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Feinstein on Purge of Senior DHS Leadership

 Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement after reports that President Trump ordered the firing of Secret Service Director Randolph Alles:

            “The purge of senior leadership at the Department of Homeland Security is unprecedented and a threat to our national security.

            “With Secretary Nielsen and Secret Service Director Alles the latest officials to be ousted, DHS is now without a secretary, deputy secretary, ICE director, FEMA director, Secret Service Director, inspector general, under secretary for policy, under secretary for science and technology, chief financial officer and chief privacy officer. That’s at least 10 top position filled by someone in an acting capacity.

            “President Trump himself said he’s cleaning house so he can install personnel who will be ‘tougher’ on immigration. That’s shocking given that many of the individuals he forced out presided over family separation, attacks on our asylum system and steep cuts to refugee admissions. Even Senate Republicans may balk at ‘tougher’ replacements.

            “Immigration policy is certainly an important part of DHS’s mission, but it’s not the only responsibility. The department is tasked with preventing terrorism, preparing for and responding to disasters, providing maritime safety and security and coordinating our cybersecurity efforts, to name a few of its jobs. Those responsibilities are being undermined by the constant turnover and long-term vacancies.

            “Unfortunately, in an effort to fulfill his campaign promises, President Trump is trying to remake DHS into his own personal anti-immigration agency. That’s not good for the country and it’s certainly not good for a department that employs 240,000 federal workers who work to keep our country safe.”