO union.

HSI is a directorate of ICE and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move.  HSI agents investigate a wide array of transnational crime, including terrorism; narcotics smuggling; child exploitation; human smuggling and trafficking; illegal exports of controlled technology and weapons; money laundering; financial fraud and scams; labor exploitation; cybercrime; intellectual property theft and trade fraud; identity and benefit fraud; and human rights violations and war crimes.

Keywords: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics:
12/21/2021   Department of Homeland Security

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is working with its federal, state, local, and non-governmental partners to support the needs of the areas affected by the devastating severe weather and tornadoes in Kentucky and throughout the South and Midwest. DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell traveled to Kentucky on Sunday, December 12, 2021, and Wednesday, December 15, 2021, to meet with local and commonwealth officials and survey the damaged areas.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) remind the public that sites that provide emergency response and relief are considered protected areas for purposes of ICE and CBP enforcement actions. To the fullest extent possible, ICE and CBP do not conduct enforcement activities at protected areas such as along evacuation routes, sites used for sheltering or the distribution of emergency supplies, food or water, or registration sites for disaster-related assistance or the reunification of families and loved ones.

At the request of FEMA or local and state authorities, ICE and CBP may help conduct search and rescue, air traffic de-confliction, and other public safety missions. ICE and CBP provide emergency assistance to individuals regardless of their immigration status and are not also conducting immigration enforcement in these roles. DHS officials do not and will not pose as individuals providing emergency-related information as part of any immigration enforcement activities.

DHS encourages all eligible individuals to apply for and seek out assistance. Please go to www.disasterassistance.gov/get-assistance/forms for instructions on how to apply for FEMA disaster assistance.

DHS is aware that some disaster survivors may fear applying for FEMA assistance due to their immigration status. FEMA does not collect information regarding immigration status or that of any member of an applicant’s household and does not proactively provide personal information to ICE or CBP for immigration enforcement. However, in rare circumstances, based on a specific request, ICE or CBP could request this information if a person poses a current threat to national security or public safety based upon an articulable risk of death, violence, or physical harm to any person. Please see, FACT SHEET: Citizenship Status and Eligibility for Disaster Assistance FAQ.

If individuals believe that the emergency event may affect their U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) application, petition, or immigration status, they should contact USCIS or go to www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/special-situations for more information.

DHS is committed to ensuring that every individual who seeks shelter, aid, or other assistance as a result of the severe weather is able to do so regardless of their immigration status. DHS carries out its mission without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, national origin, or political associations, and in compliance with law and policy.

View translations of this press release.

 

Keywords: Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
Topics:
12/20/2021   Department of Homeland Security

WASHINGTON – Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas authorized U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to move forward with activities necessary to address life, safety, environmental, and remediation requirements for border barrier projects previously undertaken by the Department of Defense (DoD) and located within the Border Patrol’s San Diego, El Centro, Yuma, Tucson, El Paso, and Del Rio Sectors.  The activities will be undertaken in accordance with the Department’s plan for the use of border barrier funds.  

In furtherance of Presidential Proclamation 10142, the Deputy Secretary of Defense directed the cancellation of all DoD 284 Projects.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), on behalf of DoD, is in the process of terminating the construction contracts for these projects.  As part of that process, DoD will turn over unfinished projects to DHS in various stages of completion to undertake activities necessary to address urgent life, safety, environmental, or other remediation required to protect border communities. 

Activities include but are not limited to: 

  • Completing and/or installing drainage to prevent flooding.  
  • Installing and completing permanent erosion control and slope stabilization measures to ensure the safety and stability of structures in the region.  
  • Completing prior construction of patrol, maintenance, and access roads by adding guardrails, signage, and integrating existing roadways to address safety concerns. 
  • Remediating temporary use areas such as laydown yards, haul roads, and project areas impacted by construction. 
  • Disposing of residual materials not required for completion of the work as identified above.   
  • Closing small gaps that remain open from prior construction activities and remediating incomplete gates. 

The type of work that is required will vary by Sector and will be executed with available funding in priority locations identified by CBP.  A large majority of the incomplete DoD 284 Projects are located within the Tucson Sector.  Following a safety analysis by CBP in the Tucson Sector, work to address life, safety, environmental, or other remediation requirements will begin.   

Work will be completed within the Tucson, El Paso, and Yuma Sectors to address safety concerns by closing construction access gaps that were left open at the time of the border barrier construction pause, and will also include adding missing gates, addressing incomplete foundations, and connecting power to gates that are already hung but are currently inoperable.  Rescue gates provide access for Border Patrol agents and first responders to access irrigation canals in emergency situations where the water is fast moving and extremely dangerous.  These emergency rescue gates are currently inoperable due to missing hardware or being welded shut.    

CBP will assess additional remediation needs in the San Diego, El Centro, Yuma, El Paso, and Del Rio Sectors and will prioritize completion of drainage and erosion control measures, safety work on border and access roads, and remediation of temporary use areas used for construction. 

For these projects, CBP will work closely with stakeholders, including impacted landowners, tribal, state, and local elected officials, and federal agencies to seek input and help on prioritizing potential remediation activities within each Sector.  

The Administration continues to call on Congress to cancel remaining border wall funding and instead fund smarter border security measures that are proven to be more effective at improving safety and security at the border. 

Keywords: Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Topics:
12/20/2021   Department of Homeland Security

WASHINGTON—The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) today announced the forthcoming publication of a joint temporary final rule to make available an additional 20,000 H-2B temporary nonagricultural worker visas for fiscal year (FY) 2022.  These visas will be set aside for U.S. employers seeking to employ additional workers on or before March 31, 2022.

This supplemental cap marks the first time that DHS is making additional H-2B visas available in the first half of the fiscal year.  Earlier this year, USCIS received enough petitions for returning workers to reach the additional 22,000 H-2B visas made available under the FY 2021 H-2B supplemental visa temporary final rule. 

The supplemental H-2B visa allocation consists of 13,500 visas available to returning workers who received an H-2B visa, or were otherwise granted H-2B status, during one of the last three fiscal years.  The remaining 6,500 visas, which are exempt from the returning worker requirement, are reserved for nationals of Haiti and the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

“At a time of record job growth, additional H-2B visas will help to fuel our Nation’s historic economic recovery,” said Secretary Mayorkas.  “DHS is taking action to protect American businesses and create opportunities that will expand lawful pathways to the United States for workers from the Northern Triangle countries and Haiti.  In the coming months, DHS will seek to implement policies that will make the H-2B program even more responsive to the needs of our economy, while protecting the rights of both U.S. and noncitizen workers.”

DHS intends to issue a separate notice of proposed rulemaking that will modernize and reform the H-2B program.  The proposed rule will incorporate program efficiencies and protect against the exploitation of H-2B workers.

The H-2B program permits employers to temporarily hire noncitizens to perform nonagricultural labor or services in the United States.  The employment must be of a temporary nature for a limited period of time, such as a one-time occurrence, seasonal need, or intermittent need.  Employers seeking H-2B workers must take a series of steps to test the U.S. labor market.  They must also certify in their petitions that there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the temporary work for which they seek a prospective foreign worker.  In addition, they must certify that employing H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.  Additional details on these safeguards, and on eligibility and filing requirements, will be available in the temporary final rule and the Cap Count for H-2B Nonimmigrants webpage.

Keywords: Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
Topics: Citizenship and Immigration Services, Secretary of Homeland Security