As many federal agencies under the Biden administration have done, the Department of Homeland Security has implemented a so-called Equity Action Plan.
Pursuant to Executive Order 13985—“Executive Order On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government”—the DHS Equity Action Plan includes a number of provisions that fly in the face of anti-discrimination laws, to say nothing of human decency.
The equity plan agenda serves to discriminate based on skin color, among other things. The sort of discrimination and divisiveness inherent in race-based and other so-called equity-based policies are a violation of the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of “equal protection of the laws” and the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s prohibition of “discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.”
The Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Department of Homeland Security is at the helm of making sure this agenda is implemented the way the Biden administration desires.
That office is supposed to counter discrimination, not encourage and incite it. It says it supports “the Department’s mission to secure the nation while preserving individual liberty, fairness, and equality under the law” and that “CRCL builds in civil rights and civil liberties practices into all of the Department’s activities … .”
Its current role and actions say otherwise, and amount to not only a complete dereliction of duty, but the furthering of an agenda in opposition to the civil rights they were intended to protect.
The seven “key program areas” in the Equity Action Plan continue to play out in discriminatory ways.
“Applying for Naturalization” is one of the areas under which DHS has been throwing away already limited resources in favor of “gender markers” projects.
“Gender markers on USCIS forms and secure documents, including the Certificate of Naturalization and the Certificate of Citizenship” to “incorporate the use of inclusive language that respects gender identities, including gender non-conforming and non-binary individuals” is one of the top seven priorities for DHS “equity.”
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has an 8.5 million case backlog, yet at the expense of those applicants, many of whom have been waiting for years, the agency is using its time and effort to add various gender options to immigration benefits paperwork at the direction of the DHS.
“Bidding on DHS Contracts” is an area in which the department’s plan reveals its habit of giving an unfair leg up only to preferred businesses or organizations.
It unabashedly “[focuses] additional outreach efforts on underserved communities” with an “aim to address the identified barriers by improving awareness of available opportunities and navigating the contracting process in general, particularly for underserved communities … .”
The DHS is openly holding the hands of potential contractors of its choosing and, in its own words, “navigating the contracting process” for them.
The DHS should not be prioritizing particular groups in such a way that elevates them above others and gives them an unfair advantage in bidding processes. True civil rights and civil liberties are about fair and equal treatment, not special treatment for minority groups.
“Countering all forms of terrorism and targeted violence” is one of the seven areas in which the DHS does not simply elevate certain groups unfairly, but targets groups negatively in a disproportionate way.
It states in the plan that “[domestic violent extremists] are motivated by various factors, including racial bias, perceived government overreach, conspiracy theories promoting violence, and false narratives about unsubstantiated fraud in the 2020 presidential election.”
“Among DVEs, racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, including white supremacists … will likely remain the most lethal DVE movement in the Homeland,” it says.
This hyperfocus on white supremacy is nothing new. President Joe Biden and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, among others, continually say that domestic violent extremism, and specifically white supremacy, is the “most lethal terrorist threat” to the homeland, despite the evidence showing otherwise.
We know federal agencies have no problem identifying various innocent, patriotic sayings and symbols as indicators of “violent extremism.”
The DHS is clearly targeting those it labels as “white supremacist threats” and ignoring the most obvious, disastrous threats to the homeland, such as the open-border crisis.
Despite being intentionally out of touch with reality, the DHS has no problem touting its equity plan. In fact, the department is proud of it.
It tracks “DHS Equity Accomplishments,” has a DHS Equity Task Force, and holds public feedback and stakeholder engagement listening sessions, during which it prides itself on the “progress” it has made and excitedly brags about how much more it plans to do to drive stakes of division deeper into our institutions.
The left doesn’t care about equity when it comes to the nation’s capital blocking 40% of black children from attending school over their failure to get the COVID-19 vaccine, or when biological women’s rights are infringed by transgender “women” because those civil rights complaints and violations don’t fit its narrative.
But just as it did with the since-abandoned Disinformation Governance Board, the Biden administration has no problem politicizing federal agencies and task forces to achieve radical political outcomes and to further divisive, strong-arm policies.
The Biden administration must end its divisive, damaging, and discriminatory “equity” agenda.
This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal