By now it has become obvious to most sentient mammals that we have an absentee landlord running the country from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Despite this weakness, an administration can still serve the people if it appoints competent agency heads committed to the best interests of the country. Yet the current West Wing staff cannot even get this part right, as it has tried to fill key positions with a series of incompetents, hyperpartisans with hidden extremist agendas, or both.
A quick YouTube search will produce myriad clips of senators such as Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) vivisecting Biden nominees and exposing their radicalism. While such picks for positions in agencies like the Bureau of Land Management are troublesome, the stakes are raised considerably when the function is immigration enforcement. When bad decisions are made there, people die and the sovereignty of the nation is compromised.
The reign of Alejandro Mayorkas at the Department of Homeland Security would be comical if it wasn’t so tragic. He has insisted, despite endless video evidence to the contrary, that the southern border is closed. He has presided over the complete immolation of our border areas as waves of foreign nationals have poured in. That six Republican senators crossed party lines to confirm Mayorkas is a millstone they should carry around the necks for the rest of their careers.
Apparently the same White House philosophy was applied to the selection of Chris Magnus to lead Customs and Border Protection. The highlights of Magnus’ resume include stints as chief of police in three mid-sized cities. In other words, nothing to indicate the experience necessary to lead the vital function of protecting our porous border.
An investigation of Magnus by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) revealed a disturbing pattern of anti-borders extremism. He vocally opposed cooperation between his police departments and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to remove criminal aliens from communities. He marched in a Black Lives Matter protest and appeared unmoved at the 2015 death of Kate Steinle, caused by the actions of a five times-deported illegal alien from Mexico. These red flags barely came up during hearings, and Magnus was confirmed 50-47 with three senators not voting.
Although Mayorkas and Magnus found a way to slip through less-than-rigorous confirmation hearings, Ed Gonzalez was not so lucky. Biden’s pick to lead ICE withdrew his nomination this week after it languished in the Senate for more than a year. Disputed reports of domestic violence may have sunk his nomination, but, as with Magnus, there were plenty of work-related issues that made him unfit for office.
IRLI also broke the details on Gonzales last July. Gonzales serves as sheriff of Harris County, the most populous county in Texas. He has a history of repeatedly attacking immigration enforcement agencies, including ICE. In his five years as sheriff, Gonzalez has also implemented policies intended to kneecap local cooperation with ICE.
Soon after entering office, Gonzalez terminated the Harris County Sheriff’s Office 287(g) program in February 2017, ending an effective cooperation agreement that helps ICE locate, apprehend and deport criminal illegal aliens.
In July 2019, Gonzalez took to Twitter and denounced ICE arrest and removal operations, a core function of the agency to keep dangerous criminal aliens out of American communities.
As a member of the Houston City Council and mayor pro tempore at the time, Gonzalez also reportedly took part in a 2015 trip to China that was funded by an organization called Houston EB5, an advocacy group for EB-5 visas. The controversial EB-5 program allows rich foreign nationals to obtain U.S. visas in exchange for million-dollar investments in U.S. projects.
The selection of radicals under Biden is not limited just to agency leaders. For the position of principal legal advisor of ICE, the White House appointed Kerry Doyle, a rabid anti-borders activist. The agency’s top prosecutor in all removal proceedings adamantly opposed ICE enforcement actions and doggedly supported sanctuary city measures during her career as an immigration attorney.
When it comes to nominations and appointments, the operating principle of the Biden Administration is clear: get the most glaring misfit for the job—one whose career and ideology fly in direct opposition to the stated goals of the agency in question. That, in addition to the enfeebled chief executive currently behind the Resolute desk, explains a lot about our nation’s current state of malaise.