The Biden administration has fired 32 members of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, according to a letter obtained by Politico.
The letter states that Mayorkas has “ended the term of current HSAC members effective March 26th, 2021” in order to facilitate “an orderly transition to a new model” for the council. In the letter Mayorkas wrote “I am considering how the HSAC can bring the greatest value to the Department and how the expertise, judgement, and counsel of its members can be harnessed most effectively to advance the Departments mission.” He went on to say, “I expect to work closely with the HSAC and to rely on its Members to help and guide the Department through a period of change.” He also thanked the members for their service.
The board which meets several times a year and whose members are unpaid, put together reports and provide advice for the secretary on a wide range of issues from domestic extremism to biometrics. Secretary Mayorkas intends to “reconstitute the HSAC in the next few weeks, once the new model has been developed.” The Secretary also revealed that William Bratton, former New York City police commissioner, and Karen Tandy, a former administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration will retain their positions as Chairman and Vice Chair respectively. William Webster, a former FBI and CIA director will continue as the Chair Emeritus.
Heritage Foundation foreign policy expert James Carafano believed that “this was the most talented board they ever had in terms of the broad expertise they brought to the department. I think it’s a loss to the department.” Former acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf is another opponent of the move, tweeting, “While I respect the right for a DHS Secretary to alter the HSAC to address their needs, dismissing the entire council outright and stopping a lot of important work is not the right approach.” The ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee John Katko R-NY also criticized the action, saying that “While these members serve at the pleasure of the Secretary, today’s action sends the message that this Administration has no intention of upholding a bipartisan, unifying approach to securing our homeland.”
A DHS spokesman said the new council will be launched with a “diverse membership representative of America and the communities the DHS serves.” The spokesman also said that Mayorkas intends to work with council after its reinstated and will engaged “regularly with esteemed leaders who are recognised experts in the Departments varied missions and who reflect the diversity of the country the department serves.” The decision comes as the Biden Administration faces growing pressure and outrage for its handling of the influx of unaccompanied minors at the southern border, something it refuses to call a crisis. As of Friday, there were 18,000 children in U.S federal custody. Around 5,500 were being held in Border Patrol facilities, whilst another 12,500 were housed in HSS shelters. Both facilities are dangerously overcrowded.
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ARTICLE: NATHAN REID
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
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