Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary on the Oversight of the Department of Homeland Security on March 28th, 2023.

Secretary Mayorkas highlighted a variety of topics in his opening statement, and provided his insight on the evolution of the concept of Homeland Security, “The threat landscape has evolved significantly since our Department was created 20 years ago.  Homeland Security – as we thought of it in the wake of the 9/11 attacks – today has new meaning.”

Among his concerns to homeland security are cyber-attacks, the rise of aggression by the People’s Republic of China, increasing economic and political instability around the world, the rise of violent domestic extremism, the gravity and frequency of extreme weather events, and other forces combine to create a heightened threat environment here at home.

He also addressed his concerns regarding the emerging drone threat, stating, “Emerging technology is creating new threats.  Unmanned Aircraft Systems can be used to conduct attacks and increasingly violate temporary flight restrictions that protect high-ranking officials, disrupt airport operations, surveil outdoor mass gatherings, and attempt to transport illegal narcotics across borders.  It is vital that Congress act to extend and expand the Department’s counter-UAS authorities to protect against malicious drone activity.”

During his testimony, Mayorkas explained that the drone industry’s technological advancements pose a national security threat. Drones are capable of flying faster and farther, with improved visibility, and can transport heavier payloads.

(DHS Press Release)

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