Department of Homeland Security Strategic Plan

DHS Plan, Effectiveness and Potential Problems

The DHS Strategic Plan Fiscal Years 2014-2018 outlines the Department of Homeland Security activities and objectives, as well as strategies to achieve these goals. The plan has four main missions. The first mission seeks to prevent terrorism and enhance security, the second focuses on securing and managing borders, the third seeks to enforce and administer American Immigration Laws. The fourth mission seeks to safeguard and secure the U.S. cyberspace and fifth focuses on strengthening national preparedness and resilience. With the five missions, the strategic mission aims at ensuring safety for the American people from external and internal threats, and natural and artificial threats.

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The plan is incredibly wholesome in its coverage of threats that face the United States. If implemented in totality, it can ensure sufficient security to the American population. The plan covers different aspects that pose foreseeable challenges. To begin with, Mission 1 of the plan looks at how terrorism can be stopped and security enhanced. The outline contains specific goals to be attained to meet the specific mission. For instance, the first goal of the mission aims at preventing terrorist attacks. The goals appreciate that terrorism is a highly changing aspect that is highly decentralized as further evaluated by the 2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review. To prevent terrorist attacks, the goals outline specific actions that DHS should take, such as, analyzing, fusing, and disseminating information relating to terrorists and sharing the information across other agencies. Each of the five missions as demonstrated by Mission 1 discussed above, has its own goals and a concise plan to realize the goals and achieve the mission. 

The implementation plan might suffer one pitfall, which is lack of public participation. The plan has well-outlined goals and consequent actions that require the use of high tech equipment and methodologies. However, there is no appreciation of the public efforts, which according to Friedmann and Cannon (2007) is critical to the success of any homeland security operations. The public can act as important eyes and ears in collecting information that can be critically important to homeland security operations. 

Progress of DHS on Mission 3 

Mission 3 of the DHS seems to be adversely off the track. The mission sets out to enforce and administer immigration laws. Immigration has been a challenging issue in America especially due to the criticism it has attracted from different spheres including the international community. Immigrants from Central America have taken the United States by storm and have persistently tested the resilience of the nation’s immigration laws. As a result, there have been different actions that have been subjected to widespread criticism. For instance, the separation of immigrant families, especially kids from their parents has been an issue of international concern. For instance, in a video covered by the Washington Post (2018), it shows children from immigrant parents in cages, which critics compared to animals. The DHS is under the American Law and the International Law, which both calls for the humane treatment of immigrants, since being immigrants does not override the fact that they are human beings. It is in line with Goal 3.2 of the DHS to prevent unlawful immigration but the same should be done within the confines of the law and human precepts. 

The militarization and strict enforcement of border control policies have seen the USA make illegal immigration a one-way affair. As a result, determined human smugglers shift with the tightening rules to make a case of success for themselves. The DHS has persistently failed to learn from its mistakes concerning handling illegal immigrants from Central America. The illegal immigration issue from that side of the continent has worsened with time even after the application of tough laws. On this, Mission 3 can be faulted for not providing for learning opportunities from previous undertakings. This has led to an exaggeration of the issue with time making the achievement of Mission 3 of the DHS difficult. Heinrich (2018) explains that there exist contradictory elements in the U.S. immigration policy. Mission 3 should have provided for mechanisms to handle the contradictions to ensure that there is a significant development in the area towards more progress than the current regress that is being experienced.

To ensure that there is a significant development towards the achievement of Mission 3, DHS is purposed to recruit, retain, and develop a workforce that highly qualified and resilient. This will help DHS to control illegal immigration as well as the illegal movement of goods. DHS needs to streamline operations to ensure that genuine immigrants are isolated from the ill-willed ones and accorded the right treatment in accordance to American Law and the international law. 


“2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review.” (n.d). U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved from

DHS. (2014). Fiscal Years 2014-2018 Strategic Plan. Retrieved from

Friedmann, R. R., & Cannon, W. J. (2007). Homeland security and community policing: Competing or complementing public safety policies. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 4(4).

Heinrich, C. J. (2018). Presidential Address: “A Thousand Petty Fortresses”: Administrative Burden in US Immigration Policies and Its Consequences. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 37(2), 211-239.The Washington Post. (2018, Jun 18). ‘Put in cages’ or ‘taken care of’: How separated immigrant children are housed in detention. Youtube. Retrieved from

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