We have a crisis on our southern border. Securing our borders and keeping America safe is not a Republican or Democrat issue, it is a matter that affects all Americans.
Whether it is the over 100,000 immigrants who are being stopped while crossing the border illegally on a monthly basis, opioids pouring across, or human trafficking occurring at our southern border, this is a crisis that is inflicting real harm on the American people.
As former Acting CBP Commissioner John Sanders said last month, “We are in a full-blown emergency, and I cannot say this stronger: The system is broken.”
Today we have a Commander in Chief whose Administration is having to spend more time on dealing with this very real crisis than it is on other national security challenges such as North Korea, China, Iran, and Russia.
Whoever President Trump nominates to succeed former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will have his or her hands full.
President Reagan said, “Personnel is policy.” He was right.
This appointment may be the most important of the Trump Presidency. It is a chance to have a strong Homeland Security Secretary with real depth, who understands the need to secure our borders now, and who can’t be B.S.’d by the institutional bureaucrats. And it could be a defining moment of the Trump Presidency by having a DHS Secretary whose very appointment shows that securing our border isn’t a partisan issue, but rather an American issue.
There is one person who meets this standard and he is easily confirmable.
He believes that there is a crisis at the southern border and has chided fellow Democrats who have tried to politicize the issue.
He has also stood up to calls from his own party to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) and has stated, “Calls to abolish ICE only serve to sow even greater division in the American public.”
He has testified to Congress that there was no concrete evidence that Russia’s cyber-attacks actually altered any votes in the 2016 Presidential Election. He iterated that our main focus should be on securing our critical infrastructure, including our election system, from cyber-attack.
Also, as General Counsel of the Department of Defense, he is the man who gave the legal approval for U.S. Special Forces to go into Pakistan and take out Osama Bin Laden. This past year, at the sixth annual Reagan National Defense Forum he, along with retired General Jack Keane, received the Ronald Reagan Peace Through Strength Award.
In receiving the award, he stated, “Strength forges peace, and perceived weakness tempts aggression.”
His name is Jeh Johnson, and he served as former President Obama’s Homeland Security Secretary. However, in a recent Washington Post op-ed, he hit 2020 Democrat presidential candidates for holding extreme positions on immigration. In fact, Johnson said that we cannot publicly embrace the policy of some Democrat Presidential candidates to not deport those who are here illegally. He says such a policy would be tantamount to open borders for all. And Johnson said for the same reason we cannot decriminalize illegal border crossings.
Jeh Johnson is no ordinary Democrat.
He is a Harry Truman Democrat, and unfortunately their ranks are fewer and fewer.
Harry Truman Democrats put country above party. They believe in a strong America and do not apologize for it. They understand that the reason the states came together to begin with, was to provide for the common defense. Harry Truman Democrats like Jeh Johnson believe that being a good Democrat also means doing what is best for the nation. These are the kinds of Democrats America needs more of today.
The nomination of Jeh Johnson as DHS Secretary would be a bold move by President Trump, and it would not sacrifice policy over politics.
In fact, it would drastically turn the tide on the whole issue of the need to secure America’s borders and make it difficult for anyone to politicize this issue. It would change the entire nature of the debate and give the president the upper hand in getting the resources he needs to secure our southern border and deal with this crisis.
Having a savvy Harry Truman Democrat who knows the inner-workings of DHS might just be what America needs to solve this complex issue, and it would show that in times of crisis, Harry Truman Democrats work with Republicans to put the interest of our country, not party, first.
Van Hipp is Chairman of American Defense International, Inc. He is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army and author of “The New Terrorism: How to Fight It and Defeat It.” He is the 2018 recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II September 11 Garden Leadership Award for National Security. To read more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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