Tag Archives: DHS

National security suffering from government shutdown

Donald Trump says the partial government shutdown is aimed at improving national security. He wants to curb illegal immigration along our southern border and says The Wall will do the job. He wants money to pay for its construction.

OK, but what about national security?

The shutdown has had an impact on the Department of Homeland Security, the Cabinet agency directed specifically to protect us against threats to, um, the homeland.

Airport security? Let’s see. Those TSA security agents are being denied paychecks for them to do their job. Many of them are calling in sick to protest the shutdown. Thus, airport security is put in jeopardy.

What’s more, we are learning that most of the terror suspects apprehended in the past year have been nabbed at — where do you think? — our airports!

If this wall matter is related to national security and if the president wants to shutter part of our government to get Congress to spend $5.6 billion to pay for a project he pledged would be paid by Mexico, then how does the shutdown improve our national security?

Just my guess . . . but I believe it inflicts grievous injury to it.

Mend ICE, don’t end it

I happen to agree with a former homeland security secretary who is pushing back against progressive politicians’ call to get rid of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Jeh Johnson, who ran the Department of Homeland Security in the Obama administration, said that ICE needs to be reformed. To end it completely, he said, would compromise national security, given that ICE is a law enforcement agency.

Not at all surprisingly, Donald J. Trump has said progressive politicians favor “anarchy” instead of law and order. Those who holler for an end to ICE only give the president ammo to fire at his political foes.

He is at his demagogic best when given such ammunition. Trust me on this, he has been reckless in the extreme in suggesting that anti-ICE forces actually want the country to be “overrun” by gang members, assorted criminals and anyone who wants to do us harm.

As Johnson wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Post: “Abolish ICE” makes for a good rallying cry on the left. Demanding the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency also provides President Trump with a useful weapon for bludgeoning Democrats politically. He has said as much, and a good portion of the American public will listen to him.

Read the entire Post essay here.

If there is a way to make ICE a more compassionate law enforcement agency, then let’s look for that solution rather than an outright abolition.

Dreamers find a new friend in the courts

The nation’s so-called Dreamers might not have a friend in the White House — even though he professes to “love” them — they are getting some needed relief from the federal courts.

Dreamers are those who came to this country under the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals. They were brought here by their parents, yes, illegally, but they shouldn’t be punished — or deported — because of something Mom and Dad did.

A D.C. federal judge has just ruled that DACA recipients shouldn’t be deported by the federal government. Moreover, District Judge John Bates has ordered the government to accept new applications.

I’ll point out here that Judge Bates was appointed to the bench by Republican President George W. Bush. Donald J. Trump, also a Republican president, has vowed to eliminate the DACA program established by President Barack Obama. He keeps running into roadblocks set up by the federal judiciary. Judge Bates is just the latest.

In his ruling, Bates said, according to The Washington Post: ” … the Trump administration’s decision to phase out the program starting in March “was arbitrary and capricious because the Department (of Homeland Security) failed adequately to explain its conclusion that the program was unlawful.”

I will keep saying this  until I run out of breath — or until my fingers fall off — but the DACA recipients know no other country than the United States. To deport them, sending them back to countries they do not know, is heartless and inhumane. DACA is intended to grant these individuals a temporary reprieve from the threat of deportation, which the Obama administration hoped would incentivize them to seek permanent legal immigrant status or U.S. citizenship.

Donald Trump doesn’t see it that way.

I disagree with the president’s assertion that DACA recipients should be deported. I also am heartened by the courts’ persistent stance in defense of U.S. residents who deserve a chance to continue living in the Land of Opportunity.

McConnell acts like a grownup on DHS bill

Well, glory be.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell actually is capable of acting like a governing grownup. Good for him.

He wants the Senate to pass a “clean” Department of Homeland Security funding measure, without trying to undo President Obama’s executive action on immigration. He’s now putting the screws on the House of Representatives, which might resist the Senate boss’s efforts to keep DHS functioning after Friday.

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/233757-mcconnell-puts-squeeze-on-house

Without the funding bill, DHS will furlough 30,000 federal employees and will effectively shut down, putting the nation’s borders at risk of infiltration by undesirables — you know, drug smugglers and terrorists.

It’s not that McConnell wants to give Obama a pass on the immigration action. He said he’s willing to vote on defunding the executive action after voting on the DHS bill. Whatever.

The big story is that McConnell is willing to avoid shutting down a key national security agency over a partisan political fight.

National security — protecting the homeland, for instance — ought to be above partisanship. In this day and time, though, everything becomes a partisan battle. Everything!

Congress has shown a propensity for pulling rabbits out of its hat. The DHS funding issue has a lot of Americans — including me — worried about the level of gamesmanship both sides are willing to play, even if it involves protecting the nation.

Lawmakers have three whole days to get this thing done.

Do it, ladies and gentlemen.