After three and a half years of running the Department of Homeland Security as an instrument of immigration policy and politics, the Trump administration has set the department up for a fall if Democrats take power this November, the Washington Post reports. Proposals to reorganize or carve up DHS remain outside the mainstream, but fueled by anger over DHS’s role in responding to Portland protests, the calls for reform have intensified among Democrats.
Some developing proposals to dismantle DHS would essentially restore its agencies and subagencies to their pre-9/11 homes. Immigration and border enforcement would go back to the Justice Department. The Treasury Department would reabsorb the U.S. Secret Service, and the Transportation Department would take over the Transportation Security Administration. The Coast Guard would go to the Pentagon. Longtime DHS officials say such a breakup would make the country newly vulnerable to terrorist attack in a repeat of the missteps that led to 9/11. But the first DHS secretary, Republican Tom Ridge, says President Trump did the department no favors by the way he deployed military-fatigue-clad federal agents on the streets of an American city. “I wasn’t just disappointed – I was angry,” Ridge said. “The president has perverted the mission of DHS.”