Tag Archives: DHS

Our border isn’t ‘open’

How many times do I have to say this: We do not have “open borders’? 

That is the mantra being recited time and again by far right wing opponents of President Biden, who continue to insist that our borders — particularly our southern border — have been flung wide open for anyone to pour into the country.

Let’s review what just happened along the border with Mexico near Del Rio, Texas.

Thousands of Haitians congregated under an international bridge. They were fleeing corruption in their country as well as fleeing the destruction brought by a killer earthquake.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott deployed Department of Public Safety officers to the border to assist Customs and Border Patrol agents in managing the chaotic scene. U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials were on it, too.

Now the crowd is gone. The migrants have been sent back to Haiti, sent to third countries or are being processed to achieve legal immigrant status.

Is that a signal that we have an “open border”? No. It isn’t!

Our borders are no more “open” than they have been during the terms of Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter … I’ll stop there.

Yet the critics of Joe Biden seize on the chaos brought forth and are offering the canard about “open borders” as a weapon to use against him. One of those critics, former Housing Secretary Ben Carson, writes in Newsweek, “We are encountering more people at our southern border than any other time in the last 21 years. Two months in a row, the numbers exceeded 200,000; in August 2021, the numbers represented a 317 percent increase over August of last year.”

Biden Has Effectively Opened Our Border. He Is Once Again Vindicating Trump | Opinion (msn.com)

OK, Dr. Carson. How are they responding to that influx? We aren’t just letting ’em pour in, doc! Get a grip here.

Yes, the Biden team needs to do better. Yes, they need to make their response more efficient. And, yes, we cannot tolerate the sight of mounted CBP officers herding Haitians like cattle as they seek shelter from the misery they are fleeing.

However, the border isn’t “open.”


Impeach Biden over … border? Really?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Chip Roy has signed his name to the Republican Party’s loony bin caucus roster.

The Texas U.S. representative wants the House to impeach President Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas because they haven’t done enough to secure our border against illegal immigration and — I will presume — all those criminals who are “pouring” into the country.

Impeach them? For that? Is this guy serious? He thinks he is. I happen to believe he is nuttier than a Snickers bar.

Texas Rep. Chip Roy calls for impeachment of President Biden, DHS Secretary Mayorkas (msn.com)

If we’re going to apply that so-called “logic” as grounds for impeachment, than every president who came before Biden should have been sent to the House gallows to be impeached. Dare I mention that should include Republican presidents as well as Democrats? There. I just did.

Rep. Roy needs to get a grip on reality.

President Biden inherited a mess when he took office. His presidential predecessor had not stemmed the illegal immigrant flow. Neither had the man who preceded him, Barack Obama, or the man who was on the watch before that, George W. Bush.

Republicans along our southern border — and that is the crux of the argument here — are yapping and yammering about the pi**-poor job Biden allegedly is doing. I agree he needs to take a stronger grip on the border issue and, yes, it is a “crisis.”

Impeach him and the DHS boss for it? This matter doesn’t even begin to rise to the level of a high crime or misdemeanor.

It’s a ‘crisis’ for sure

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

For those who think I am a Joe Biden suck-up who just cannot criticize the new president, here’s flash for you …

I believe President Biden misread and underestimated the impact of his immigration policy on our southern border and is now paying the price for allowing a full-blown crisis to develop.

Were I able to offer face-to-face advice to the president prior to his taking office, I would have said that his kinder/gentler immigration policy is going to entice immigrants into this country — and that he had better be prepared to handle the influx of human beings seeking a better life than the one they are leaving behind.

He didn’t do that.

To be sure, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is trying to assure the nation that the Biden administration has this matter under control, and that DHS and others intend to treat immigrants humanely. I want to believe Mayorkas.

The Biden approach to immigration issues presents a polar opposite strategy from what occurred during the Donald Trump years. Trump sought to round up everyone who was here illegally and deport them poste-haste back to wherever they came from. He separated children from their parents in what has been vilified as an act of abject cruelty.

Joe Biden took office promising a softer approach than the one offered by Donald Trump. If I was living in a Latin American nation and wanted to escape poverty, crime and repression for a new life in the U.S., you’re damn right I would do what I could to get there. If I was sending that message out to the world, which is what President Biden did, then I certainly would have thought out a strategy to deal with an expected tide of new arrivals.

President Biden needs to get both arms wrapped tightly around this matter in a major hurry. I am going to trust in the president’s desire to do right by those who seek entry into the Land of the Free. I also am going to implore him to stop worrying about what to call what is happening along our border.

It’s more than a “challenge,” Mr. President. It’s a “crisis.”

Ex-DHS official gets serious threat

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Christopher Krebs has ample reason to examine whether he should take legal action against a member of Donald Trump’s legal team who exhibited incredibly crass tendencies in threatening Krebs’s well-being.

Trump fired Krebs from his Homeland Security post for declaring that the presidential election was the most secure in history; Krebs’s statement runs counter to the phony narrative Trump is promoting that the election that declared Joe Biden the winner is “rigged” and “fraudulent.” Trump hired Krebs to lead DHS election security network; he did his job and then declared what most of us knew already, that the election was safe and secure.

Then we hear from Joseph DeGenova, a former federal prosecutor who now works for Trump’s campaign. DeGenova said Krebs should be “drawn and quartered and shot.” Where I come from, that sounds like a direct threat to someone’s well-being.

Equally horrifying is that Trump hasn’t condemned DeGenova’s hateful message.

Krebs now is keeping all his legal options open. He also would be wise to sleep with one eye open at night. Does anyone at this point really think that some crazed Trumpkin isn’t capable of taking DeGenova’s idiocy seriously?

This is a disgraceful epilogue to a free and fair election.

Of all the ‘firsts,’ this one stands out

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President-elect Biden has scored a few “firsts” with his initial list of Cabinet and key administration aides.

He has named the first woman to lead Treasury, Janet Yellen; the first woman to become the director of national intelligence, Avril Haines.

However, his choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, is truly an inspired “first.” Mayorkas is the first Hispanic to lead the DHS. More importantly, he is the first immigrant, for crying out loud. Mayorkas is a refugee from Cuba.

We’ve been given four years of Donald Trump trashing Hispanics. His immigration policy has been, shall we say, decidedly anti-immigrant, given that he has been advised on that matter by the prince of immigration darkness, Stephen Miller.

Mayorkas worked at DHS for years during the Obama administration, The agency is huge. It deserves someone with a wealth of experience to run it.

Moreover, Mayorkas’s perspective as an immigrant casts DHS in a whole new light. Immigrants by themselves do not pose the existential threat that Trump and his team occasionally seemed to portray them.

As the grandson of immigrants, I am delighted to see President-elect Biden casting about for a diversified and qualified supporting cast that can help him craft a government that represents all Americans.

My strong hunch is that Joe Biden is far from finished providing us with more “firsts” as he forms the new government.

Revenge firings … that’s what they are!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald John Trump has taken the “art” of revenge firing to a despicable new low.

The outgoing president of the United States decided to fire the man he hired to make our election more secure for — are you ready for this? — declaring that the 2020 presidential election is the safest and most secure in U.S. history.

What’s more, Department of Homeland Security official Christopher Krebs got word of his firing via Twitter, which is Trump’s modus operandi for issuing these policy pronouncements.

All Krebs did was issue a statement that runs diametrically counter to Trump’s narrative, which is that President-elect Biden won the election because it is “rigged.” Trump is hollering about “widespread voter fraud” where none exists. Krebs had the temerity to say as much in his statement to the world.

So now he’s gone. Trump has hired another lackey to take Krebs’s place … and the phony narrative will continue to fester on the public stage.

Hey, I realize I said I would concentrate on Joe Biden’s developing presidency rather than worry about what’s left of Trump’s term in office. I just cannot let this shameful example of vengeance go unnoticed. So there.

Immigration ban: mostly for show

Donald J. “Xenophobe in Chief” Trump’s temporary ban on all immigration just doesn’t pass the smell test.

He is signing an executive order that bans for 60 days all immigration into the United States, except for those with temporary work visas. Trump says he wants to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that has killed more than 45,000 Americans.

Sure thing, Mr. President, except that the virus is not being “imported” by immigrants. The overwhelming number of new infections is coming from right here at home, which tells me that that the executive order was issued more than just a tad late in the game.

What’s more, the announcement came — as usual — via Twitter. Trump got into a late-night fidgety spell and blasted out the tweet reportedly without consulting immigration officials, the National Security Council, the FBI or the Department of Homeland Security. Gosh, isn’t it essential that you notify the appropriate agency heads of such drastic matters before you make the public announcement?

Trump’s anti-immigration stance is well known. It’s not just the folks who are sneaking in here illegally that has drawn his ire. He wants to clamp down as well on legal immigration. You know, he doesn’t like all that inbound traffic from what he calls “sh**hole countries,” meaning countries from, oh, Africa and Latin America.

The temporary immigration ban is nothing more than another example of Trump pandering to his base.


Now the acting homeland security boss hits the road

Surely I am not the only American who has this nagging sense that the Donald Trump administration is continuing to unravel, that it is a ship without a rudder, that the “fine-tuned machine” needs a serious overhaul.

Perhaps it should come at the very top of the chain of command.

The acting homeland security secretary, Kevin McAleenan, is calling it quits. Think of this for a moment: At the time when the president wants to crack down on illegal border crossings, trying to secure the “homeland” against evil doers intent on harming us, the guy charged with running the department is bailing.

Sure, the president said some nice things about McAleenan, who inherited the “acting” gig upon the (forced) resignation of Kirsteijn Nielsen. Then again, he often does even when he doesn’t mean it. McAleenan reportedly had been clashing with other senior Trump administration officials, perhaps even with the president himself, over policy matters.

So now the latest acting Cabinet secretary is hitting the road.

There are damn near too many acting secretaries and senior agency heads to count. We do have an acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, who’s basically taken a powder while the president struggles against the rising tide of evidence that is likely to lead to his impeachment.

But what the heck. Trump has said he likes having all these acting secretaries and senior agency bosses. It gives him “flexibility” in enacting policy pronouncements that pour forth from his Twitter account.

Whatever that’s supposed to mean.

So now the individual charged with protecting our “homeland” is gone. Who’s next, and when will that fine-tuned machine start functioning as one?

I don’t know the answer to the first part of the question. The second part? The executive branch of government will right itself when we get a new president of the United States.

Trump rattling his fellow Republicans with DHS purge

Donald Trump is on a tear through the agency formed to protect Americans against enemies of our nation.

He has fired (essentially) the secretary of homeland security, gotten rid of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, canned the Secret Service director. There are threats of more dismissals/resignations to come.

Republican senators are shaking their heads, according to Politico. Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa said she thought DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was doing a “fantastic” job.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said “It’s a mess,” referring to the border situation and the confusion and chaos at DHS.

Yep, it’s a mess, all right.

I believe that is exactly how Donald Trump prefers it.

Cohesion and smooth operation? Forget about it! Yet he calls his administration a “fine-tuned machine.” The president is not hearing the clanks and misfires from the political “engine” he has built.

I guess I’m allowed to wonder how all this tumult at Homeland Security is going to affect the agency’s ability to, um, secure the homeland.

Trump mocks his appearance, then fires him . . . coincidence?

The president had soured on Alles a while ago, even making fun of his looks, calling him Dumbo because of his ears, two officials said.

That would be Randolph Alles, the soon-to-be former head of the U.S. Secret Service. The observation of Donald Trump’s view of Alles comes via Twitter from Peter Baker, chief White House correspondent for the New York Times.

OK, I happen to believe what Baker is reporting. I completely believe that the president of the United States is fully capable of exhibiting untold cruelty toward individuals. Example? Recall the time he mocked NY Times reporter Serge Kovaleski’s severe physical disability.

So now we hear that Trump (allegedly) mocked Randolph Alles, the man in charge of the agency whose most high-profile job is to protect the president and his family.

Must I remind readers of this blog who think the sun rises and sets on Donald Trump’s vacuous head that he ain’t exactly GQ material.

Would it surprise anyone that this man, the president, is systematically alienating himself from the public service professionals who put everything on the line in service to their country? To think the denigration and the disgrace comes from someone who has no clue about what it means to serve the public.

It wouldn’t surprise me.

Not in the least.