On February 6, 2018, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen released a statement on President Trump’s signing of a National Security Presidential Memorandum to establish a National Vetting Center (NVC) to be housed within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The NVC, by supporting DHS and the “entire U.S. intelligence community,” would help departments and agencies improve coordination, intelligence use, and other information used during the vetting process. As part of the President’s efforts at heightened security, the NVC would implement tougher vetting and screening into individuals entering the U.S. Secretary Nielsen also stated that DHS would put mechanisms in place so that it accomplishes its mission of keeping dangerous individuals from reaching the U.S., while also protecting the privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties interests of individuals. The NVC would be subject to the oversight and guidance of a National Vetting Governance Board.
Secretary Nielsen, along with the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the Director of National Intelligence, are to establish the NVC. The director is to be designated by Secretary Nielsen, and the Secretary of State and the Attorney General will detail or assign senior officials from their respective agencies to serve as deputy directors. The memorandum emphasizes coordination between the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The NVC will not commence operations until the President approves an implementation plan to be jointly submitted by the above agencies within 180 days of the issuance of the memorandum.