The American Civil Liberties Union tweeted on Monday it now supports the complete 'dismantling' of the Department of Homeland Security. Their support behind the movement comes after DHS officers were needed to protect the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse in Portland after it became a target for rioters.
Saying after nearly "20 years of abuse, waste, and corruption," the ACLU said DHS has long been a poor performing department, but "President Trump has converted DHS into our government’s most notable badge of shame."
In an op-ed for USA Today, Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, said after DHS officers' actions in Portland and elsewhere, it serves as a "reminder of the red flags many have raised about DHS throughout its history: that its powers are too great, and that it lacks the oversight and management to be effective. We can preserve our freedoms and our security better by dismantling DHS and beginning anew."
He called the deployment of federal officers in a city that did not request them as "unlawful and shocking, but they are no surprise: Back in 2002, we at the ACLU called the initial blueprints for the behemoth bureaucracy "constitutionally bankrupt."
Calls for DHS to be abolished have ramped up in recent weeks, with protesters showing up outside of Acting Secretary Chad Wolf's home in Alexandria, Virginia, as the "Defund the police" movement gathers momentum in some big, liberal cities.
"The short history of DHS has been filled with violence, the stoking of fear and a lack of oversight. The department’s horrific tactics are being used in cities across the country," Romero added.
The federal officers were blamed for stoking violence in the Rose City, but once they were no longer the main asset for the courthouse's security, as Oregon State Police took over, rioters have gone back to attacking different Portland Police Bureau buildings.