Earlier this month, the newly installed Secretary of the Homeland Security Department, Jeh Johnson, met with the father of a man murdered by an illegal alien who was allowed to drive without a license, thanks to the sort of immigration policies favored by Mr. Johnson, President Obama, other Democrats, and a smaller number of Republicans.
The loss of his son transformed Don Rosenberg from a self-described liberal into a vocal activist on behalf of border security and enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws. The perpetrator of this crime was a Honduran man who drove over and killed the younger Rosenberg. He was set free and enabled to drive again without a license after serving just six weeks for his crime. He was only deported after some in the press raised a stink about the case.
The occasion of Mr. Rosenberg’s meeting with Secretary Johnson was one of three audiences afforded to critics of a DHS review of U.S. deportation policies that the latter is conducting at Mr. Obama’s request.
Mr. Johnson reportedly told the grieving father, “There are some things in this report that you’ll like and some things you won’t like.” That almost certainly means the DHS Secretary is going to contrive a way to justify what will amount to the evisceration of the present statutes governing the deportation of illegal aliens – perhaps gussied up with platitudinous promises that, for example, relief won’t apply to dangerous criminals.
In 2010, I had the opportunity to participate in a similar “outreach” effort conducted by Jeh Johnson. At the time, he was the Defense Department’s General Counsel and the co-chair of a Working Group designed to promote – not study – another of President Obama’s “transformational” agenda items, ending the statutory prohibition on professed homosexuals serving in the U.S. military.
Then, as now, Johnson met with a small number of leaders and activists who opposed his initiative. Like millions of other Americans, we believed that such a change would impair – rather than enhance – readiness in the armed forces, while undermining good order and discipline. As with Johnson’s present review and the Rosenberg meeting, he had clearly made up his mind before he met with the Center for Military Readiness’s Elaine Donnelly, representatives of chaplains, veterans, and pro-defense leaders who supported the 1993 law. And as with the current drill, Johnson engaged in far more extensive outreach with gay activist leaders and individuals who demanded repeal.
Worse yet, we subsequently learned that in the case of gays in the military, Johnson took action to “fix” the president’s primary political obstacle − active-duty military personnel who supported the then-existing law. According to the Department of Defense Inspector General, which investigated activities of the Working Group, Johnson was scripting and polishing the Executive Summary of his group’s November 2010 report in July, before the online survey of 400,000 troops and families even began. The DoD IG Report (which did not see the light of day until long after it might have made a difference) set forth the timeline preceding the turning point in November 2010: a highly-misleading Washington Post headline claiming that “70%” of military personnel were OK with repeal of the 1993 law.
The story, based on a well-timed “leak” – from someone still unknown – on the day after a White House strategy meeting, effectively neutralized the actual survey results and focus groups that found strong military opposition to the president’s initiative, especially among combat troops. Johnson let the media “money quote” stand and in congressional testimony denied predictable consequences – such as same-sex marriages for military personnel and associated benefits that have since become reality.
Jeh Johnson probably owes his recent promotion to a Cabinet-level post at DHS to the fact that he did what was necessary. The so-called Pentagon “study” of gays in the military was a publicly-funded, pre-scripted production that only pretended to listen to the troops. On the basis of that track record, it is a safe bet that Johnson will recommend ending, or at least sharply curtailing, the deportation of illegal aliens – contrary to common sense and the law.
As to the expected sop to Don Rosenberg and others who understand from hard, first-hand experience the perils of such an unconstitutional executive action – namely, that at least criminal aliens will still be sent packing – I have one word: Fuggedaboutit. Even before the impending Johnson “fix” is in, the invaluable Center for Immigration Studies has established that in 2013 alone Team Obama released into American communities over 36,000 aliens convicted of violent and other crimes.
To make matters worse, Team Obama is intent on opening the U.S. military to another class of people, again without regard for the impact on readiness and discipline in the armed services: aliens being marketed these days as “Dreamers,” individuals who are illegally in the United States having come here as minors.
Yet again, we are being treated to assurances likely to be unfulfilled. For example, the Dreamers in question are inevitably described as valedictorians or otherwise sympathetic individuals who know no country but this one and love it. In some instances, that may well be the case. In others, however, we may not be able to establish with confidence their background or loyalties – a potentially dangerous proposition for people you plan to arm and train to kill.
Insult is added to injury by the fact that the Obama administration is intent on bringing such individuals into the armed forces – either through legislation rammed through Congress by a complicit Republican House leadership or via unilateral Pentagon fiat – at the same moment that tens of thousands of combat-tested, young military leaders who are American citizens are being cashiered due to reckless budget cuts. This is a formula for compounding the damage already wrought on our national security by the likes of Barack Obama, Chuck Hagel, and Jeh Johnson.
Worse yet, you can count on Secretary Johnson to rationalize further mutations of our laws with respect to homeland security, to the severe detriment of public safety. President Obama is.
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. formerly acted as an Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Reagan. He is President of the Center for Security Policy (www.SecureFreedom.org), a columnist for Breitbart News Network, and host of the nationally syndicated program, Secure Freedom Radio.