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This title concerns the responsibilities of the Department of Homeland Security for border and transportation security.

Section 401. Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security.

This section specifies primary responsibilities of the Under Secretary for Border and Transportation Security. These include: (1) preventing the entry of terrorists and the instruments of terrorism into the United States, (2) securing the borders, territorial waters, ports, terminals, waterways, and air, land, and sea transportation systems of the United States, (3) administering the immigration and naturalization laws of the United States, including the establishment of rules governing the granting of visas and other forms of permission to enter the United States to individuals who are not citizens or lawful permanent residents, (4) administering the customs laws of the United States, and (5) ensuring the speedy, orderly, and efficient flow of lawful traffic and commerce in carrying out these responsibilities.

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Section 402. Functions transferred.

This section identifies agencies and functions relevant to border and transportation security that are to be transferred to the Department of Homeland Security. These include the United States Customs Service (now in the Department of the Treasury), the Immigration and Naturalization Service (now in the Department of Justice), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (now in the Department of Agriculture), the Coast Guard (now in the Department of Transportation), and the Transportation Security Administration (now in the Department of Transportation). The section expressly requires that the Coast Guard be maintained as a distinct entity within the Department of Homeland Security. In addition, because of its important role in securing public buildings, the Federal Protective Service of the General Services Administration is also transferred to the Department.

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Section 403. Visa issuance

This section transfers to the Secretary of Homeland Security control over the issuance and denial of visas to enter the United States, while preserving the Secretary of State’s traditional authority to deny visas to aliens based upon the foreign policy interests of the United States. The section expressly authorizes the Secretary of Homeland Security to delegate his authority under this section to State Department and other federal government personnel and provides that the Secretary will exercise his authority through the Secretary of State. The section does not alter the employment status of diplomatic or consular officers processing visas abroad, who will remain employees of the Department of State.

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