If the US Congress cannot approve legislation on a budget for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by Friday at midnight the department's headquarters will be reduced to its "skeleton" and 85 percent of its employees will not receive pay, according to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.
Johnson plead his case for renewed funding yesterday at a press conference where he said, "I press our staff at my headquarters to stay one step ahead of groups such as ISIL... threats to our aviation security, to closely monitor illegal migration on the southern border, to closely monitor our weather conditions in a very harsh winter. If we shut down, that staff is cut back to a skeleton." In the political arena, Congressional Republicans and Democrats have been at odds over President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration that would give amnesty to delay deportation to up to five million undocumented immigrants in the US. Since the DHS employs border patrol agents and other immigration services, its funding has become politicized over this provision.
Republican Senator Ron Johnson and Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee said on MSNBC's Morning Joe, "Now, I don't know any Republican that doesn't want to fund the essential, the authorized, the legal activities of Homeland Security. We all share the same goal: We want to keep America safe and secure.
"The reason it's there is because President Obama picked this fight. Through unilateral executive action is changing immigration law".