The Department of Homeland Security, at the center of some of the administration’s most controversial and political actions from immigration restrictions to an aggressive response to protests in Portland, Oregon, is mostly run by temporary officials, skirting the scrutiny that comes from putting leadership through confirmation.
The department’s leadership in acting positions has repeatedly found itself pursuing Trump’s agenda. In the last three years, DHS has rolled out some of the most stringent immigration policies, and most recently, deployed personnel to respond to protests, some of them violent, after George Floyd’s death – nearly all under leadership that hasn’t been confirmed by the Senate.
“The President has fired or forced out nearly every Senate confirmed leader in DHS. Those remaining are neither accountable to Congress nor empowered to push back against unreasonable political pressure,” said Carrie Cordero, a senior fellow at Center for a New American Security and CNN legal analyst.