In spite of the Friday night passage of an eleventh hour, one-week stopgap spending bill to continue funding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the department posted a lapse-of-funding notice and shut-down procedures on its website apparently intended if the last minute efforts failed. While the notice is not listed on the home page, the blog, or the list of DHS publications, it was originally posted around nine o'clock Friday night and remained at this link as of the time of publication of this article:
The text of the notice reads as follows:
Due to a lapse in funding, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may only continue “exempt” activities such as law enforcement and maritime protection. The Department’s contingency plan outlines procedures for an orderly shutdown of non-exempt functions during a lapse in funding or appropriations.
The notice includes a link to a publication entitled Procedures Relating to a Lapse in Appropriations dated Friday, February 27, that spells out detailed procedures on how a funding lapse would handled throughout the department. The forty-seven page document instructs various DHS agencies how to determine which employees would be exempt from furlough, how a cessation of activities should be phased in, what incidents would trigger an employee recalls, and how regular activities would be resumes upon the conclusion of any hiatus. For instance, of the 59,546 employees of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 53,288 employees (89.5 percent) would be classified as exempt from furlough.
Since the stopgap funding measure only covers one week, the posted procedures may be needed as early as next Friday at midnight. DHS has not responded to an inquiry regarding the early posting of the notice.
Department of Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson basically warned against going to the Mall of America today, after threats of a terror attack by al Shabaab. " I would say that, if anyone is planning to go to the Mall of America today, they have got to be particularly careful," said Johnson.
Thousands of illegal immigrants are streaming across America's southern border, but on Wednesday the chief of the Department of Homeland Security will be attending an educational event with schoolchildren in Washington, D.C.
In an email to reporters with the subject line reading, "SECRETARY JOHNSON TO PARTICIPATE IN A LET’S READ! LET’S MOVE! EVENT," the department announced that Jeh Johnson will be attending an event Wednesday morning at the library of Congress, along with other government officials, a chef, and a retired NFL player. Here's an excerpt from the email:
Last month, Angel Echevarria, an off-duty Department of Homeland Security official, was arrested in Florida for pulling his gun and shooting a car that allegedly cut him off on the highway. According to police, Echevarria had absolutely no legal authority to do this. The episode was a classic “road rage” incident, and Echevarria is lucky he didn’t harm any of the passengers in the car, which included a 2-year-old child.
Today, the Government Accountability Office issued a report of preliminary finding on the progress the Department of Homeland Security has made in its efforts to reduce the backlog of immigrant visas. Although almost 863,000 records were "closed" in the last two years, the backlog of potential overstays remains at more than one million [emphasis added]:
According to an annual report for 2012 just released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), DHS processed a total of 205,895 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests during the year. The report, presented by Acting Chief Freedom of Information Act Officer Jonathan R. Cantor, shows that DHS reduced the backlog of such requests by 30 percent during the year. However, a deeper look at the numbers reveals that the agency only fully granted just over 10 percent of FOIA requests that were processed.