Missouri Republican Senator Josh Hawley decried the formation of the Climate Change Professionals Program by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), saying that the Biden administration was focusing on making “woke partistan government programs” instead of securing the border.
“I write with concern over the Department of Homeland Security’s announcement to create a new Climate Change Professionals Program,” Hawley said in a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. “Unfortunately, instead of focusing on the crisis at the southern border, you are prioritizing the creation of woke partisan government programs.”
On January 12, DHS announced that it would be creating the Climate Change Professionals Program “to support the Department’s growing focus on adapting to climate change and improving resilience.”
According to the department, the Climate Change Professional Program will involve two years of training focusing on the department’s goals to “adapt to climate change” and graduates of the program could then become full-time DHS employees.
“This program will develop the next generation of climate experts, improve climate literacy throughout the Department, and help us execute our Climate Action Plan to remain mission-resilient while reducing our own impacts on the environment,” Mayorkas said.
Those in the program will be guided by members of the Climate Change Action Group within the department.
Hawley said that instead of developing climate change programs for professionals, DHS should focus on securing the border and dealing with increasing crossings and drug trafficking.
“Meanwhile, the southern border is experiencing a surge in drug trafficking and illegal border crossings. For example, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) announced this month that southern Texas had experienced a 1,066% increase in fentanyl seizures in the past year. Agents at eight ports seized 87,652 pounds of narcotics, including 588 pounds of fentanyl,” Hawley said.
The Republican senator also noted that there were nearly 2 million encounters with border patrol agents in FY 2021.
“This is the worst border crisis in American history, yet it seems that the message is not making it through,” Hawley wrote. “It is well past time to start prioritizing the border crisis. The American people are relying on you to do so. Prioritize the border, stop creating woke climate programs, and enforce the law.”
He also cited a report that claimed the Biden administration was not really enforcing the Remain in Mexico Policy, despite court orders.
By February 15, Hawley requested that DHS answer six questions related to the Climate Change Professionals Program. The questions were:
What is the Department’s statutory authority for the Climate Change Professionals Program?
How does creating the Climate Change Professionals Program fit into the mission and timeliness of the current priorities of the Department of Homeland Security?
How would creating the Climate Change Professionals Program help diminish the crises at the southern border?
How would creating the Climate Change Professionals Program help stop the flow of fentanyl over the southern border?
How much funding, staffing and government resources will be used to create the Climate Change Professionals Program?
How much funding and staffing throughout the Department of Homeland Security are currently working on issues dealing with climate change?
The Biden administration has been heavily criticized for its handling of the border, and many lawmakers have taken aim at the policies and priorities of DHS.
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