The Washington Post’s Federal Page today profiles two relatively new senior officials at DHS: policy chief Stewart Baker and intelligence chief Charlie Allen. The story on Baker notes his top priorities for the policy shop:
Baker said his priorities are focusing on preparing for disastrous terrorist attacks, fixing the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the federal response to “a city-eating event” such as Hurricane Katrina, and border strategy. The last issue includes understanding the mechanics of border incursions and the impact on U.S. labor markets.
“Would we still be able to get the lettuce out of the field? . . . How does our system provide the sort of safety valve that it needs to meet labor demands?” Baker asked.
Noting that existing crackdowns have driven up prices for human smuggling, Baker said, “Those coyotes are not going to go out of business peacefully . . . so we’re going to see more violence is my guess, and you have to have a way to respond to that.”
This integration of economic analysis and operational modeling sounds like a solid approach for the development of a sound border strategy.