Although the term ‘homeland security has been used to describe numerous government agencies over the years, it is more or less America’s national security umbrella that strives to ensure that the country and its citizens are safe, well protected, and resilient against terrorism and other hazards that may impede interests, aspirations, and ways of life.
Homeland Security is not a single agency, rather it is a collection of agencies, most of which already existed before DHS was established, and has been gathered together under a cabinet umbrella.
Over the years, the federal government has solidified the security and resilience of the United States by ensuring that the country is ever ready and can respond to threats that may genuinely affect its security, including acts of terrorism, cyber-attacks, pandemics, and catastrophic natural disasters.
As a national security agency, the primary objective of homeland security is to prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, ensure that the United States isn’t prone to terrorism, and minimize the damage from attacks if they eventually occur.
The gigantic task of protecting the United States falls on homeland security professionals in varying disciplines—from emergency response to counter-terrorism to cyber security. Although a good number of people associate the term “homeland security” with terrorist attacks, the industry is known to cater to a much broader set of responsibilities.
Every day, agents and other members of the homeland security workforce align with first responders, state, local, tribal and territorial governments, community groups, international partners, and the private sector to guarantee the safety of the United States and to counter any possible evolving threats.
Possible Reasons Why Homeland Security Can Raid a Home
Depending on their roles, there are numerous reasons why people working in homeland security may raid a home. These reasons include;
National Security Threat
Note that homeland security reserves the right to raid a home once it has reasons to believe that the occupants constitute a threat to national security. Simply put, anything that threatens the physical well-being of the population or jeopardizes the stability of the United States economy or institutions is considered a national security threat, and it falls under the jurisdiction of homeland security to fish it out.
Most often, national security threats come from foreign governments with hostile intentions. Note that these threats may include direct acts of war and aggression. But they can also be indirect and quite challenging to detect e.g. espionage and election interference. Homeland security remains the government’s national security and emergency response to national security threats.
Act of Terrorism
One of the primary duties of homeland security is to protect Americans from terrorism and other homeland security threats by averting nation-states and their proxies, transnational criminal organizations, and groups or individuals from carrying out terrorist or criminal acts that may in any way threaten the unity and safety of the country.
Truth be told, terrorists and criminals have steadily picked up new techniques and advanced tactics all in their bid to bypass homeland security and sabotage the safety of the American public and all its allies. Have it in mind that the rapidly evolving threat environment warrants a proactive response by homeland security.
Narcotics and Arms Smuggling
For as long as there have been illegal goods in the United States, there have been individuals working to sneak them past homeland authorities. If you are suspected or found to be one of those individuals, then homeland security reserves the right to raid your home.
In recent times, the agency tends to leverage its massive statutory authorities, undercover capabilities, border search authority, cumbersome domestic and international footprint, criminal analysis potentiality, and reliable interagency partnerships at home and abroad to carry out complex criminal investigations to expose and take down sophisticated networks that produce, transport, broker, finance, sell and distribute illegal drugs.
Homeland security is renowned for its zeal to combat child exploitation and abuse. Note that the agency’s Child Exploitation Investigations Unit (CEIU)—part of the Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) Cyber Crimes Center (C3)—leads the fight against online child sexual abuse.
They work tirelessly to safeguard children from exploitation by predators who are involved in the production, distribution, and possession of child sexual abuse material and who travel internationally to engage in illicit sexual conduct with minors.
If you are identified as a producer or a distributor of child sexual abuse material and a perpetrator of transnational child sexual abuse, your home can be raided by homeland security.
Homeland security tends to leverage the latest technology to gather evidence and monitor the activities of individuals and organized groups who sexually exploit children using the dark web, chat rooms, peer-to-peer trading, and other internet-based platforms.
Since its establishment in 2011, the CEIU VIP has identified and/or rescued more than 9,000 child victims of sexual exploitation.
Human Smuggling and Trafficking
Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked in the United States. These traffickers are known to use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and introduce them to labor or commercial sexual exploitation. They tend to go for people who are prone owing to a wide range of reasons, including psychological or emotional vulnerability, economic hardship, lack of a social safety net, natural disasters, or political instability.
According to homeland security, the safety of the public coupled with that of the victim is paramount, and it is up to them to investigate suspected cases of human trafficking. Owing to that, your home can be raided if you are found or suspected to be involved in human smuggling and trafficking.
Financial Fraud and Scams
Financial fraud and scams pose a very domineering threat to national security and public safety. They create room for terrorists, criminals, and unlawful non-citizens to gain entry, seek employment and even reside in the United States.
Document and benefit fraud are part of various immigration-related crimes, such as human smuggling and human trafficking, critical infrastructure protection, worksite enforcement, visa compliance enforcement, and national security investigations.
To fight this type of fraud, homeland security has aligned with federal, state, and local counterparts to put out the Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force that strives to fish out criminal organizations and beneficiaries behind these fraudulent schemes.
Note that their responsibilities include crimes that involve financial institution fraud, computer and telecommunications fraud, false identification documents, access device fraud, advance fee fraud, electronic funds transfers, and money laundering.
Numerous threats jeopardize the efforts of the US government. Owing to that, they have put national security and emergency response efforts in place, and also ensured that they can identify and avert any natural or human-made disruptions of peace, safety, and stability.
Note that one of the core responsibilities of homeland security is to note potential dangers and ready the right response. Therefore, if you commit or are suspected to have been involved in any of the crimes outlined above, then note that homeland security is fully empowered to raid your home and can arrest you.