Trump’s DHS Nominee Ignores Role in Allowing 30K Illegal Aliens into U.S. After Hurricane Katrina

Mexican soldiers en route to the US border on 6 September 2005. The convoy was carrying wa
Katrina Milenio-Rocio Vazquez/AP

President Trump’s nominee to head the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Kirstjen Nielsen, ignored her role in former President George W. Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina that allowed more than 30,000 illegal aliens to enter the United States to take blue-collar jobs from suffering Americans.

Before joining the Trump administration as a deputy to Chief of Staff General John Kelly, Nielsen worked as the Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security under Bush and co-authored the “Hurricane Katrina Lessons Learned” report.

While working for Bush, the administration — immediately following Katrina in 2005 —  temporarily dismantled pro-American worker laws, such as suspending sanctions for employers who willingly hire illegal aliens, and waving the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act, which mandated that federal contractors pay workers the average regional wage.

The impact of Bush’s decision had a devastating effect on working-class Americans who saw their jobs wash away with Katrina, as Breitbart News previously reported. The results amounted to an estimated 30,000 illegal aliens entering the Gulf Coast region to take thousands of American blue-collar jobs that would have otherwise gone to impacted working-class Americans.

The Bush administration’s waving of the Davis-Bacon Act allowed thousands of foreigners to work for companies who were contracted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Following Katrina, 1.5 million Americans were displaced by the storm, and the easing of labor laws by the Bush administration left many looking for work outside of the Gulf Coast, since illegal aliens and foreign workers quickly dominated the paid clean-up effort.

Though the Bush administration’s easing of immigration and labor policies had a lasting impact on Americans affected by Katrina, Nielsen did not find the decisions important enough to mention in her confirmation hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

When asked by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-MN) what lessons were learned from Katrina, Nielsen responded using Washington, D.C. bureaucratic jargon to explain technical details of federal planning procedures.

The exchange went as follows:

JOHNSON: It seems to me after Katrina and following other disasters, we’ve certainly learned that different state and local governments are better prepared than others. And that’s a pretty important assessment, quite honestly, that FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security goes through to try and identify and maybe point out to states. There’s some best practices in other states that you might want to follow.

Having been involved with Katrina, and certainly, the After Action Report on that, what were the lessons? What were the primary lessons learned from Katrina and what are the lessons been learned from previous disasters that I really do believe set us up to respond and pre-plan from the last round of hurricanes?

NIELSEN: Overall, what I would say is I think all of these major disasters have shown us given their size and scope, that our plans have to be scalable and they have to be agile. Unfortunately, as you always hear in a DoD and military construct, a plan rarely survives first contact. And the reason for that is because there’s — it is always contextual in terms of the given consequences of any given storm.

So the unity of effort concept I believe in strongly. It needs to be presented in a way that all parties understand their roles and responsibilities but also understand those roles and responsibilities could be different given the size and scope of a storm. Certainly, in Katrina what we saw is we need to do more ahead of time. 

We needed to pre-position more, we needed to ensure that those contracts that Senator McCaskill mentioned before were in place prior to an event, so that we weren’t trying to contract last minute. The roles and responsibilities needed to be very clear. When was it appropriate for the National Guard to be included? When was it appropriate for active duty forces to be utilized as part of a mission assignment?

So a lot of it was just learning the lesson that when something is that big and the scope is that complete and the local government, as you mentioned, in that case, was incapacitated what is the additional federal role and how best can we support?

Throughout Nielsen’s hearing, the former Bush official spoke of the immigration crisis facing Americans in national security and bureaucrat lingo, often in a detached way.

For example, when Nielsen was asked how to deter illegal immigration to the U.S., she responded by saying the Trump administration must “increase the prosperity” in Central America — from whence the majority of illegal aliens enter the U.S. — and partially blamed the issue on Americans.

“We have to increase the prosperity there,” Nielsen said. “There’s a variety of programs, you and I have discussed, including the Alliance for Prosperity. But to really help the community find jobs, track the private sector, and enable the community to be resilient in such a way that it in of itself provides the type of environment that citizens would want to stay.”

“I also feel very strongly that our drug demand in this country is also an underlying factor of that push, if you will. We … our drug demand is like no others,” Nielsen said. “Americans unfortunately, we have a higher drug rate — not only death rate – from it, but use of illegal drugs more than any other country.”

Despite no prior experience working on large-scale illegal and legal immigration issues, Nielsen was confirmed in an 11-4 vote by the Senate Homeland Security Committee this week. Her nomination will now go before the full Senate.

As Breitbart News reported, Nielsen’s nomination to head DHS has been praised by the cheap foreign labor lobby, open borders advocates, and the Washington, D.C. national security establishment – which allied itself with the failed “Never Trump” movement during the 2016 presidential election.

In a pre-hearing questionnaire obtained by Breitbart News, Nielsen explained how she would be “ready to work with Congress” on a plan to give amnesty to the nearly 800,000 DACA illegal aliens in the U.S.

Likewise, Nielsen chaired a committee at the World Economic Forum that promoted mass immigration to Europe and the U.S., claiming Western nations did not have a choice and needed to accept millions of migrants. That report, as Breitbart News reported, was co-authored by executives from multinational corporations and world banks.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.


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