February 7, 2018 The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued an official statement on the establishment of the National Vetting Center (NVC) by the Trump administration which will housed in the agency. President Trump Donald Trump signed a national security memorandum on Tuesday establishing a National Vetting Center.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Kirstjen M. Nielsen said in a statement
that real-time information is needed to protect the homeland.
“the Center will ensure they are able to fuse intelligence and law enforcement data from across the government in one place to detect threats early.”
In the statement, Secretary Nielsen assured that DHS and its partners will make certain that mechanisms are in place to ensure that the National Vetting Center is able to accomplish its mission while protecting individuals’ privacy, civil rights and civil liberties.
President Trump signed a controversial executive order during his first week in office prohibiting citizens of seven predominately Muslim countries from entering the United States. Despite the findings of a multi agency Homeland Security report released last February and several others contradicting President Trump’s argument that banning citizens from Muslim countries will make America safer, he has continued to push his controversial immigration policies.
Opponents of the Trump administration’s extreme vetting process argue the Obama administration already had adequate screening measures in place, including collecting biometric data by various agencies including the National Counterterrorism Center, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, State Department and, in some cases the Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate to prevent terrorist or those affiliated with a terrorist group from entering the United States.
In the aftermath of 9/11, the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) developed a program for the U.S. Department of Defense known as Total Information Awareness (TIA) — a controversial tracking system intended to attempt to detect terrorists through analyzing troves of information. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security itself already has a vast array of data mining techniques and programs such as fusion centers and Suspicious Activity Reports which share information with state and local authorities.
International and national terrorism experts argue that over invasive domestic spy programs that over-collect and over-report irrelevant information do not improve national security, but rather it makes it ineffective. National security experts warn that DHS funded fusion centers often produced irrelevant, useless or inappropriate intelligence reporting. Both non-government and government studies on the effectiveness of fusion centers have found violations of civil liberties and privacy rights.
Cynthia Hodges holds a M.A. in Political Science from NEIU in Chicago, Illinois and a Post-Grad Professional Certificate in Disaster and Terrorism Management from University of North Carolina -Chapel Hill. In addition to a successful writing career, Cynthia is in the process of writing a book on the role of private security guards as first responders in the post 9/11 America. "My career has been a balance of security and education, and my passion for Homeland Security while protecting individual's Constitutional rights has grown as a result of the two."