Tag Archives: Homeland Security

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.

Sh**hole story just keeps roiling

The sh**hole story is the gift that just keeps on giving.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen sat before a Senate committee today and couldn’t recall hearing Donald J. Trump use the term “sh**hole” to describe African nations, as well as Haiti and El Salvador.

Intelligence Committee members grilled her on what she heard. They queried about what Sen. Dick Durbin said he heard, as he attended the White House meeting on immigration.

Then came a curious response to a question from Sen. Patrick Leahy.

The president had said during the White House meeting that the United States needed to encourage more immigration from Norway, which Nielsen acknowledged during her testimony today.

“Norway is predominantly white, yes?” Leahy asked. Nielsen actually said — and I am not making this up — that she didn’t know about Norway’s predominant ethnic composition.

I am left to wonder … huh, are you kidding me?

The Homeland Security boss doesn’t know that a significant Scandinavian country comprises citizens who are, um, quite white? Many of them are blonde; they have blue eyes; they’re, um, nothing like the folks who come here from those “sh**hole countries.”

This story won’t go away.

Especially when the Trump administration keeps trotting Cabinet officers out who cannot respond to direct questions with equally direct answers.

Voter fraud commission is a goner … good!

Donald J. Trump said this today in a statement released by the White House:

“Despite substantial evidence of voter fraud, many states have refused to provide the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity with basic information relevant to its inquiry.

“Rather than engage in endless legal battles at taxpayer expense, today I signed an executive order to dissolve the Commission, and have asked the Department of Homeland Security to review these issues and determine next courses of action.”

Where do I begin? I’ll start with this: Mr. President, the only “evidence” produced came from your mouth or, more accurately, your Twitter account.

The president said after the 2016 election that “millions of illegal immigrants” voted for Hillary Clinton, giving her the nearly 3 million popular vote margin she rolled up while losing the Electoral College tally. Trump never produced a scintilla of evidence. No one ever proved a thing about alleged widespread voter fraud.

So he convened this voter fraud panel to prove he was right. It didn’t find a thing. The president is right about one thing: States refused to cooperate because elections officials — including those in Texas — couldn’t determine any rational cause for releasing the information.

This looked for all the world like an effort to find a solution in search of a problem. The problem didn’t exist in the manner that the president alleged.

I’ll make a friendly wager. No money involved: The Department of Homeland Security won’t find anything, either.

Another day, another lie from POTUS

Is the president of the United States unable to tell the truth — about anything?

This latest reported fib simply boggles my mind.

Donald J. Trump said he had received a phone call from Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto congratulating him on the success of U.S. efforts to curb illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump made the remark Monday as he was introducing former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly as the new White House chief of staff.

The president said “even the president of Mexico called me” to offer a pat on the back.

Hold on! The Mexican foreign ministry said no such call went through. It said President Pena Nieto did not call the U.S. president. He did not offer an encouraging word in the context that Trump described. The men haven’t spoken for some time, the ministry said.

Who do you believe? The president of a friendly nation who, as near as I can tell, is not prone to fabricate events or conversations? Or do you believe Donald John Trump Sr., the guy who has shown an amazing penchant for prevarication for, oh, his entire professional and political life?

It might be that Trump wished for a phone call. Maybe he dreamt it came.

Whatever. On this one, I’m going to go with the guy on the other side of our border.

Rick Perry at Homeland Security? Interesting idea

Reports are surfacing that Energy Secretary Rick Perry is being considered for a major Cabinet shift within the Trump administration.

The Texas Tribune reports that Perry might move to the Homeland Security Department to become the new secretary there, replacing John Kelly, who’s taken the thankless job of White House chief of staff.

That the former Texas governor is under consideration for the Homeland Security job makes plenty of sense to me. I believe he could be a good fit in that post.

He served for 14 years as governor of Texas, which has the longest border with Mexico of all the states along our southern border. He understands the issue of border security as well as any leading politician.

As the Texas Tribune reports, though, a shift of this importance signals a dramatic — some would say unbelievable — evolution in the relationship between Gov. Perry and Donald J. Trump. Perry once campaigned for the presidency against Trump. Perry then called his fellow Republican a “cancer on conservatism.” Trump ridiculed Perry after the former governor started wearing eyeglasses, suggesting Perry did so only to make himself look smarter.

All that changed, though, after Trump’s election. The two men buried the hatchet — and not in each other’s backs. The Energy Department job was Perry’s reward from the man who beat him for the GOP presidential nomination.

Is the former governor the perfect pick for Homeland Security? No, but in one way — to my way of thinking — he actually could be better than the man he would succeed. Perry’s record as Texas governor suggests a more reasonable immigration outlook than the one John Kelly espoused while he ran DHS. Perry’s understanding of border issues, earned by his years as governor of a large and important state, tells me he well could be a stellar choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security.

Cue the music and let’s see whether this latest report puts Rick Perry into the DHS chair.

It’s you, Mr. President, not your chief of staff

The critiques are pouring in on the White House in the wake of the ouster of Reince Priebus as chief of staff.

Donald John Trump shoved Priebus out the door this week and hired Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly as the new chief.

But those critiques seem to be conveying the same message: The White House failure to function as a “fine-tuned machine” — which is how Trump once described his administration — belongs solely to the president, not the chief of staff.

It’s Trump’s tweets. It’s his capriciousness. It’s his ignorance of government and how it works. It’s the presence of unqualified family members in the innermost circle of key advisers. It’s that maniac communications director — Anthony “Mooch” Scaramucci — who reports directly to the president.

Because the president doesn’t know how to assemble a competent governing team, his chief of staff has fallen on the proverbial grenade.

His new chief of staff, Kelly, comes from an entirely different mold. He is a career Marine Corps officer; a retired four-star general; a war hero; a Gold Star father who lost a son in combat. He’s a kick-ass military man.

My latest Question of the Day is simply this: Is the president going to let Gen. Kelly run the White House and control the message the way it’s supposed to be done, the way many effective chiefs of staff have done?

I don’t know what John Kelly is doing this weekend as he prepares to assume this new gig, but I would hope he’d be on the phone with some preceding chiefs of staff and asking them for pointers on how he ought to proceed in this atmosphere of chaos and confusion.

The source of that chaos? He sits on the Oval Office.

Kelly vs. Mooch: All bets are off

John Kelly is about to take on the job of his nightmares.

He is the next White House chief of staff, replacing Reince Priebus, who was booted out of his job this week by the president of the United States, one Donald John Trump.

The president, moreover, has hired a communications director who is exhibiting the conduct of a madman. Anthony “Mooch” Scaramucci went on a profanity-laced tirade and predicted correctly that Priebus would be gone by the end of the week.

Now into this maelstrom comes Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general. He is a no-nonsense general-grade officer. He has served his country heroically and with supreme honor. He moves into the White House from the Department of Homeland Security, where he served as secretary.

It’s the Kelly vs. Mooch situation that ought to cause concern throughout the massive federal government.

Mooch reports to the Donald Trump. Tradition — something for which the president has zero regard — has made the communications director answer to the chief of staff.

Here’s my question: How long will it take Gen. Kelly to slap some sense into Mooch and tell this loudmouth that the chief of staff controls the message?

It’s being said in recent hours and days that no previous president would have put up with the hideous tirade that Mooch launched against Priebus. Mooch called Priebus a “schizophrenic,” adding a colorful f-bomb adjective in front of that term.

Can you imagine someone referring to, say, previous WH chiefs Leon Panetta or James Baker III with that kind of language?

With all of that said, Gen. John Kelly is walking into a White House that is in an utter state of confusion and chaos. It’s a direct reflection of the man who refused to let the previous White House chief of staff do his job.

Moreover, it all reflects directly on the incompetence demonstrated daily by Donald John Trump Sr.

Good luck to you, Gen. Kelly. You will need every bit of it.

Another prime al-Qaeda target emerges

Welcome to the world of most wanted public enemies, young man.

I refer to the son of Osama bin Laden, a fellow named Hamza bin Laden, a 28-year-old terrorist with visions of walking along his late father’s blood-soaked trail.

The young bin Laden has declared that he wants to rekindle al-Qaeda as a terrorist force, a force for evil.

OK, then. Here’s a thought for Donald Trump’s national security team.

You’ve got a professed killer on the loose with the stated aim of juicing up a bloodthirsty terrorist organization. That means he has declared himself to be an enemy of the United States of America.
What does this mean? It means the young man is fair game. He’s a target for our special ops forces, our CIA spooks and those who might be close to him who could help guide our personnel toward a hit in the manner of the mission that took out Osama bin Laden in May 2011.

The president has a first-rate national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, on the job. His homeland security secretary, John Kelly, also is a competent former Marine general. They have the best military apparatus ever assembled at their disposal; indeed, former Marine Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis has emerged as a serious-minded secretary of defense. They also have the best intelligence-gatherers available to them as well — no matter what the president might think of them.

Let’s get busy and find this guy.

I think they ought to commence — if they haven’t already — a “search and destroy” mission to rid the world of Osama bin Laden’s son.

Good hunting. We’ll await your report.

What about The Wall, Gen. Kelly?

greatwalloftrump

Donald J. Trump’s very first specious campaign promise en route to his being elected president of the United States was that he would build a “beautiful wall” along the length of our nation’s southern border.

He would secure our border with Mexico against those hordes or rapists, murders, drug dealers and, oh yes, international terrorists intent on destroying the United States of America.

And he’d make Mexico pay for it, too! That, of course, drew the expected rebuke from Mexican officials who said, in effect, “Oh, no we won’t.”

Now we have a Homeland Security secretary-designate, retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, on board with the still-forming Trump administration.

What about that wall, Gen. Kelly?

Are we going to build it? Do you support the president-elect on that nonsensical notion? And what about the “deportation force,” general? Are you going to hire all the thousands of homeland security agents it will take to round up the 11 million — or so — illegal immigrants living in this country?

Trump’s initial campaign pledge makes the homeland security appointment all that more important. The way I figure it, if Trump was going to make illegal immigration his signature issue — which he did when he rode down the Trump Tower elevator the day he announced his candidacy — then he meant for it to be the most important promise he’d make.

It’s interesting to me that we’ve heard nary a peep from Gen. Kelly — or the president-elect, for that matter — on the strategy we’re going to employ to build the wall.

Let’s hear it, guys!

Trump surrounded by ‘know-nothing’ generals?

kelly

First it was Michael Flynn.

Then came James Mattis.

Now we hear that John Kelly is joining the Donald J. Trump administration. What do these men have in common?

They’re all retired generals. Flynn is a soldier; Mattis and Kelly are Marines. Among them they have 11 stars on their epaulets. Army Lt. Gen. Flynn will be the national security adviser; Marine Gen. Mattis will be defense secretary; Marine Gen. Kelly is slated to be nominated to lead the homeland security department.

Hey, didn’t Trump say he knows “more than the generals, believe me” about ISIS?

It might be that perhaps he’s rethinking that bold — and reckless — boast. If so, then he ought to acknowledge as much.

But here’s another fascinating aspect of these men: They’re all blunt talkers. They speak their mind. They are take-no-prisoners kinds of men when it comes to policy discussion and debate.

The Flynn-Mattis relationship might be particularly fascinating to watch, given the traditional tension that exists between the national security chief and the defense boss.

Moreover, will these men’s penchant for candor and frankness work well with a president known to be, um, less than receptive to other people’s points of view, let alone these so-called truth-tellers?

This could be dramatic in the extreme.