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I commend the House of Representatives for voting today to reauthorize, for the first time, the Department of Homeland Security.  Since its formation nearly fifteen years ago in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, DHS has been on the front lines of the Federal Government’s efforts to keep the American public safe.

The United States continues to face evolving security challenges posed by terrorists, natural hazards, transnational criminal organizations, human traffickers, drug smugglers, and adversaries waging attacks in cyberspace.  The Homeland Security Authorization Act ensures that Secretary Kelly and the more than 240,000 DHS employees and contractors who work tirelessly to protect our country, and ensure our national preparedness, have all of the tools necessary to carry out their mission.

The Homeland Security Authorization Act also authorizes U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the first time.  Enforcement of our immigration laws is at its core a public safety issue. Secretary Kelly has already made tremendous progress, and this bill reflects my strong commitment to ending illegal immigration and fully enforcing the laws of the United States.

As President, there is no more solemn responsibility than my duty to keep this country safe.  I look forward to signing this important legislation and I encourage the United States Senate to take it up without delay.