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  • The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet department of the United States federal government, first proposed by the U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century in January 2001 and expedited in response to the September 11 attacks. The Department of Homeland Security is charged with the primary responsibilities of protecting the United States and its territories from and responding to terrorist attacks, man-made accidents, and natural disasters. The Department of Homeland Security, and not the United States Department of the Interior, is equivalent to the Interior ministries of other countries. In fiscal year 2011, DHS was allocated a budget of $98.8 billion and spent, net, $66.4 billion. Where the Department of Defense is charged with military actions abroad, the Department of Homeland Security works in the civilian sphere to protect the United States within, at, and outside its borders. Its stated goal is to prepare for, prevent, and respond to domestic emergencies, particularly terrorism. On March 1, 2003, DHS absorbed the Immigration and Naturalization Service and assumed its duties.

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