Project 2025 And Immigration: Personnel And Policy
07/09/2024
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Much is in the news about the Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025, and most of the news is hyperventilating about "coming fascism," but besides taking control of the reins of government from the Deep State, it is very much judicious, legal, and Constitutional.

Every Republican has been decried by the Democrats as a monarchist or Nazi since Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman. Even the open-borders fanatic George W. Bush was alternatively decried as the next Hitler or a stupid chimpanzee, so I don’t take the fainting spells seriously, but I was interested in the reforms proposed for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and was looking for paradigm- shifting proposals, but almost all is either inside-baseball with little impact, some of which I have proposed going back years, but there are no major changes proposed [RINOs Rush To Legitimize The Obama Regime Administrative Amnesty, by Federale, Federale Blog, August 7, 2014].

In fact, Ken Cuccinelli, the author of the chapter on DHS, fails to address the only solution to both the problem at the border and for interior enforcement, except with half measures.

His first and major proposal is the creation of a new Cabinet department for immigration enforcement, though I am uncertain why a new department is necessary, when there is already DHS. What Cuccinelli is basically proposing is the creation of what the Homeland Security Act (HSA) of 2002 initially required, but Jorge Bush failed to implement, the creation of the Bureau of Border Security (BBS) to exercise all customs and immigration enforcement in the United States, including immigration benefits.

Ken Cuccinelli, the Best at DHS under Trump

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) be combined with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR); and the Department of Justice (DOJ) Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) and Office of Immigration Litigation (OIL) into a stand- alone border and immigration agency at the Cabinet level (more than 100,000 employees, making it the third largest department measured by manpower).

Department of Homeland Security, Ken Cuccinelli, Project 2025, Heritage Foundation

The unification of enforcement and immigration benefits functions is clearly a good idea, but what is essentially being recreated is the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), which was abolished by the HSA.

Cuccinelli goes on the propose some strange reforms, such as removing the U.S. Secret Service from DHS and transferring its two major functions, executive protection and financial investigations, to the Department of Justice and the Department of Treasury. This seems based on the strange idea that trained and experienced criminal investigators cannot perform the protective function well.

This chapter adopts those findings and recommendations in whole, especially the finding that USSS’s dual-mission structure detracts from the agency’s protective capabilities.

This is just not true; the skill set of an experienced field investigator is directly transferable to protection functions. I myself served as an investigator and protection agent with another Federal agency, the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). Both agencies value the skill sets of investigators and the transferability of those skills to protection.

Cuccinelli goes on to propose many sensible policy reforms on parole abuse, Temporary Protective Status (TPS), Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and others. Those are quite easy to implement, but all are working on the margins of the border and interior enforcement problem. The border can easily be solved by giving Mexico an ultimatum to end illegal immigration, or legal access to the United States by Mexican citizens will be ended. That solves the border, but interior enforcement needs to be addressed. Cuccinelli proposes fully implementing Expedited Removal (ER), but seems unaware that there is a two-year limit on the use of ER against illegal aliens. After two years of being illegally in the United States, aliens can contest their deportation in the administrative immigration courts, the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), which is the reason that interior immigration enforcement is so ineffective.

Cuccinelli fails to propose a solution to the interior enforcement problem by extending Expedited Removal to all illegal aliens. Only Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) should have a right to an administrative hearing; illegals should not. That single change in the law would enable President Trump to effectuate an Operation Wetback II.

Overall, Project 2025 on DHS is good, but quite a lot that is either wrong, inadequate, or small ball. Too much involves not action today, but transferring components out of DHS, which is not really relevant. Sure, returning some components to their original Cabinet agencies might be a good idea. U.S. Secret Service should be returned whole to the Treasury, the U.S. Coast Guard could be returned to the Department of Transportation or sent to the Department of Defense, but how would that affect interior immigration enforcement and ending fraud in immigration benefits, or have any impact at all on the massive issuance of visas by the Department of State to unqualified aliens? Not much.

What is needed for DHS is better immigration laws, which is dependent on Congress, but more important, aggressive management that lights a fire under the immigration components. Put in good people, like myself, in critical positions, and the border will be secured in days and deportations from the interior will begin en masse.

It is more a matter of leadership at DHS than shuffling around components. In fact, we could keep DHS as is and with good leadership make America inhospitable to illegal aliens.

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