Department of Homeland Security Timeline

  • Chris Edwards
  • 1789: The Tariff Act imposes duties on imported goods to raise government revenue and protect U.S. businesses from foreign competition. Congress establishes the Customs Service to collect the import duties.1 Duties are the dominant source of federal revenue until the modern income tax is imposed in 1913.
  • 1789: Congress creates the Lighthouse Service within the Treasury Department. The Service is moved around to various agencies over the decades, and finally to the Coast Guard in 1939.2
  • 1790: Congress approves the construction of 10 ships for the Revenue Marine to prevent smuggling and enforce collection of import duties. The name of the Revenue Marine is later changed to the Revenue Cutter Service, and then changed to the U.S. Coast Guard in 1915.
  • 1791: The Whiskey Rebellion breaks out in Western Pennsylvania and other rural areas to protest Alexander Hamilton’s excise tax on alcohol. The tax unfairly targets western settlers and creates fears of excessive federal power.3 In 1794 President George Washington uses troops to put down the rebellion, but in 1802 President Thomas Jefferson repeals all internal taxes, believing that they are an affront to liberty.
  • 1798: As part of the Alien and Sedition Acts, Congress increases the residency requirement for U.S. citizenship from 5 to 14 years and authorizes the president to arrest, imprison, and deport aliens during wartime.4 The Acts are later repealed or allowed to expire under President Thomas Jefferson.
  • 1798: Congress creates the Marine Hospital Service, which builds hospitals and provides medical care to merchant marine workers based on fees collected by the Customs Service. The service is plagued by cost overruns, administrative mismanagement, and the rationing of care.5 Some political leaders oppose the new system on federalism grounds as an abuse of state sovereignty.6 
  • 1802: Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is destroyed by fire. A large number of private donations totaling more than $45,000 pour in from around the country to help rebuild the town.7 Congress provides aid in the form of temporarily suspending duties owed to the government by merchants in the town.8 Duties on Portsmouth trade were an important source of federal revenues, so the government has an interest in allowing the merchants to get back on their feet.
  • 1807: President Thomas Jefferson signs into law a ban on the importation of slaves to the United States beginning in 1808, as allowed for under the Constitution.
  • 1812: Congress provides $50,000 of aid to victims of an earthquake in the new republic of Venezuela, apparently for foreign policy reasons.9
  • 1815: Congress passes the New Madrid Relief Act, which provides aid to rural Missourians after a series of earthquakes. The aid bill leads to dissention and scandal. The Act allows victims in Missouri to exchange their damaged properties for certificates to acquire land elsewhere. But outside speculators descend on the area to buy land at bargain prices from owners who have not yet heard about the federal relief. At the same time, some owners who know about the relief sell title to their land to multiple different speculators. The resulting unfairness of the process leads to large amounts of litigation, which takes decades to resolve.10
  • 1827: Congress gives $20,000 of aid to Alexandria, Virginia, after a major fire. Some members of Congress question the constitutionality of the relief.11
  • 1835: The Great Fire of Manhattan razes 674 buildings over 50 acres in New York City. Congress passes legislation allowing payments owed to the government to be postponed for victims.12
  • 1837: The Life Saving Service is created in the Department of Treasury and later transferred to the Revenue Marine.
  • 1848: The Drug Importation Act places officials at major U.S. seaports to examine the purity of imported drugs.
  • 1853: The Customs Border Patrol is created to monitor America’s land borders.
  • 1865: The Secret Service is created within the U.S. Treasury to combat currency counterfeiting. About one in three bills are estimated to be counterfeit.13
  • 1871: The Great Chicago Fire leaves about 300 people dead and 90,000 homeless. The U.S. Army helps to restore order and provide security until the city gets back on its feet.14 Within days of the disaster, huge amounts of aid from individuals, charitable groups, businesses, and other cities pours in from around the nation.15 Chicago rebuilds very quickly. The private organization Chicago Relief and Aid Society plays the dominant role in coordinating the relief efforts.16
  • 1875: Public sentiment favors limiting immigration, and numerous states begin creating their own immigration rules. However, the U.S. Supreme Court in Chy Lung v. Freeman (92 U.S. 275) rules that only Congress has the power to regulate immigration.
  • 1878: Congress passes the Posse Comitatus Act, which has important implications for the federal role in disasters. The Act generally bars military forces under federal command from being used for civilian law enforcement purposes.17 Under current law, federal military personnel may be used for disaster relief operations at the request of a state, but not for law enforcement.18 By contrast, National Guard units under the command of state governors are available to aid law enforcement in disaster situations, as they were after Hurricane Katrina.
  • 1882: The Chinese Exclusion Act ends legal immigration from China and bans the granting of citizenship to Chinese residents.19 The 1892 Geary Act extends the Chinese Exclusion Act for another 10 years and requires all Chinese residents to carry residency permits. Restrictions on Chinese immigration last until 1943.20 Over the years, “Chinese inspectors” employed in the Chinese Bureau of the Customs Service and the Chinese Division of the Immigration and Naturalization Service enforce the anti-Chinese laws.
  • 1887: President Grover Cleveland vetoes a bill that would have provided $10,000 in aid to drought-stricken Texas farmers because of his concerns about constitutional federalism. In his veto message, Cleveland says, “I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution; and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should, I think, be steadily resisted, to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that, though the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people.”21
  • 1891: The Immigration Act creates the Immigration Service within the U.S. Treasury. The Act denies entry to various classes of people, including polygamists, people convicted of crimes of moral turpitude, and people with contagious diseases.22
  • 1892: The Immigration Service begins operations at Ellis Island in New York City. Ellis Island employs 119 of the Service’s 180 employees by 1893, and it is a forerunner to immigration stations established in other cities.23
  • 1894: The Revenue Marine Division is renamed the Revenue Cutter Service.24
  • 1901: President William McKinley is assassinated, which leads Congress to direct the Secret Service to add protection of the president to its duties.25
  • 1906: Congress creates the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization and imposes the first uniform naturalization rules on the nation. Previously, more than 5,000 different state “naturalization courts” operated across the country.26
  • 1906: San Francisco is struck by a massive earthquake and fire that destroys 80 percent of the city.27 Voluntary aid pours in from around the country, and the city begins rebuilding rapidly. Charitable groups, including the Salvation Army and the Red Cross, play a large role in relief efforts. The home products company, Johnson and Johnson, loads rail cars full of donated medical supplies and sends them to San Francisco.28 The Southern Pacific Railroad provides free evacuation for more than 200,000 city residents to anywhere in the country.29 Southern President Edward Harriman makes disaster response the highest priority of his rail network.30 Only one day after the earthquake, the first of his rail cars full of emergency supplies leaves Omaha for San Francisco.31 Harriman personally donates $200,000 to relief efforts.32 Similarly, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and W.W. Astor each donate $100,000.33 The insurance industry is also crucial to the rebuilding, and pays out a massive $225 million in claims.34
  • 1913: The Easter floods and storms ravage a huge area in perhaps the most widespread and damaging disaster to ever strike the United States.35 The storms involve destruction and more than 1,000 deaths across 14 states from Vermont to Alabama from massive flooding, tornadoes, sleet, and high winds. Ohio is the hardest hit state, and Dayton is probably the hardest hit city. Fortunately for Dayton, it is home to the National Cash Register Company (NCR) under President John Patterson. Seeing the flood disaster that is about to happen, Patterson seizes the initiative, and NCR becomes the central funder and organizer of relief in the city. NCR builds 300 boats to rescue flood victims, organizes search teams, and provides meals and shelter for thousands of people. On the peak day, NCR’s kitchens provide meals for 83,000 flood victims.36 NCR headquarters also become the base of operations for the Red Cross and Ohio National Guard.37
  • 1914: The federal effort to restrict distribution of certain drugs prone to abuse begins with the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act. The Act taxes and regulates opiates and coca products.38
  • 1915: The name of the Revenue Cutter Service is changed to the Coast Guard.
  • 1917: Congress bans immigration from Asia, except from Japan and the Philippines.39
  • 1917: A War Department regulation establishes a number of precedents that guide the federal role in disaster relief.40 Those include: state governments have primary responsibility for disasters, federal resources should supplement not supplant state efforts, and federal intervention only makes sense if state governments are overwhelmed and cannot handle a situation by themselves.
  • 1919: The 18th Amendment to the Constitution is ratified imposing alcohol prohibition. The Volstead Act of 1919 puts prohibition into effect. Huge federal resources are used in an attempt to enforce the ban, including spending by the U.S. Treasury, Customs Service, and Coast Guard. Federal law enforcement spending quintuples during the 1920s to battle the illegal activities generated by prohibition.41
  • 1924: Congress creates the U.S. Border Patrol within the Immigration Service.42
  • 1924: The Immigration Act bans immigration from Asia and severely restricts immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe.43
  • 1927: One of the most damaging floods in U.S. history occurs when the Mississippi River and tributaries break out of levee systems in many places. The Great Mississippi Flood highlights the failure of the Army Corps of Engineer’s approach to flood control.44 In annual reports before the flood, the Corps tells Congress that the Mississippi is safe from serious flooding.45 In the flood’s aftermath, President Calvin Coolidge appoints Herbert Hoover to lead the federal disaster response, which mainly involves coordinating private relief efforts.46 The Red Cross, for example, provides hundreds of thousands of people food and shelter in temporary camps.47
  • 1930: The Federal Bureau of Narcotics is created within the U.S. Treasury. Harry Anslinger is the first commissioner and heads the agency for 32 years. Anslinger becomes known for his over-the-top claims about the harm caused by marijuana in the agency’s widely distributed propaganda in popular media.48
  • 1932: The Reconstruction Finance Corporation is created under President Herbert Hoover to help stimulate economic growth, and it is also given authority to hand out federal funds in the wake of disasters.
  • 1933: The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) is created within the Department of Labor and later moved to the Department of Justice. In 2003 INS activities are transferred to various agencies within the new Department of Homeland Security.
  • 1937: The Marijuana Tax Act taxes and regulates the sale of cannabis. The Act is overturned by the Supreme Court in 1969 in Leary v. United States (395 U.S. 6).
  • 1940: The Alien Registration Act requires that millions of resident aliens in the United States register with the INS and be fingerprinted. The INS workforce doubles during World War II.49
  • 1942: President Franklin Roosevelt issues Executive Order 9066, which allows the Department of War to intern about 120,000 people of Japanese descent living in the United States. The Secret Service, Census Bureau, and other federal agencies aid the department in rounding up individuals for internment.50
  • 1942: The Braceros program is created by executive order to attract agricultural workers from Mexico.
  • 1950: The Disaster Relief Act gives the president broad authority to respond to hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and other disasters with various types of aid. Before the Act, Congress would pass laws for particular disasters detailing the specific relief to be provided.51
  • 1953: President Harry Truman issues Executive Order 10427, which emphasizes that federal disaster relief should supplement, not supplant, state, local, and private efforts.
  • 1968: Following Robert Kennedy’s assassination, Congress authorizes the Secret Service to protect major presidential candidates.52
  • 1968: The new National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers subsidized insurance for properties at risk of flooding. The idea is to alleviate the need to pass special aid bills after each flood, but Congress continues passing aid packages after floods anyway. The NFIP encourages people to live in harm’s way on river floodplains and seacoasts by charging insurance rates below market levels. The program subsidizes risky behavior, and the aid is tilted toward higher-income households.
  • 1970: The Disaster Relief Act of this year expands on the Disaster Relief Act of 1950. It allows the government to provide loans and tax relief to individuals affected by disasters and to provide funding for the rebuilding of public facilities.53
  • 1970: President Richard Nixon signs into law the Controlled Substances Act. The Act regulates the production, importation, sale, and possession of various drugs based upon a classification system.
  • 1971: The Federal Protective Service (FPS) is created within the General Services Administration. The FPS is responsible for protecting federal property and people on federal property.54 It is transferred to the new Department of Homeland Security in 2002.
  • 1971: President Richard Nixon declares a “war on drugs,” claiming that drug abuse is “public enemy No. 1.”55
  • 1973: President Richard Nixon creates the Drug Enforcement Administration in the Department of Justice, which replaces the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.
  • 1974: The Disaster Relief Act creates a system of presidential disaster declarations for events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods. The system is updated in the Stafford Act of 1988.
  • 1979: President Jimmy Carter issues Executive Orders 12127 and 12148 to create and structure the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA brings together numerous existing agencies from various departments. The main purpose of FEMA is to coordinate the federal response to major disasters that overwhelm the resources of state and local governments.56
  • 1986: The Immigration Reform and Control Act requires that employers check the immigration status of employees, and it legalizes immigrants who entered the United States illegally before 1982. With new enforcement powers, INS expands to more than 30,000 employees by 1998, up from the roughly 8,000 it had employed from World War II through the 1970s.57
  • 1988: The Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act creates an updated framework for presidential disaster declarations.58 The governor of a state may request the president declare an “emergency” or “major disaster” if an event “is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and the affected local governments and that federal assistance is necessary.”59 Today, the vast majority of declared disasters do not fit the plain language of the statute.
  • 1988: The Anti-Drug Abuse Act creates the Office of National Drug Control Policy to coordinate the many federal agencies attempting to counter the use of illegal drugs.
  • 1992: Hurricane Andrew strikes Florida, causing 61 deaths and becoming the most costly hurricane in U.S. history to this date.60 The federal response is “fraught with delays and major problems,” concludes one disaster expert.61 FEMA is criticized for having inexperienced political appointees in senior positions and for making many bad decisions, such as botching the prepositioning of supplies before the storm.62 Overseeing a hearing on Andrew in 1992, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) says, “I am outraged by the federal government’s pathetically sluggish response and ill-planned response to the devastating disaster wrought by Hurricane Andrew . . . Time and again the federal government has failed to respond quickly and effectively to major disasters.”63
  • 1994: The Northridge Earthquake hits Los Angeles, and the federal government responds with $13 billion in aid.64 Once again, FEMA’s bureaucratic response to the disaster is criticized.
  • 2001: On September 11, Islamic terrorists hijack four commercial airliners and crash two of them into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and one into a field in Pennsylvania killing nearly 3,000 people.65
  • 2001: President George W. Bush creates an Office of Homeland Security by executive order.
  • 2001: Congress creates the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and then transfers it to the new Department of Homeland Security in 2002. TSA takes over airport passenger and baggage screening from the private sector, and today it employs more than 50,000 screeners.66 Numerous studies over the years find that the performance of private screening is at least as good as, if not better than, government screening.67
  • 2002: President George W. Bush signs the Homeland Security Act, creating the massive Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which merges 22 existing federal agencies. President Bush promises that the new DHS will “improve efficiency without growing government,” create “future savings,” and cut out “duplicative and redundant activities that drain critical homeland security resources.”68
  • 2003: The Transportation Security Administration estimates that the hiring and training of its initial workforce will cost $104 million. The figure ends up soaring to $741 million.69
  • 2003: Immigration and Customs Enforcement is created by merging portions of the Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.70
  • 2005: Hurricane Katrina causes huge damage along the Gulf Coast, floods New Orleans, and kills more than 1,800 people. The damage is exacerbated by the policy failures of Congress and the Army Corps of Engineers in the years before the storm.71 After the storm, the federal response led by FEMA is a disaster. Some of the federal failures include: confusion about procedures, lack of learning from past disasters, supply and procurement fiascoes, bureaucratic slowness and indecision, communications breakdowns, and massive fraud and abuse.72 The most appalling aspect of the FEMA response is the active blocking of relief efforts by private individuals, nonprofit groups, and businesses. By contrast to FEMA, the Coast Guard’s performance during Katrina is widely lauded. It rapidly deploys its service members and assets, and rescues more than 30,000 people.73
  • 2006: Free-flowing Katrina aid unleashes a torrent of fraud and abuse. The Government Accountability Office estimates that $1 billion or more in aid payments for individuals are invalid or fraudulent.74 Other estimates put the total waste at up to $2 billion.75 A New York Times investigation concludes: “Among the many superlatives associated with Hurricane Katrina can now be added this one: it produced one of the most extraordinary displays of scams, schemes and stupefying bureaucratic bungles in modern history, costing taxpayers up to $2 billion.”76
  • 2006: Transportation Security Administration screeners in Los Angeles and Chicago fail to catch 75 percent and 60 percent, respectively, of simulated explosives in tests.77
  • 2007: A small number of U.S. airports are allowed to use private security screening, and a study finds that “private screeners performed at a level that was equal to or greater than that of federal” screeners.78 Also, a USA Today investigation finds that the private screeners at San Francisco International Airport have better detection abilities than the federal screeners at Los Angeles International Airport.79
  • 2008: A House Committee reports that the Department of Homeland Security has wasted $15 billion on failed contracts over five years.80
  • 2008: The Congressional Research Service finds major problems in the Coast Guard’s $24 billion Deepwater program for ship upgrades. The expected cost of three National Security Cutters soars from $853 million to $1.6 billion.81 Another bungle is the abandonment of a plan to expand the size of 49 patrol boats after $80 million has already been spent.82
  • 2008: The Transportation Security Administration begins rolling out its costly and controversial Advanced Imaging Technology machines or “full-body scanners.” The limited benefits of the machines do not seem to justify the large taxpayer costs, the inconvenience, or the additional congestion that they cause.83
  • 2009: A Government Accountability Office (GAO) study finds serious shortcomings in the performance of the Federal Protective Service. GAO undercover investigators bypass FPS security in 10 high-security federal buildings and smuggle in explosive materials for constructing bombs.84
  • 2011: The Department of Homeland Security begins constructing a huge new headquarters on 176 acres in Washington, D.C. By 2014 the project is over budget by $1 billion, and funding for it is stalled in Congress.85
  • 2011: DHS receives some of the poorest grades among federal departments on employee morale. A 2011 survey finds that just 37 percent of DHS employees say that they are satisfied with their senior leadership.86 A 2013 study by the Partnership for Public Service ranked it as one of the worst managed federal agencies.87
  • 2012: While the George W. Bush administration resisted unionization of federal workers, the Barack Obama administration is pro-union and pushes to cover DHS workers with collective bargaining. The American Federation of Government Employees becomes the monopoly union for 44,000 TSA workers in 2012.88 Other DHS agencies that have substantial unionization include Customs and Border Protection, Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  • 2012: TSA is heavily criticized for mismanagement. A House committee reports that TSA’s operations are “costly, counterintuitive, and poorly executed.”89 Another House report charges that TSA “suffers from bureaucratic morass and mismanagement.”90 Former TSA chief Kip Hawley says that the agency is “hopelessly bureaucratic.”91
  • 2012: Hurricane Sandy slams New York, New Jersey, and other states, becoming the second costliest hurricane in U.S. history. Congress passes a $60 billion relief bill, but most of the funds are for rebuilding years down the road, not for immediate relief.92 Such spending should be a state, local, and private responsibility, not a federal one.
  • 2013: GAO recommends that Congress end TSA’s SPOT program, which tries to catch terrorists by suspicious behaviors they may exhibit in airports.93 TSA is spending more than $200 million a year on the program, even though there is no solid science behind it.
  • 2013: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) introduces legislation to privatize TSA.94 That would put the United States on equal footing with many other advanced economies.95 About 80 percent of Europe’s commercial airports use private firms for airport screening, and Canada uses private screening at all its major airports.96
  • 2014: DHS has 190,000 employees and a budget of $43 billion. The largest DHS agencies are the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Customs and Border Protection, the Coast Guard, the Transportation Security Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  • 2014: Tens of thousands of illegal immigrants—many of them unaccompanied children—enter the United States across the southern border, which creates a humanitarian crisis and illustrates failures in U.S. immigration and border control policies.

1 U.S. Customs and Border Protection, “Timeline,”

2 For articles on the history of the Coast Guard, see “U.S. Coast Guard History,” U.S. Coast Guard,

3 William Hogeland, The Whiskey Rebellion (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2006).

4 U.S. Customs and Border Protection, “Timeline,”

5 Merle Broberg, The Department of Health and Human Services (New York: Chelsea House, 1989), pp. 20-22.

6 For example, see the discussion of Charleston’s Old Marine Hospital at

7 Portsmouth Athenaeum, “Portsmouth Fire Relief Papers, 1802-1803,”

8 Federal Emergency Management Agency, “Publication 1,” November 2010, p. 3,

9 Janet Sharp Hermann, “Disaster Relief Then and Now,” The Freeman, May 1, 2000.

10 Janet Sharp Hermann, “Disaster Relief Then and Now,” The Freeman, May 1, 2000.

11 Patrick S. Roberts, Disasters and the American State: How Politicians, Bureaucrats, and the Public Prepare for the Unexpected (Cambridge University Press, 2013), pp. 24–25.

12 Federal Emergency Management Agency, “Publication 1,” November 2010, p. 3,

13 Alex Altman, “A Brief History Of: The Secret Service,” Time, November 20, 2008.

14 James F. Miskel, Disaster Response and Homeland Security (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008), p. 40.

15 Emily C. Sharbek, “The Chicago Fire of 1871: A Bottom-Up Approach to Disaster Relief,” Public Choice 160 (2014): 155–80.

16 Emily C. Sharbek, “The Chicago Fire of 1871: A Bottom-Up Approach to Disaster Relief,” Public Choice 160 (2014): 155–180.

17 For a discussion, see James F. Miskel, Disaster Response and Homeland Security (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2008), p. 49.

18 Jennifer K. Elsea and R. Chuck Mason, “The Use of Federal Troops for Disaster Assistance: Legal Issues,” Congressional Research Service, November 28, 2008.

19 U.S. Customs and Border Protection, “Timeline,”

20 National Archives, “Chinese Immigration and the Chinese in the United States,”

21 Quoted in Robert Higgs, “Why Grover Cleveland Vetoed the Texas Seed Bill,” Independent Institute, July 1, 2003.

22 Marian L. Smith, “History of the INS,” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service,

23  Marian L. Smith, “History of the INS,” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service,

24 U.S. Customs and Border Protection, “Timeline,”

25 The White House, “The U.S. Secret Service in History,” Spring 1998,

26 U.S. Customs and Border Protection, “Populating a Nation: A History of Immigration and Naturalization,”

27 Christoph Strupp, “Dealing with Disaster: The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906,” German Historical Institute (Washington), March 22, 2006, p. 8.

28 Margaret Gurowitz, “The Origins of Our Disaster Relief: The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906,” Kilmer House, Johnson and Johnson, August 20, 2008.

29 The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco, “The Great 1906 Earthquake and Fire,”

30 The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco, “The Great 1906 Earthquake and Fire,”

31 The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco, “The Great 1906 Earthquake and Fire,”

32 Christoph Strupp, “Dealing with Disaster: The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906,” German Historical Institute (Washington), March 22, 2006, p. 23.

33 Christoph Strupp, “Dealing with Disaster: The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906,” German Historical Institute (Washington), March 22, 2006, p. 23.

34 Morgan O’Rourke, “The Big Shake Up: Revisiting the Great San Francisco Earthquake,” Risk Management, April 2006. See also Aetna, “Aetna History,”

35 Christopher Klein, “The Superstorm That Flooded America 100 Years Ago,”, March 25, 2013.

36 Trudy E. Bell, “Our National Calamity: The Great Easter 1913 Flood,” December 9, 2012,

37 Trudy E. Bell, “Our National Calamity: The Great Easter 1913 Flood,” December 9, 2012,

38 PBS, Frontline, “Opium Throughout History,” 1998,

39 U.S. Customs and Border Protection, “Timeline,”

40 James F. Miskel, Disaster Response and Homeland Security (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2008), pp. 8, 9, 41, 45.

41 Randall Holcombe, “The Growth of the Federal Government in the 1920s,” Cato Journal 16, no. 2 (Fall 1996), Table 4.

42 Marian L. Smith, “History of the INS,” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service,

43 U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian, “The Immigration Act of 1924,”

44 Chris Edwards, “Cutting the Army Corps of Engineers,”, March 2012,

45 Arthur E. Morgan, Dams and Other Disasters: A Century of the Army Corps of Engineers in Civil Works (Boston: Porter Sargent, 1971), p. 233.

46 Federal Emergency Management Agency, “Publication 1,” November 2010, p. 5,

47 Rutherford H. Platt, Disasters and Democracy (Washington: Island Press, 1999), p. 2.

48 John C. McWilliams, The Protectors (University of Delaware Press, 1990), pp. 51–54.

49 U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “Populating a Nation: A History of Immigration and Naturalization,”

50 For the Census role, see Steven Holmes, “Report Says Census Bureau Helped Relocate Japanese,” New York Times, March 17, 2000. For the Secret Service role, see Donald K. Tamaki, “Foreword: Sixty Years after the Internment: Civil Rights, Identity Politics, and Racial Profiling,” Asian American Law Journal 11, no. 4, (2004).

51 Henry Hogue and Keith Bea, “Federal Emergency Management and Homeland Security Organization: Historical Developments and Legislative Options,” Congressional Research Service, June 1, 2006, pp. 4–5.

52 The White House, “The U.S. Secret Service in History,” Spring 1998,

53 Federal Emergency Management Agency, “Publication 1,” November 2010, p. 6,

54 Shawn Reese, “The Federal Protective Service and Contract Security Guards: A Statutory History and Current Status,” Congressional Research Service, August 20, 2009, p. 1.

55 NPR, “Timeline: America’s War on Drugs,” April 2, 2007,

56 Federal Emergency Management Agency, “Publication 1,” November 2010, p. 7,

57 U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “Populating a Nation: A History of Immigration and Naturalization,”

58 Bruce R. Lindsay and Justin Murray, “Disaster Relief Funding and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations,” Congressional Research Service, April 2011. And see Francis X. McCarthy and Jared T. Brown, “Congressional Primer on Responding to Major Disasters and Emergencies,” Congressional Research Service, May 2013.

59 The Stafford Act, quoted in Francis X. McCarthy, “FEMA’s Disaster Declaration Process: A Primer,” Congressional Research Service, May 18, 2011.

60 Brad Plumer, “Is Sandy the Second-Most Destructive U.S. Hurricane Ever,” Washington Post, November 5, 2012.

61 Rutherford H. Platt, Disasters and Democracy (Washington: Island Press, 1999), p. 88.

62 James F. Miskel, Disaster Response and Homeland Security (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2008), p. 88.

63 Quoted in James F. Miskel, Disaster Response and Homeland Security (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2008), p. 85.

64 Kenneth B. Noble, “California to Get More in Quake Aid,” New York Times, March 13, 1996.

65 9/11 Memorial, “What Happened on 9/11?”

66  Transportation Security Administration, “TSA Workforce,” July 10, 2013,

67 Chris Edwards, “Privatizing the Transportation Security Administration,” Cato Institute Policy Analysis no. 742, November 19, 2013.

68 President George W. Bush, “The Department of Homeland Security,” June 2002,, pp. 1, 7, 16.

69 Scott Higham and Robert O’Harrow Jr., “The High Cost of a Rush to Security,” Washington Post, June 20, 2005.

70 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, “Overview,” August 2013,

71 Chris Edwards, “Cutting the Army Corps of Engineers,” March 2012,

72 Chris Edwards, “The Federal Emergency Management Agency,” Cato Institute Policy Analysis no. 764, November 18, 2014.

73 Gregory J. Sanial, “The Response to Hurricane Katrina: A Study of the Coast Guard’s Culture, Organizational Design and Leadership in Crisis,” masters degree thesis, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, June 2007.

74 Government Accountability Office, “Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Disaster Relief,” GAO-06-844T, June 14, 2006. And see Brad Heath, “Katrina Fraud Swamps System,” USA Today, July 6, 2007.

75 Associated Press, “Abuse Could Push Katrina Costs to $2 Billion,” December 25, 2006.

76 Eric Lipton, “Breathtaking Waste and Fraud in Hurricane Aid,” New York Times, June 27, 2006.

77 Jeanne Meserve and Mike M. Ahlers, “TSA Tester Slips Mock Bomb Past Airport Security,”, January 28, 2008.

78 House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, “A Decade Later: A Call for TSA Reform,” November 16, 2011, p. 14.

79 Cited in House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, “TSA Ignores More Cost-Effective Screening Model,” June 3, 2011, p. 12.

80 Dana Hedgpeth, “Congress Says DHS Oversaw $15 Billion in Failed Contracts,” Washington Post, September 17, 2008.

81 G. W. Schulz, “Homeland Security USA: Is the Coast Guard Spending too Much on Defense?” The Center for Investigative Reporting, February 27, 2009.

82 Renae Merle, “Coast Guard Seeks Deepwater Refund,” Washington Post, May 18, 2007.

83 Chris Edwards, “Privatizing the Transportation Security Administration,” Cato Institute Policy Analysis no. 742, November 19, 2013.

84 Elizabeth Newell Jochum, “Protective Service Blasted for Security Gaps at Federal Buildings,” Government Executive, July 8, 2009.

85 Homeland Security News Wire, “DHS St. Elizabeths Project Hobbled by Delays, Cost Overruns,” March 25, 2014,

86 Mickey McCarter, “DHS Management Strives to Improve Employee Morale,” HS Today, March 2012.

87 Partnership for Public Service, “The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government,” 2013,

88 Transportation Security Administration, “TSA and AFGE Ratify Collective Bargaining Agreement,” press release, November 9, 2012.

89 House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Transportation Security, “Rebuilding TSA into a Smarter, Leaner Organization,” September 10, 2012, p. 1.

90 House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, “A Decade Later: A Call for TSA Reform,” November 16, 2011, pp. 2, 18.

91 Kip Hawley, “Why Airport Security Is Broken and How to Fix It,” Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2012. Hawley was TSA administrator from July 2005 to January 2009.

92 Steven P. Bucci, et al, “After Hurricane Sandy: Time to Learn and Implement the Lessons in Preparedness, Response, and Resilience,” Heritage Foundation, October 24, 2013, p. 10. About $10 billion of the spending was for the National Flood Insurance Program.

93 GAO report discussed in Ashley Halsey III, “GAO Says There Is No Evidence That a TSA Program to Spot Terrorists Is Effective,” Washington Post, November 13, 2013.

94 Burgess Everett, “Rand Paul Planning Round 2 Against TSA,” Politico, January 2013.

95 Robert Poole, “Airport Security: Time for a New Model,” Reason Foundation, January 2006.

96 Chris Edwards, “Privatizing the Transportation Security Administration,” Cato Institute Policy Analysis no. 742, November 19, 2013.


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