Homeland Security Pork

By David North on February 18, 2012

Most people are not aware that the fine print of the Department of Homeland Security's new budget includes a set of grants "to help strengthen the nation against risks associated with potential terrorist attacks and other hazards" . . .

. . . to be awarded to Indian tribes.

A total of $6 million has been set aside for this purpose; it even has its own initials, which are THSGP, for the Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program. It is a small part of a much larger activity.

I suppose there is always the danger that al-Qaeda will launch an all-out attack on, for instance, the Kickapoo Reservation, just down river from Eagle Pass, Texas, or seek to wipe out some of the modest dwellings on one of the Sioux Reservations in the Badlands – maybe the $6 million will help prevent such occurrences.

One might imagine the government spending all the requested $1.3 billion for these Preparedness Grants in a more targeted way, focusing only on big cities, airports, bridges, power and chemical plants, places that might be in real danger.

But no, money is taken away from New York City, for instance, to make sure that all sorts of governmental bodies, even unto the Virgin Islands, get a share of the pork. That the Indian tribes obtain a tiny percentage is just another indication of how U.S. politics often works – or does not work.

For the text of the DHS press release on the $1.3 billion program, see here.

This is not the only recognition that DHS gives to the tribes, perhaps the American entities less related to international migration than any others one could name.

For reasons that elude me, several of the tribes are given the power by DHS to issue passport-like documents to members of their own tribes which can be used at U.S. ports of entry. They are called Enhanced Tribal Cards (ETC). Whether ETCs are honored anywhere else in the world is not known to me. Among the tribes with this power are the Kootenai of Idaho, the Pascua Yaqui of Arizona, and the Seneca of upstate New York, according to another DHS document.

Maybe DHS does all this in an effort to honor the people who tried valiantly, but failed dismally, in their role as the original North American restrictionists.