December 04, 2005
Emily Ryan
(202) 639-6421

Homeland Security Union Supports 9/11 Commission Findings

(Washington)—It is imperative that the administration and Congress immediately implement the 9/11 Public Discourse Project’s suggestions on improving national security, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) said today.

“The final report on 9/11 commission recommendations is extremely worrisome and only reinforces AFGE’s assertions that the administration is not doing enough to protect the American public,” AFGE National Homeland Security Council President Charles Showalter said. “The administration received twice as many C’s, D’s and F’s as it did A’s or B’s. More than just disconcerting, that simply is unacceptable. How can we trust this administration on any issues when it’s proven unable to meet our security needs?

“Among our chief concerns is the failing grade given to ‘risk-based allocation of Homeland Security funding,’ Showalter said. “It’s incomprehensible that the administration continues to distribute Homeland Security funds without regard to risk. In order to protect this nation, our defenses must be the strongest where we are most vulnerable. It is essential that Congress get its priorities straight and reallocate the funds in this area.

“As the nation’s homeland security union, we also are worried about the poor marks given under the Border Security section,” Showalter added. “The administration’s One Face at the Border program is a total disaster. You have highly skilled, dedicated officers working outside of their areas of expertise and working outside of the areas they’ve been trained. The three components of One Face—Agriculture, Customs and Border Protection, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement—are highly specialized and require focused training. Throwing the employees of these agencies together and expecting them to do a job they aren’t training for is a disaster waiting to happen. AFGE has made a number of suggestions to the agency, including using teams of specialists. We’ve heard directly from the officers that they don’t feel comfortable with the program, and it needs to be dismantled immediately.

“The Homeland Security Council remains steadfast in its determination that all CBP officers are treated with the utmost dignity and respect, and we will continue to fight for the rights of all DHS employees,” Showalter said.

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