Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Thursday calling out the Biden Administration’s decision to put a “woke” political agenda ahead of America’s national security.
The latest controversy centers on the DHS decision to initiate a “Climate Change Professionals Program.” Hawley says DHS is placing “woke partisan programs” above the ongoing crisis at the southern border in the agency’s fundamental mission.
Hawley’s letter decried the DHS’s climate change declaration as a national security threat. He demanded that Mayorkas turn over his agency’s documents related to the climate program so that the Senate could draft legislation to kill the new program.
Hawley said that it is “well past time” that the Administration prioritized the border crisis. He demanded that the DHS stop creating new political agendas and enforce the law.
US Customs and Border Protection reported almost 2 million interactions with illegal immigrants at the southern border last year. More than 87,000 pounds of narcotics were seized as well in 2021, marking the year as what Hawley called the “worst border crisis in American history.”
The Climate Change Professionals Program announced last week by DHS will recruit existing federal employees and new college graduates to the agency’s “growing focus” on climate change and “improving resilience.” After participants complete a two-year program, they will receive accreditation from the Association of Climate Change Officers and become eligible for permanent full-time employment with the DHS.
Mayorkas said in a statement announcing the program that it will be “instrumental” to helping the government adapt to “our changing climate” by providing experience and guidance to young professionals who want to work in “climate adaptation and resilience.” He said that the new program would improve “climate literacy” in the DHS.
The deadline in Hawley’s letter for Mayorkas to hand over all the documents related to the project is February 15. Hawley is also asking what statutory authority the DHS claims to create the programs and a specific explanation of how it fits into the DHS mission and priorities. He also requested details on how much taxpayer money was going into the program and allocated existing government assets.
Hawley specifically demanded that Mayorkas explain how the Climate Change Professionals Program will help end the southern border crisis or stop the flow of fentanyl into the US through Mexico.