I remember public discussions that attended the creation of DHS back in 2003. Many pundits were concerned that DHS would enable authoritarianism to replace our constitutional republic. Some even criticized the name of the new agency because the word homeland reminded them of Germany’s mythical Aryan fatherland in the lead up to WWII.
Looking at DHS today one can see more clearly the authoritarian potential it represents. Looking at Wikipedia’s list of incorporated agencies, for example, one can easily imagine DHS as a kind of national social police department. DHS looks like a substitution of law enforcement for operational programs.
Or, to put it differently, one could theoretically govern a large, complex modern nation using just three primary bureaucracies: One for military defense, one for welfare distribution, and one for social control (DHS).
I think creating DHS was a huge mistake. Instead of redesigning our system of government in reaction to perceived threats, we should re-invest ourselves in the constitutional principles of our founding. Our three branches of government (executive, legislature, and judiciary) are sufficient to meet our needs for democratic governance. DHS means we are becoming a police state.