President Joe Biden’s Executive Order regarding the “Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence” directs departments and agencies throughout the government, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State, to develop plans and policies to establish new standards for artificial intelligence (AI) use. In response, DHS has announced new programs to “strengthen national security, improve . . . operations, and provide more efficient services.”

DHS has been using AI to identify patterns in vehicle-crossing histories and to speed security processes by introducing touchless technologies at airports.

The expanded AI roadmap includes three pilot programs:

  • Enhancing Immigration Officer Training by generating dynamic, personalized training materials to meet officers’ specific needs and ensure the dissemination of knowledge on a wide range of relevant current policies and laws. The goal is to help enhance understanding and retention of crucial information and thereby increase the accuracy of the decision-making process and avoid unnecessary retraining.
  • Transforming Security Investigative Processes so that investigators can more effectively and efficiently summarize and search for relevant information in investigative reports. 
  • Improving Disaster Mitigation for all communities by learning how to more effectively identify risks and mitigation strategies and generate draft plans from publicly available sources. This would help communities determine how to apply for grants to become more resilient and reduce disaster risks.

To expedite these programs, in February 2024, DHS announced a “hiring sprint” to recruit 50 AI technology experts to work with its new AI Task Force.

As they introduce more AI technology, DHS wants to ensure that the technology is used mindfully and carefully. DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas explained that the results of these pilots will guide the agency’s AI roadmap going forward “while upholding [the Department’s] commitment to protect civil rights, civil liberties, and privacy.”

Jackson Lewis attorneys will continue to follow these developments, particularly regarding more consistent USCIS decision-making and whether there is any significant increase in targeted investigations.