DHS might as well declare itself a Trump Super PAC
An Associated Press story from Ben Fox and Elliot Spagat, “Trump administration turns to immigration as vote nears,” details how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is acting to advance the electoral prospects of Donald Trump. DHS’s illegally appointed acting leaders, Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli, are driving a host of hardline policies designed to generate headlines that reflect the President’s narrative of scary immigrants and permissive Democrats.
Key excerpts of the AP story:
It had the ingredients of a President Donald Trump campaign speech: dangerous immigrants, attacks on Democrat-run cities, even a mention of ‘America First.’ But it was Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, announcing a routine, and relatively minor, enforcement operation Wednesday at a Washington news conference.
…it was the third time in a week the administration rolled out actions to appear tough on immigration … And it added to charges from Trump critics that DHS and other agencies have become overtly politicized under this president.
…Its political role has increased in recent months, with the decision to deploy DHS tactical agents to Portland, Oregon, to confront protesters outside the federal courthouse without the consent of local authorities as part of Trump’s ‘law and order’ campaign theme.
Few issues are as important to Trump’s political base as immigration … attention to the issue has ebbed in the 2020 race, as Trump has focused more on unrest in Democratic cities, leftist activists and other matters. But the effort to rekindle the anti-immigration fervor has gained steam.
…Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a component of DHS, posted five billboards across Pennsylvania, a battleground state, with images of migrants charged with criminal offenses whom the agency was seeking to arrest.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
DHS is supposed to be a law enforcement agency. But under lackeys such as Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli, DHS has become a political arm of the Trump campaign. When armed agents of the state defer to an autocratic leader who threatens to undermine the legitimacy of a free and fair election, democracy is imperiled.
Chad Wolf’s paycheck is paid for by American taxpayers, not Trump’s reelection campaign. Hyped immigration raids in blue cities, election-year billboards in swing states, and photo ops at the border wall are not aimed at serving the public, they are aimed at pleasing a desperate and losing candidate.
But Trump’s go-to political comfort food of stoking racial division and the scary Black and Brown “other” is not working. In fact, much like in contested elections in 2017, 2018 and 2019, it is likely to backfire with voters everywhere, except with hardcore supporters. The American people are sick of the divisiveness, the racism and the xenophobia. They are ready to turn the page. In the meantime, we are in for a very ugly stretch from Trump, aided cynically by a politicized DHS.