Simultaneously maintaining, however, that the official resources are not being diverted to immigration to the detriment of other equally important issues.
Trump’s main focus since his taking office has been the issues surrounding immigration and that was what he briefed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees in the first week of his office, New York Times reported on Thursday.
The Times reported that no other matter figured in the president’s address on the other responsibilities of the various departments, for instance, infrastructure, airline passenger safety or even his own safety. DHS employs close to 250,000 people.
“It’s all immigration, it’s the wall and it’s enforcement,” a Homeland Security official in the Obama administration, Juliette Kayyem said. “Nothing about FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] or cyber or counterintelligence. Just immigration all the time.”
However, not everyone in the department is convinced that the department resources have had just one priority. “No one is going to tell you that immigration and border security aren’t priorities; they are the priorities that the president ran on,” DHS’s Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs said. “But the focus on these issues isn’t so much that we have neglected any part of the Department of Homeland Security.”
Since January there is a spike in the number of illegal immigrants being tracked and deported to their home countries. Curbing illegal immigration was the main poll plank of the Republican presidential candidate. In additional to visas, Trump had proposed building a wall at the US-Mexico border to deter undocumented immigrants from across the border to enter the US. However, several experts view that it is not only the issue revolving around just immigration that requires immediate attention but also attacks from within the country. Another issue often pointed out is the cyberattacks on the country’s election system that demands the attention of the DHS, Times reported.
Although more officers are being employed to safeguard the border, several other programs within DHS would see a slash in their funding, it added.