16:42 GMT05 March 2021
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    As Congressional lawmakers in the US continue to use funding of the Department of Homeland Security as a battleground for the immigration fight, former presidential candidate Ron Paul argues that if DHS were to close its doors, would we even notice?

    Frustrated by President Obama’s executive order on immigration, Congressional Republicans have proceeded to attach riders to any bill that would fund DHS for the coming year. The message: repeal the executive action or a major federal agency will go broke.

    “No one seriously believes that Congress will allow Homeland Security funding to lapse,” Paul writes in a post for the Ron Paul Institute. The department is just being used as a political volleyball. Which is a shame, Paul goes on to say, since the dismantling of DHS could be beneficial for the entire country.

    “The American people would be much better off if Congress transferred the few constitutional functions performed by Homeland Security to other parts of the government and then shut down the rest of the department.”

    As one of the newest federal agencies, DHS performs a hodgepodge range of functions. Everything from terrorism prevention, to cybersecurity, to – ironically enough –immigration services. The department is also in charge of the Transportation Security Administration, and according to Paul, this may be the best example of why DHS is a useless agency.

    “More terrorist attacks have been thwarted by airline passengers than by the TSA!” Paul writes. “The TSA may be ineffective at stopping terrorists, but it is very effective at harassing innocent Americans like Lucy Forck.”

    Former U.S. Republican Congressman Ron Paul
    © AP Photo / Steve Helber

    Lucy Forck was a three-year-old girl confined to a wheelchair who “not only had to endure an intrusive screening from TSA agents,” but also had her stuffed animal taken by TSA agents.

    Paul also cites a recent Campaign for Liberty staffer who was forced by the TSA to throw away a jar of Nutella.

    “Ending the TSA would return responsibility for airline security to airports and airlines,” Paul says. “Private businesses have a greater incentive than a government bureaucracy to ensure their customers’ safety.”

    Paul also uses the example of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, another branch of DHS.

    “…I have seen first-hand how FEMA places adherence to bureaucratic rules ahead of aiding victims of a natural disaster,” Paul writes. “It is not uncommon for disaster victims to wait months or even years for assistance.”

    Paul argues that not only is FEMA ineffective, but its presence often times gets in the way of private disaster relief efforts, and can even prevent victims from helping themselves.

    “While in Congress, I heard stories of individuals being threatened with fines or even jail time if they returned to their property without FEMA’s permission,” he says.

    All in all, Paul characterizes Homeland Security as an organization which has done little to aid national security, and done mostly harm to civil liberties.

    “If Congress really wanted to enhance our security and our liberty,” Paul concludes, “it would shut down this unnecessary, unconstitutional department.”

    DHS, Congress, TSA, FEMA, Ron Paul, US
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