The American Civil Liberties Union is calling for the “dismantling” of the Department of Homeland Security following “nearly 20 years of abuse, waste, and corruption,” according to the organization.
“Nearly 20 years of abuse, waste, and corruption demonstrate the failure of the DHS experiment. Many knew DHS to be an ineffective superagency, but President [Donald] Trump has converted DHS into our government’s most notable badge of shame,” the ACLU tweeted on Monday.
Anthony D. Romero, the executive director of the ACLU, wrote in an opinion piece published by USA Today on Sunday that “in recent weeks, the actions of federal agents have shown us all that the Department of Homeland Security isn’t capable of acting consistently with the Constitution, and should no longer exist in its current state.”
Romero points to “the scenes unfolding in Portland, Oregon, and elsewhere,” where DHS officers have used unmarked vehicles to apprehend and detain protesters. The ACLU of Oregon has sued over the department’s actions in Portland.
He notes that the department’s “powers are too great, and that it lacks the oversight and management to be effective. We can preserve our freedoms and our security better by dismantling DHS and beginning anew.”
Romero continues, “The fearsome tactics of DHS are well known to the communities against whom they are used. Its dysfunction is one of the Beltway’s worst kept secrets. DHS’s overbroad mandate and unchecked powers have turned it into a tinderbox, now ignited by a president willing to trample on the constitutional limits of presidential powers.”
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