With John Kelly moved to the position of White House chief of staff, the need for a new Homeland Security secretary arises.
While there are several names floating, three sources have pointed to one man:
The former Texas governor and current Secretary of Energy would actually be an amazing pick to lead DHS. In fact, he’s probably more suited for that position, as a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and the longest serving governor on the nation’s largest border state. He’s uniquely acquainted with the nation’s border problems. He had nearly 15 years to deal with it, often allocating state funds to try and handle what is a federal issue.
Still, there are some who feel Secretary Perry’s views on immigration don’t exactly mesh with those of President Trump.
Perry’s 2012 presidential campaign foundered after he accused his Republican opponents of not having a “heart” about immigrants. Texas has a large Latino population, and Perry helped advance legislation that let undocumented children of immigrants pay in-state tuition for college.
And let’s be clear about that policy, the actual structure of which was lost in the haze of primary season jousting: Perry made it clear that this was a Texas-specific policy, meant to handle the population of immigrants already in the state. With no federal help at the border, and for the benefit of the Texas economy, the legislation applied to those immigrant students who lived in the state, had finished high school, and with the proviso that they also apply for citizenship. Less than 1 percent of immigrants applied for the program, but Perry and Texas legislators felt it was better to make educated, working, contributing citizens out of the immigrant population, than to allow them to remain uneducated, unproductive, and taking from the Texas welfare system.
But Perry also has supported reinforcing the U.S.-Mexico border, calling for the construction of traditional fencing where feasible and electronic barriers otherwise, supplemented by aerial monitoring.
That was his plan throughout his short, second run at the presidency in 2015, and it was a much more structured plan than saying, “a big, beautiful wall.”
Candidate Perry suggested strategic placement of fencing, aviation assets running the length of the border 24 hours a day, and increased personnel on the ground, at the border, in the water, or wherever they could be most effective.
Still, since becoming Energy secretary he has apparently thrown himself into the work, and he isn’t enthusiastic about being part of a new White House shuffle.
“Secretary Perry is focused on the important mission of the Department of Energy. He’s honored to be mentioned, but he loves what he’s doing,” said Robert Haus, director of public affairs at the department.
But I’d still like to see him in that spot.
Heck, as I’ve said over and over again: In a sane world, this would be President Perry’s second term.