United States Department of Homeland Security

Regional News • Americas • United States
Senate confirms Alejandro Mayorkas as Homeland Security secretary

The US Senate voted Tuesday to confirm Alejandro Mayorkas to lead the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the first Latino and immigrant to lead the department. Mayorkas will play a central role in the Biden administration's response to the Covid-19 pandemic, national security threats and immigration policies.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Homeland Security warns of heightened domestic terror threat across the United States
Homeland Security warns of heightened domestic terror threat across the United States
Credit: Tyler Merbler, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In a national terrorism bulletin warning, the US Department of Homeland Security warned of heightened domestic terror threat across the United States following the attacks on the US capitol on January 6.

"Throughout 2020, Domestic Violent Extremists (DVEs) targeted individuals with opposing views engaged in First Amendment-protected, non-violent protest activity. DVEs motivated by a range of issues, including anger over COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 election results, and police use of force have plotted and on occasion carried out attacks against government facilities," the bulletin read. "DHS is concerned these same drivers to violence will remain through early 2021 and some DVEs may be emboldened by the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. to target elected officials and government facilities."

Lifestyle • Travel
US Border Patrol Says They Can Create Central Repository Of Traveler Emails, Keep Them For 75 Years

The U.S. government has taken the opportunity during the global pandemic, when people aren’t traveling out of the country much, to roll out a new platform for storing information they believe they are entitled to take from people crossing the border. A new filing reveals how the U.S. Border Patrol will store data from traveler devices centrally, keeping it backed up and searchable for up to 75 years.

On July 30 the Department of Homeland Security published a privacy impact assessment detailing the electronic data that they may choose to collect from people crossing the border – and what happens to that data.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Fifteen US mayors sign letter opposing use of federal law enforcement with "no oversight" against protesters
Black Lives Matter protest in Portland, Oregon. People protesting police brutality and the deaths of several members of the Black community - sparked by the recent death of George Floyd.
Black Lives Matter protest in Portland, Oregon. People protesting police brutality and the deaths of several members of the Black community - sparked by the recent death of George Floyd. Credit: unsplash.com/Tito Texidor III

Fifteen US mayors have addressed a letter to Attorney General William Barr and Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf opposing the use of federal federal law enforcement with "no oversight" against protesters. The letter is calling the act of deploying federal forces against protesters an "abuse of power" and is demanding the withdrawal of "extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence" from Portland and other American cities.

"These are tactics we expect from authoritarian regimes -- not our democracy [...] The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked a national uprising and reckoning. The majority of the protests have been peaceful and aimed at improving our communities. Where this is not the case, it still does not justify the use of federal forces. Unilaterally deploying these paramilitary-type forces into our cities is wholly inconsistent with our system of democracy and our most basic values," the letter, posted by Mayor Muriel Bowser, said.

The list of mayors who signed the letter is as follows: Jenny A. Durkan, Seattle; Ted Wheeler, Portland; Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta; Lori Lightfoot, Chicago; Muriel Bowser, Washington DC; Quinton D. Lucas, Kansas City; Martin J. Walsh, Boston; Jim Kenny, Philadelphia; Michael Hancock, Denver; Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles; Sam Liccardo, San Jose; Libby Schaaf, Oakland; Regina Romera, Tucson; Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento; Kate Gallego, Phoenix.

Portland officials had previously stated that federal officers were working in coordination with local law enforcement but have since come out saying that "coordination was not made with Portland police" as the "federal police have their marching order."

According to Chad Wolf, federal law enforcement had only been deployed to Portland. On Monday, Trump vowed to send federal officers to other cities.