In what CNN referred to as an “unusual move,” yesterday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas dissolved the Homeland Security Advisory Council, ousting a board of independent advisers that included Trump-era officials and setting up a plan to reconfigure the council.
Touted by past secretaries, the council provides independent, bipartisan advice to the Homeland Security secretary, and conducts research as well as provides policy analysis on various security issues.
In a letter to members, “In the service of an orderly transition to a new model for the HSAC, I have ended the term of current HSAC members effective March 26, 2021. I will reconstitute the HSAC in the next few weeks, once the new model has been developed.”
Dismissed were former Trump-era officials who served on the council, Ken Cuccinelli and Tom Homan, as well as others like NFL Chief Security Officer Cathy Lanier, McCrary Institute for Cybersecurity & Critical Infrastructure Protection Director, the Heritage Foundation’s James Carafano, more than 30 members in total, according to the most recent membership list.
Council Chairman and former New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, along with Vice Chair Karen Tandy, and Chair Emeritus William Webster, however, will remain in their positions.
Appointed by former President Trump, Bratton reportedly said that Mayorkas has indicated a desire to “move very quickly” to create a new council that reflects the priorities of the department, such as immigration, domestic terrorism, and cyber concerns.
Bratton added that there will also be a strong emphasis on the demographic makeup of the council to “ensure that we look like America and at the current time, we really don’t,” pointing to the small number of women and minorities.
Liberals applauded the authoritarian move on Twitter, like journalist and political commentator Edward Hardy, a verified user.
Hardy declared that “The Biden administration can now work on implementing a compassionate, humane immigration policy.”
<center><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has fired most of the members of the Homeland Security Advisory Council<br><br>The Biden administration can now work on implementing a compassionate, humane immigration policy</p>— Edward Hardy (@EdwardTHardy) <a href="https://twitter.com/EdwardTHardy/status/1375892881026789376?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 27, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center>
Another left-wing Twitter user and self-described “Trump hater for life” said that Mayorkas was “cleaning house” and removing “the filth.”
<center><blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Alejandro cleaning house! Get the filth out of there!<br><br> "Homeland Security chief fires almost every member of advisory council" <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DemVoice1?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#DemVoice1</a> <a href="https://t.co/GkJQgFeFhR">https://t.co/GkJQgFeFhR</a> <a href="https://t.co/T9EIAYZbgk">https://t.co/T9EIAYZbgk</a></p>— MSNRN007 👩🏾⚕️Crystal 🔥🔥🔥 (@RN00711) <a href="https://twitter.com/RN00711/status/1375789679899971586?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 27, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></center>
It will be interesting to see who comprises the revamped council and what their role will be in helping to shape policy going forward.
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