DHS Wants Your Input (Sort of)
It sounded like a good idea. In this interactive age, the Department of Homeland Security wanted to take advantage of an easy way to get public feedback on its policies by implementing a Web-based system where users can share their opinions and ideas with the agency. The 2009 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review is supposed to be able to accept public comments about anything from enforcement of immigration laws to counter-terrorism policies. (Warning: the Website can be slow and when I first tried it I got a “Service Unavailable” message. But it eventually worked.)
Maybe DHS only wanted limited comments, because it originally planned to stop accepting them on Sunday, according to Wendy Sefsaf at Immigration Impact, the blog of the Immigration Policy Center. The agency has extended that deadline to Wednesday.
Sefsaf also reports that the DHS Website’s comments last week were “being filled up by the same template xenophobia that plagues so many of the comments section of online newspapers and blogs all over the web. At best, the comments are tinged with racism and anti-immigrant sentiment. At worst, the comments are totally irrelevant to DHS’s goals for which they are seeking comment.”