The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent a report to its staff members prioritizing "diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)," even as it faces an all-time high number of crossings at the southern border, The Washington Free Beacon reported on Monday.
DEI was listed by the department as a higher priority than "customer experience" and "cybersecurity" for the 2022 fiscal year, a ranking ridiculed by at least one senior DHS official, who criticized leadership for focusing on left-wing political initiatives while the southern border is facing such massive problems with illegal migrants.
"DEI is the new buzzword at DHS, and it's a top focus at all component agencies," the official said. "Too many officials are spending resources to impress Biden administration officials and political appointees with new initiatives and programs."
Border Patrol agents are not only processing an all-time high number of migrants attempting to enter the country illegally, but face several other major problems, according to the Free Beacon.
For example, immigrant authorities have seized fentanyl at a much higher rate than the previous year as the U.S. faces a crisis in which more than 100,000 American deaths were due to opioid overdoses in the last year.
In addition, vaccine mandates for federal employees have led to DHS facing a potential staffing crisis.
But despite those problems, President Joe Biden has made DEI programming a priority, signing in June an executive order setting up "a government-wide initiative to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in all parts of the federal workforce" that "expands [DEI] training throughout" the government, according to the Free Beacon.
Much of this new emphasis at DHS can be traced to an agency report entitled "DHS Inclusive Diversity Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2024," which was released on Dec. 31, 2020. The document describes the initiative’s purpose as demonstrating "our commitment to inclusive diversity as a top priority."
The senior DHS official who criticized the priority of the department said this focus on DEI, as well as Biden’s vaccine mandate for federal employees and expected budget cuts for border security, has demoralized many within the agency.
"It’s like this all over the administration,” the official said about the DEI programming. “Why are they thanking us for our service when they want to give us less money and promote the debunked stories about how Border Patrol agents abuse migrants?”
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