By Joe Guzzardi
January 5, 2015
Retired Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn released a bombshell report which found that the Department of Homeland Security has failed in all of its five essential official missions: 1) preventing terrorism, 2) securing and managing United States’ borders, north and south, 3) enforcing and administering immigration laws, 4) safeguarding and securing cyberspace, and 5) strengthening national preparedness and resilience.
Coburn, a member since 2005 of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and a medical doctor suffering from cancer, stepped down in 2014 two years before his second term expired.
Among Coburn’s conclusions are that the nation’s borders are unprotected and that DHS is not enforcing immigration laws. Since DHS and its sister agency Immigration and Customs Enforcement have not sent manpower to protect key border segments, 700 hundred miles of the southern border remains wide open. DHS has also completely failed to secure the interior; the chance of an illegal immigrant being removed from the interior is 3 percent.
Addressed to the taxpayer and titled “A Review of the Department of Homeland Security’s Missions and Performance,” Coburn’s analysis found that President Obama’s broad applications of prosecutorial discretion have made DHS’s task markedly more difficult. From the report: “Rather than deterring illegal immigration, lax immigration enforcement creates an expectation that people entering the nation illegally or violating the terms of their visa will be allowed to stay, facing no consequences.”
Coburn’s findings come as little surprise to Americans who watched this summer’s Central American border surge when aliens brazenly crossed into the U.S., were delivered by Health and Human Services to their illegal immigrant families, and subsequently failed to show up for their immigration court dates.
DHS is equally inept at tracking legal immigrants who arrive in droves every year on dozens of loosely monitored visas, some with no numerical limit. For example, approximately 36 convicted terrorists entered on student visas. Also, DHS cannot locate about 6,000 foreign nationals, some born in terrorist-sponsoring states, who used the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. Nearly 1 million foreign-born access SEVP each year.
The report also notes that in February 2013, ICE released more than 2,000 illegal immigrant detainees, including more than 600 aliens with criminal records creating a public safety risk and further undermining the agency’s credibility.
All in all, for an agency with a $38 billion budget which employs more than 240,000 people, spends $61 billion annually and has laid out more than $544 billion since it began operations in 2003, DHS has compiled a sorry record of waste and inefficiency. Without strengthening U.S. security, DHS has instead encroached on citizen’s rights and liberties.
As Congress re-convenes, the GOP has identified Obama’s executive action that removes five million illegal immigrants from deportation and rewards them with work permits, social security numbers, and a host of taxpayer funded benefits as a top priority for dismantling.
Obama has repeatedly insisted that under his direction the border has been strengthened, and that Americans have nothing to worry about regarding future flows of illegal immigration. Coburn’s report refutes Obama and should provide ample fodder for the new Congress to defund the president’s amnesty.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected]