The Department of Homeland Security may be in for a massive restructuring. Plans for the creation of a Southern Command, or Southcom, to better manage its resources are being pushed by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
Mr. Johnson believes the implementation of Southcom would reduce the number of illegal immigrants who successfully cross the southern border while also improving law enforcement’s ability to clamp down on criminal activity, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. Southcom’s aim would be to better integrate the work that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) do to protect the homeland.
Jon Adler, president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, told the Journal that Mr. Johnson is “trying to draw upon some of the best practices from his Department of Defense experiences to improve the coordination efforts and operational efficiencies on the DHS front.” Mr. Johnson believes that Southcom would mitigate turf battles between agencies, clear up bureaucratic delays and establish a clear hierarchy.
Any decisions by the Obama administration on the creation of Southcom, which may require congressional action to move forward, will likely take place after midterm elections, the Journal reported. If Southcom ends up being rejected, then DHS would still have the option of creating a special task force of ICE and CBP personnel. That task force would have a similar effect to the creation of Southcom, the paper reported.