How angry should we be with members of the House and Senate who don’t apologize to the American people now that San Francisco’s sanctuary city status is suddenly new news because of a murder? Public decision makers will frame what happened as a problem caused by the failure to pass sweeping immigration reform legislation. They will ignore the fact that efforts to clamp down on big city refusals to enforce federal law have been rejected for years, with predictable consequences.
From border security to domestic extremism to keeping the skies safe for travelers, the Department of Homeland Security is tasked with guarding our gates and the American way of life. Does the agency see to domestic security based on our country’s needs, or what best serves the goals of the party in the White House?
There was a lot of strong talk after September 11 about securing the homeland. Now we have Park 51, the Ground Zero mosque, open for business just a short distance from the site of the Islamic terrorist attacks. Over a decade after 9/11 we still have problems identifying who is attending our flight schools and more states are handing out driver’s licenses to foreign nationals. The Southwest Border seems less secure than ever as children from Central America strain the Border Patrol’s resources and inflame state and local governments forced to deal with the problem. ICE agents have perhaps the worst job of all within the agency as they try to enforce laws that have become so unpopular that the word from the top is ignore them whenever possible.
Should domestic security be a partisan pursuit? After Janet Napolitano’s departure, new DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson is continuing the tradition of lip synching for the president and Democratic Party leaders.
Civil Candor’s Homeland Security category focuses on the discord between the agency’s job of protecting Americans and its increasingly larger role of backing White House policy. When the two tasks come into conflict, who wins and who loses?
It has been a raucous summer for the GOP House. John Boehner’s threats to Obama flew, some right at the president, others at his Democratic enablers in the Senate. The White House plan to spend billions to aid foreign intruders went down the drain. The border bill tanked. The Senate left town. Republicans came back. Boehner aimed a taunt at his Senate opponent:
Senator Reid, embarrassed that he cannot strong-arm the Senate into passing the blank check President Obama demanded, is making a deceitful and cynical attempt to derail the House’s common-sense solution.
How angry should we be over the lies about the border that the Obama administration sold to the public? It was easy to swallow the half-truths and outright fabrications that summed up border policy until the administration got caught with its pants down by a bunch of illegal kids. Now Washington has to act because the president has a PR disaster on his hands that is exploding out of control.
What do childhood arrivals eagerly awaiting their DACA rubber stamp have in common with U.S. visa overstays? Homeland Security’s numbers. In a recent federal report the agency admits there are over one million visa overstays it has been unable to match to arrival records.¹ The data problem is a little different with DACA applicants. Most of them are getting what they want when they sign up for Obama deferred action, which raises the question of how the records can show so many illegal immigrants have spotless pasts?
Another bill passed years ago has come back to haunt Capitol Hill. Eager to demonstrate its anti-terrorism stance after the September 11 attacks, Congress passed 2005’s Real ID Act as part of H.R. 1268, a messy spending juggernaut that paid for everything from global anti-terrorism efforts to tsunami relief to military death benefits.
2005 was a long time ago.