Tensions regarding the U.S.-Mexico border have been among the primary focal points in national security conversations in recent months. The main source of the controversies and concerns are rooted in the potential lifting of Title 42, the part of the U.S. Code that dictates public health during a crisis, which was adopted in April 2020 in the wake of COVID-19. It held that U.S. Customs and Border Protection personnel could turn away potential immigrants from entering the country on the grounds of diminishing the virus’ spread.
Due to a lower court order, the policy was supposed to be dissolved on Dec. 21 but it was extended at the last minute due to the lobbying of a coalition of attorneys general in an appeal to the Supreme Court.
In December, the Department of Homeland Security issued an emergency update to their six-part plan aimed at the “whole-of-government.” In the update, DHS shared that the agency predicts “migration levels will increase as smugglers seek to take advantage of and profit from vulnerable migrants once the Title 42 public health order is lifted.”
To further investigate the potential newfound activity at the southwest border, President Biden made the first visit of his term to the U.S.-Mexico border on Sunday.
At the upcoming Homeland Security Forum, hosted by ExecutiveBiz, top acquisition professionals and leaders in the national security space will converse about the most pressing issues of the day—including immigration and border policies. The virtual event will take place on Feb. 7 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and you can register here.
During the forum, U.S. CBP Chief Acquisition Officer Mark Borkowski will participate in a panel discussion, in which he will no doubt address some of these recent debates and developments in border security.
In the same aforementioned document, DHS stated that the surge in migrating, displaced peoples to the U.S. has been escalated by economic and political conflicts and disruptions across the Globe. The department estimates that these are “the highest levels of mass migration since World War II.”
Elsewhere, DHS has centered its goals around four themes in its acquisition strategic plan: empower, collaborate, innovate and procure. This was introduced by the department’s Chief Procurement Officer, Paul Courtney, who came into his role in Aug. 2021.
Courtney will deliver the keynote address at the Homeland Security Forum. During the talk, he will touch on his efforts to utilize DHS’ Procurement Innovation Lab to implement “strategies to streamline processes and improve efficiency for industry and government.”
“As the complexity of our mission requirements and associated procurements continues to evolve and grow, this risk-tolerant, mission-focused mindset is a must have within our procurement culture,” Courtney said of the PIL and its usage.
As of Fall 2022, Courtney and the department are searching for a new executive to oversee PIL and are formulating a training initiative aimed at both the public and private sector called “The Next Level.” This program will introduce nine new procurement strategies that emphasize innovation.
The event will feature Courtney’s keynote remarks, as well as panel contributions from Borkowski, FEMA’s Lester Ingol, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Keith O’Neill and DHS’ own Cathy Smith. Don’t miss out on this morning of insightful conversations on the state of our nation and the acquisition leaders who help solve our most important challenges.