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DHS is More Focused on Reelecting Trump by Exploiting Nativism Than in Protecting America from a Pandemic

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Homeland Security Chief Fails to Reassure Congress, American People on Coronavirus 

At a time of heightened national public health concern surging from a pandemic preoccupying the minds of people across our nation and the globe, the full-blown ignorance of Acting Director of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chad Wolf was on display in Congress yesterday.  

When Wolf was unable to answer basic questions about the pandemic, Republican Senator John Kennedy called out Wolf’s negligence and unpreparedness on the issue: “You’re head of Homeland Security, and your job is to keep us safe…Don’t you think you ought to check on that, as the head of Homeland Security?”

Wolf and the leadership at DHS are disregarding America’s safety because they are focused on diverting funds to build a wall, separating families, deporting refugees, and endangering those fleeing danger by sending them to Mexico and Central America without a fair hearing. 

The incompetence at DHS was also on display yesterday when Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli was scouring the internet for CDC data and turning to a Johns Hopkins map and Twitter for his sources, only to be turned down by a member paywall. For someone second-in-command of our homeland security agency, the notion of turning to Twitter and outside websites for information he should have in front of him, is not only absurd, it is downright terrifying.

According to Executive Director of America’s Voice Frank Sharry: 

DHS has become something akin to a Super Pac for Donald Trump’s reelection. They should be coordinating the nation’s response to protect our nation from a worldwide pandemic. 

Trump and Miller, with Wolf and Cuccinelli the willing lackeys, have so politicized DHS that the agency’s leadership is entirely focused on driving Trump’s election-year nativist narrative. In effect, their message is this: don’t worry about a disease that could wipe out millions; worry about brown people fleeing violence and seeking safety in a nation that once described itself as a leader in protecting refugees.

We need a government that is competent, not cruel. We need a government that brings us together, not divide us along racial and ethnic lines for political advantage. We need a government that cares about our entire country and not just their polarizing politics. 

At moments like this, we need the government to protect us. Instead, we have government officials that protect the political interests of Trump.