According to Newsmax, Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano is “shifting America's enforcement focus on businesses that hire illegal aliens, rather than simply arresting illegals. She also is mandating that police put special emphasis on apprehending illegals who have criminal records and are a threat to the public.”
Interesting choice given the news that H1N1 (swine flue) is likely to spread and cause 40 percent of the workforce to stay home. The impact of H1N1 is far more likely to impact Americans even if there isn’t an outbreak in the immediate area. A 40 percent reduction in the workforce means across the board, not just selected industries. Imagine if 40 percent of all truckdrivers being infected with the H1N1 virus. Food, fuel, medical supplies, toilet paper, lumbers, etc. would all be delayed as a result of just one sector calling in sick. Now imagine first responders, sanitation workers, school teachers, daycare workers, hospice workers, even pizza delivery workers all staying home at the same time. The effects will be cascading impacting more than just one or two particular job sectors. The effects would also be long-term as it will take time for workers to recover. Even if the worker isn’t sick, he or she may be forced to stay home to take care of a family member.
Yet the Department of Homeland Security is going after illegal aliens instead of assuming an advocacy role in having employers and communities dust off their continuity of operations plans. DHS Secretary Napolitano sounds like she is rehashing the old policies first espoused by the “drug czar”; the flow of drugs and weapons through the Southwest border is the scourge of society requiring all of our law enforcement efforts to focus on this area.
The “drug czar”, otherwise know as the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), was first established by the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. Twenty-one years later, cocaine and marijuana are still flowing through the Southwest border despite the reallocation of law enforcement and military efforts to stem the flow of drugs. DHS Secretary Napolitano’s efforts seem unlikely to succeed as well. It is already illegal for businesses to hire aliens without work permits or visas. Redirecting more law enforcement agencies will to this new initiative is the same as throwing a boulder in the river; the water merely adjusts course around the obstruction but the flow doesn’t stop.
The other problem with this direction is the number of DHS agencies that do not have a role on the Southwest Border. The Secret Service, US Coast Guard, FEMA and TSA have no direct border control role. The US Border Patrol and ICE are already focused almost exclusively on the Southwest border, what else are they supposed to do in response to Napolitano’s policy?
The Department of Homeland Security still has to identify a clear role for itself and seems to be more of a bureaucratic impediment than a coordinating entity. I hope President Obama reconsiders the role for DHS with an eye towards eliminating it altogether.