Border security has become incredibly politicized in recent years but it is a legitimate mission that falls under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). On March 6, 2019, DHS issued a press release that characterizes the situation on the U.S.-Mexico border as a “humanitarian and security crisis”. DHS Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, described the situation as “a full-fledged emergency” and suggests that “the American people and our law enforcement personnel rightfully demand effective border security: building the wall, strengthening our laws, and giving the men and women serving on the front lines the tools and resources they need to keep America safe” (Department of Homeland Security, 2019).
The timing of the DHS press release, the characterization of it as an emergency and the outspoken support for the wall seems to clearly have a political goal. The substance of the press release appears to bolster the President’s decision to declare the border security situation a national emergency. The recent move to declare border security as a national emergency can be regarded as the most recent example of policy that has been enacted to address this issue.
I believe emergency preparedness should garner more attention than it does from DHS. My house is in North Carolina and I got to witness the chaos that transpired last hurricane season. Large sections of major interstates were impassible for weeks, entire neighborhoods were cut off due to flooding for weeks as well. Some areas went without electricity for weeks. There is a lot of infrastructure that still has not been repaired and probably won’t before we approach this year’s hurricane season.
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