Definitions for "Department of Homeland Security"
An agency created by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and which began operations in 2003. One of its primary responsibilities is the implementation and enforcement of immigration laws and policies. DHS absorbed the functions of many different agencies within the U.S. government, including the immigration responsibilities of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. These immigration activities are administered by the DHS division of Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS). (See separate Glossary listings for these divisions).
Created to coordinate federal antiterrorist activity following the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
The U.S. government department responsible for most areas of national security, including all areas related to foreign visitors in the U.S. Under its jurisdiction are three bureaus that handle the work previously done by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). Foreign students come into contact with DHS at the ports of entry to the United States, through the SEVIS database, and when applying for nonimmigrant benefits, e.g., employment authorization.