Working rapidly, President George W. Bush appointed the first director of the Office of Homeland Security just 11 days after the devastating Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A year later, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was formed, encompassing 22 federal departments and agencies as diverse as the Secret Service, the U.S. Coast Guard, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Its singular purpose: “One department whose primary mission is to protect the American homeland.” Even Democrats agreed at the time that the security of the United States and its border was important.
In 2002, when Congress voted to create the DHS, 91% of the Senate voted in favor, and though those voting against were Democrats and one independent, 78% of Democrats voted aye. Then, as Liberty Nation’s Sarah Cowgill tells us, something changed:
“In 2008, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blathered frequently on the topic. ‘We do need to address the issue of immigration and the challenge we have of undocumented (read illegal) people in our country. We certainly do not want any more coming in,’ she said. The Democratic Party platform echoed the sentiment that year, referring to those entering the country ‘illegally’ three times, yet by 2016, the document’s immigration section did not use the word at all – or any variation thereof.”
The inviolate rule that underpins DHS is that homeland security begins at our borders. CBP is at the pointy edge of the spear and the face of DHS on our borders, maintaining U.S. sovereignty. These are the protectors who will suffer the burden and consequences of Biden’s new immigration directives. If the Biden administration gets its way, DHS will repurpose CBP from a border protection force to managing a visitors’ center to welcome illegal immigrants and potential terrorists.
One section of Biden’s executive order on immigration requires DHS to impose a 100-day pause on removing immigrants crossing the borders illegally. But here is some cold comfort: He excludes “terrorists/spies/national security threats, etc.,” who, presumably, can be removed, assuming CBP agents can quickly divine who the terrorists, spies, and national security threats are. Does that sound just a little naïve?
Anyone skeptical about the dangers of the Biden administration reversing the orders Donald Trump imposed to keep our country safe, consider this Feb. 3 tweet from Chief Patrol Agent Chris T. Clem of the Yuma, AZ, sector: “#YumaSector Border Patrol agents, conducting border security operations south of Yuma, Arizona, arrested a group of 11 Iranian nationals who illegally crossed the border into the United States Monday evening.” Since the beginning of the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, 2020, the CBP has arrested 14 Iranian nationals. In the same period, CBP arrested 3,464 criminal aliens and 570 with outstanding warrants. CBP agents are doing their jobs. But the stunning numbers demonstrate just what they are up against. They don’t need the Biden administration hobbling them.
Biden’s out-of-the-gate EOs seem focused on changing the mission of DHS. But apparently other homeland security missions were not worthy of administration mention. Not one executive order, memorandum, or proclamation touched on boosting cybersecurity, bolstering U.S. capability to deal with natural disasters through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, improving the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), or strengthening the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Countermeasures Program.
The heinous attack on the United States in 2001 prompted the building of a vital domestic security organization responsible for the safety of American citizens where they work, live, and play. By disassembling our border safety net, the Biden administration is creating homeland insecurity.
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.
Read more from Dave Patterson.
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