Homeland Security and Defense
“My most important job is keeping our community and our country safe and doing so in a way that reflects American values, not fear and hate.”
As Vice Chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, maintaining the safety and security of Illinois communities is Congresswoman Underwood’s number one priority. On the Homeland Security Committee, she brings her background in emergency response and preparedness to help protect America from natural disasters and emerging threats in the areas of cybersecurity and bioterrorism.
Congresswoman Underwood has introduced bipartisan legislation, H.R. 3526, the Counter Terror Network Act, to strengthen U.S. border security and counterterrorism efforts.
Congresswoman Underwood believes in fixing our nation’s broken immigration system with policies that protect American jobs and communities while aligning with our moral values. She has traveled to the U.S.–Mexico border multiple times to observe and provide oversight of the inhumane, unacceptable humanitarian crisis, and strongly opposes to the Administration’s family separation policy.
In response to what she learned at the border, Congresswoman Underwood introduced the U.S. Border Patrol Medical Screening and Standards Act (H.R. 3525) to ensure migrants apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border are appropriately and consistently screened for treatable conditions. Furthermore, H.R. 3525 instructs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish an electronic health record (EHR) system to streamline the medical screening process and to allow medical information to be easily shared across all DHS components.
More on Homeland Security and Defense
WASHINGTON— Today, Representative Lauren Underwood (IL-14) supported the passage of the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act to reverse the Trump Administration’s Muslim travel bans. The NO BAN Act, led by Representative Judy Chu (CA-27) and cosponsored by Underwood, rescinds all three versions of the President’s Muslim ban, restores the separation of powers by limiting overly broad executive authority to issue future travel bans, and prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion.
WASHINGTON— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Vice Chair of the Homeland Security Committee, slammed Peter Gaynor, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), on the Administration's failure to effectively respond to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. During the hearing, Underwood questioned Administrator Gaynor on FEMA's capacity to effectively manage an emergency of this scale as equipment shortages continue.
WASHINGTON— Yesterday, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Vice Chair of the Homeland Security Committee, continued her fight to deliver personal protective equipment (PPE) to Illinois health care providers and frontline working during the coronavirus pandemic. In a Homeland Security Committee hearing examining the federal response to the pandemic, Underwood questioned Craig Fugate, former Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other witnesses on the Administration’s failure to meet critical needs for PPE across the country.
WASHINGTON— Today, Representative Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Vice Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, welcomed Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker for a virtual hearing on the federal response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In her questioning, Underwood highlighted Illinois’s response to the pandemic and emphasized the importance of expert guidance and coordination at the federal level. Additionally, Underwood advocated for additional federal resources for state and local officials to ensure that schools can safely reopen for students, teachers, and their families.
WASHINGTON— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) released the following statement on the Supreme Court decision on the Trump Administration-backed lawsuit to rescind protections for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, commonly known as DACA.
WASHINGTON— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Vice Chair of the Homeland Security Committee, introduced new legislation to strengthen America’s resilience against disinformation during crises like the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Overseas and domestically, the increased use of deepfakes, manipulated media, and online bots to spread disinformation has become an emerging homeland security threat that threatens public health and safety.
WASHINGTON— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Vice Chair of the Homeland Security Committee, continued her work to safeguard U.S. elections in a virtual panel discussion on strengthening election security and integrity during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with Representative Jim Langevin (RI-02). During the forum, Underwood questioned Wendy Weiser from The Brennan Center for Justice, and Leigh Chapman from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights on steps states can take to address challenges facing voters and election officials in the 2020 election.
WASHINGTON— Today, Vice Chair Lauren Underwood (IL-14) chaired a House Committee on Homeland Security hearing examining the federal response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) with top Administration officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Department of Homeland Security. During the hearing led by Underwood, members questioned Deputy Director for Public Health Service and Implementation Science of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Dr.
WASHINGTON— Today, in a House Homeland Security Committee hearing, Vice Chair Lauren Underwood (IL-14) highlighted the Illinois Department of Public Health’s work to respond and prepare for the public health threats related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Underwood brought Illinois Department of Public Health Director, Dr. Ngozi O. Ezike, to testify at the hearing, where she shared the current steps the state of Illinois is taking to respond to coronavirus and coordinate efforts with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), federal agencies, and local entities.
WASHINGTON— Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14), Vice Chair of the Homeland Security Committee, questioned U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Acting Secretary Chad Wolf on the Department’s efforts to prepare and respond to the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19). During the hearing, Underwood questioned Acting Secretary Wolf on the steps DHS has taken to ensure the safety of its employees and their work to coordinate efforts with the Centers for Disease Control as well as state and local public health departments.