Amid an immigration crisis, Customs and Border Protection this month is offering a seminar on "unconscious bias" for all staff.
According to an internal memo obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, CBP will on Dec. 10 host a "virtual discussion" between a senior Border Patrol official and Susan Fleming, a self-described expert in "gender bias," on the topic of "the impact of stereotypes and unconscious biases in the workplace." Attendance is optional for all staff.
The discussion "will draw on academic research, business experience, and unique perspectives to explore the complex web of beliefs and biases that influence our interactions with colleagues, as well as discussing strategies for individuals and organizations to start overcoming unconscious biases," the memo reads.
The emphasis on diversity and equity throughout the Department of Homeland Security began shortly after the last presidential election, with the agency on Dec. 31, 2020, releasing its "Inclusive Diversity Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2021-2024." The Free Beacon last month reported on an internal memo from DHS that outlines the department's priorities for the 2022 fiscal year. Chief among those was "diversity, equity, and inclusion" (DEI), which ranked above "customer experience" and "cybersecurity."
Staff within the agency say political appointees have a near obsession with new DEI initiatives, even as the country sees an all-time high number of illegal immigrants attempting to enter the country. The 2021 fiscal year saw more migrants apprehended at the southern border than any year on record.
"CBP doesn't have the people to properly patrol our nation's borders but we do have the time to step away from work hours to have a conversation on ‘unconscious bias,'" a senior DHS official told the Free Beacon.
The official noted the planned attendance of CBP acting commissioner Troy Miller as evidence of how the embrace of DEI initiatives comes from the most senior levels of the agency. Miller will be soon replaced by former Tucson police chief Chris Magnus, a champion of softer policing tactics and more liberal immigration policies such as "sanctuary cities."
DEI initiatives, according to the senior staffer, have demoralized many employees at DHS. The federal employee vaccine mandate, as well as political pressure to deprioritize deportations and border security, have made many question the very purpose of the agency.
The budget appropriations bill announced by Senate Democrats in October slashes CBP's funding by $500 million. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would see its budget cut by $40 million, even in the face of high inflation.