Politics

Immigration Hawks Say No To McCaul For DHS Secretary

REUTERS/Mike Segar

Kerry Picket Political Reporter

WASHINGTON — Immigration hawks are giving a thumbs down to appointing Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul as Homeland Security Secretary.

The DHS Secretary position is now vacant because Trump hired former DHS Sec. John Kelly to be his White House Chief of Staff since Reince Priebus stepped down from the post last week. McCaul’s name among others have surfaced as a possibility to replace Kelly, but supporters of Trump’s border wall say McCaul would not be right for the job.

A hashtag on Twitter, #NeverMcCaul, was launched by those opposing McCaul’s potential nomination in recent days when the Texas Republican’s name was thrown into the mix for the post.

“He’s using the wall to show how simpatico he is with Trump and all the rest of them. The various border bills he has introduced have mostly been Kabuki,” Center for Immigration Studies president Mark Krikorian told The Daily Caller Monday.

McCaul, who has introduced border security bills in the past, focused his legislation more on border technology as opposed to physical barriers. His latest bill, co-sponsored by Texas Republican Rep. Will Hurd and Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, is called the “Secure Miles with All Resources and Technology Act,” or SMART Act.

Krikorian argued, “Since he just oversees these guest worker programs as well, he is a big cheap labor guy, so he is not going to aggressively police labor programs and work site enforcement. He’s going to be sympathetic when the lobbyists come in and say we’re going to need more this and that and find a way to give it to them.”

According to Krikorian, top DHS staffers are currently people who served Attorney General Jeff Sessions when he was senator of Alabama.

“So you know their commitment is real. You know they’re not angling for some lobbyist job with the restaurant industry 4 years from now. If McCaul comes in, he’s going to replace a lot of those people with his own folks,” he said. “McCaul is the kind of guy that Jeb would have picked for homeland security secretary.”

“Congressman McCaul’s record in the House suggests that he doesn’t have the inclination or experience to continue and improve on the great start that General Kelly has had in leading DHS to be a pro-worker institution. In the first half of his career after coming to Congress in 2005, Rep. McCaul tended to earn ‘A’ grades from NumbersUSA for pro-American worker immigration actions,” Roy Beck, founder and president of NumbersUSA, told TheDC in an e-mail statement.

“But in the second half as he has moved toward the inner circle of Republican leadership and its connections to cheap-labor lobbyists, Rep. McCaul’s grades have slipped badly; his actions in recent years put him in the bottom third of Republican representatives in terms of immigration enforcement and policies that achieve Pres. Trump’s priority of putting American workers first,” Beck added.

Additionally, McCaul may not necessarily be in Trump’s good graces given that the congressman said that the president’s criticism of Mueller and Sessions last week made him look “paranoid.”

“It sort of looks paranoid to me,” McCaul told CBS News. “If he fired Bob Mueller, I think you’d see a tremendous backlash response from both Democrats but also House Republicans.”

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