Sunday, 7 April 2019

Dismantle the US Department of Homeland Security

In the US Kirstjen Nielsen, the homeland security secretary, resigned on Sunday after meeting with President Trump. Now we're going to get someone who believes child separation is too lenient. The case for abolishing the wasteful, incompetent, and abusive mega-agency has become especially urgent under Trump. (Matt Ford, Dismantle the Department of Homeland Security', New republic February 21, 2018)
In its current form, DHS employs almost a quarter-million people and doles out tens of billions of dollars in grants and programs each year. Its missions include taking the lead on counter-terrorism programs, helping Americans recover from natural disasters, protecting and regulating the U.S. border, and defending the nation from cyberattacks. In all these efforts, DHS has been either incompetent, wasteful, redundant, or abusive—and Congress knows it.[...] No agency within Homeland Security has received as much scorn as Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and for good reason. [...] Customs and Border Protection has taken a disturbing turn since Trump took office.  [...] The department will always be the hastily assembled product of a dark, paranoid moment in American history. It also helps give permanence to that moment, preventing the country from moving beyond the post-9/11 era.
We should stop letting them use their feelgood seizures of smuggled cultural property to bolster their image - what matters is catching the culture criminals,  a task that is clearly beyond the coordination and competence of the DHS.

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