The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) called for the dismantling of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Monday.
In a series of tweets, the ACLU accused the DHS of being rife with corruption and abuse, calling the national security agency a failed experiment.
“Nearly 20 years of abuse, waste, and corruption demonstrate the failure of the DHS experiment,” the tweets read.
“Many knew DHS to be an ineffective superagency, but President Trump has converted DHS into our government’s most notable badge of shame.”
The statement comes just one day after the ACLU’s Executive Director Anthony Romero published an op-ed in USA Today advocating for the same thing.
In the article, Romero criticized the department’s involvement in Portland, calling the actions of federal agents deployed by the department “unlawful and shocking.”
In recent weeks, DHS has deployed unidentified federal agents to crack down on Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Portland. These agents have arrested protesters, journalists, and bystanders alike, shoving them into unmarked vans and using excessive physical force.
The ACLU filed a lawsuit against DHS in July in response to these “unconstitutional attacks” in an effort to prevent any further escalations of violence and abuses of power.
“The scenes unfolding in Portland, Oregon, and elsewhere are 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,” Romero wrote.
“We can preserve our freedoms and our security better by dismantling DHS and beginning anew.”
Claiming that DHS can no longer exist in its current state, Romero has proposed breaking up the department into several federal agencies and shrinking its overall budget in the hopes that these “spun-off agencies” will have more accountability, oversight, and clearer objectives.
DHS was first established by Congress in 2002 in response to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. While the initial goal of the department was to secure the nation and unify various segments of the federal government, DHS has since faced increasing scrutiny for its questionable actions and methods.
In less than 18 years, DHS has separated migrant families crossing the border, shot foreign nationals, surveilled Black Lives Matter activists, and infiltrated Mosques and muslim community centers, Romero noted.
“Years of chaos and impunity make a clear case for the dismantling of DHS,” he wrote.
“If there is one thing we have learned from the authoritarianism on display in Portland, it’s that we have to remove the loaded weapon that sits on the proverbial coffee table in the Oval Office.”