DHS revives independent advice after ousting Trump-era officials last year

The Department of Homeland Security has reinstated its Independent Advisory Council, nearly a year after Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas dissolved the existing council, ousting a board of independent advisers including Trump-era officials . The new board will consist of 33 new members. , including former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff, General Motors CEO Mary Barra, and Kids in Need of Defense President Wendy Young. Other members include: Girls Who Code CEO Tarika Barrett, Chobani Founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby, immediate past President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives Lynda R. Williams and the former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. , with whom I will share ideas,” Mayorkas told CNN. Mayorkas said he hopes to hear ideas from new members on potential l initiatives at their first meeting on March 21. The board generally provides independent advice to the Secretary of Homeland Security, as well as conducts research and provides policy analysis on various security issues.For example, the 2019 council released an emergency report on the care of children and families at the border The DHS is the third-largest federal government department with more than 250,000 employees, and the council that was in place when he arrived Members at the time included former Trump-era officials such as Ken Cuccinelli and Tom Homan, along with others like NFL chief security officer Cathy Lanier and James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation.Neither of those officials are on the reconstituted board, but the two former new York City Police Commissioner William Bratton and former Drug Enforcement Administration Administrator Karen Tandy remain on the board’s leadership team. Bratton and Tandy were the only two members of the previous board to have been asked to stay. Jamie Gorelick, who previously served as assistant attorney general and served as a member of the 9/11 Commission, will join as co-chair of the board. , reaching underserved communities, enforcing the law, countering evolving threats and immigration. Asked if potentially missing an important critical point of view by not including Trump administration officials, Mayorkas said, “It’s a bipartisan makeup of individuals.” “It’s a bipartisan composition and a non-partisan effort,” he added. Last year, when the council was disbanded, Republican Rep. John Katko of New York, the senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said he sent a message that this administration had “no intention of maintain a bipartisan and unifying approach to securing our homeland.” “The Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) is not intended to be an echo chamber for what the current DHS Secretary wants to hear,” he added in a statement. The administration is preparing for the potential for mass migration to the US-Mexico border at the end of a Trump-era pandemic emergency rule, including establishing a “Southwest Border Coordination Center” at DHS headquarters to coordinate across multiple agencies. It’s an important part of our mission,” he added.

The Department of Homeland Security reinstated its Independent Advisory Council, nearly a year after Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas disbanded the existing council, ousting a council of independent advisers that included officials from the era. Trump.

The new board will be made up of 33 new members, including former DHS secretary Michael Chertoff, General Motors CEO Mary Barra and Kids in Need of Defense president Wendy Young.

Other members include: Girls Who Code CEO Tarika Barrett, Chobani Founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives outgoing President Lynda R. Williams and the former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

“We have politicians in different fields, cabinet members from both parties. This is a non-partisan body of experts, who I will get advice from, who I will share ideas with,” said Mayorkas to CNN.

Mayorkas said he hopes to hear ideas from new members on potential initiatives at their first meeting on March 21.

The council generally provides independent advice to the Secretary of Homeland Security, conducts research, and provides policy analysis on various security issues. For example, the 2019 council released an emergency report on the care of children and families at the US-Mexico border.

DHS is the third largest federal government department with over 250,000 employees.

In an unusual move, Mayorkas fired nearly the entire board that was in place when he arrived. Members at the time included former Trump-era officials such as Ken Cuccinelli and Tom Homan, as well as others like NFL security chief Cathy Lanier and James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation.

None of those officials are on the reconstituted board, but former New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton and former Drug Enforcement Administration administrator Karen Tandy remain on the board’s leadership team. .

Bratton and Tandy were the only two members of the previous council who were asked to stay.

Jamie Gorelick, who previously served as assistant attorney general and member of the 9/11 Commission, will join the board as co-chair.

“I want to hear different perspectives from different backgrounds, different expertise, different experience,” Mayorkas said, noting members with expertise in technology, reaching underserved communities, law enforcement, combating evolving threats and immigration.

Asked if he was potentially missing an important critical perspective by not including Trump administration officials, Mayorkas said, “It’s a bipartisan makeup of individuals.”

“This is a bipartisan composition and a non-partisan effort,” he added.

Last year, when the council was disbanded, Republican Rep. John Katko of New York, a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said he sent a message that this administration had “no intention of maintaining a bipartisan and unifying approach to securing our homeland.”

“The Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC) is not intended to be an echo chamber for what the current DHS Secretary wants to hear,” he added in a statement.

Mayorkas defended the new council, saying that the composition of this council “disproves that quite sharply”.

On Thursday, CNN reported that the Biden administration is preparing for the potential for mass migration to the US-Mexico border at the end of a Trump-era pandemic emergency rule, including creating a “coordination center Southwest Border” at DHS headquarters to coordinate multiple agencies.

In response, Mayorkas said there are “a number of people” on the new board “who will bring unique perspectives to this work.”

“We look forward to working with them on this. It’s an important part of our mission,” he added.

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