The National Border Patrol Council would like to thank both President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence for seeking our opinion about the nomination of General Kelly as the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. We have faith in President-Elect Trump, and although General Kelly does not have immigration experience, we recognize that he comes in with stellar credentials. We caution however, that because President-elect Trump’s meteoric rise was built on border security, we believe no other cabinet level nominee will be under more pressure to produce.
The NBPC was proud to endorse President-elect Trump very early on and we stood by him through thick and thin, and we continue to do so. However, our endorsement does come with expectations. We expect the new Administration to work with the NBPC to solve the historic problems within the Agency that have created an environment that consistently ranked at the bottom of all Federal Agencies in morale, job satisfaction, and trust in leadership. The challenge of meeting our expectations and solving these problems will be placed on the shoulders of General Kelly.
General Kelly’s troops, by all accounts, loved him, which, bodes well for the morale issue within DHS, and he appears to be a no-nonsense rule of law General. Tom Ridge is the closest comparison. Secretary Ridge also had stellar credentials but due in large part to the newness of the department and it’s size and breadth of work, he wasn’t successful. Unlike Secretary Ridge; however, General Kelly will have history on his side and if he comes in with a fresh approach – the non-establishment “outside of the box thinking” approach – and if he surrounds himself with the right people, we believe President-elect Trump’s administration will allow him to be successful.