MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Congress has until midnight Friday to avoid a partial shutdown of the Department of Homeland security.
The agency’s funding bill has become tied up in the immigration dispute between President Obama and Republicans.
Some Republicans have vowed not to fund the department.
That’s unless it blocks the President’s executive actions on immigration.
Those actions would allow millions of unauthorized immigrants to stay in the U.S.
With the recent threats made against Minnesota and the Mall of America there is concern that the impact a shutdown could have on security in Minnesota.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar joined congressional democrats this week calling for more security rather than a move that could scale back security.
And she’s not the only one.
Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek met with Homeland Security director Jeh Johnson and Minnesota lawmakers to stress the importance Homeland security funding for law enforcement.
He’s is wrapping up a trip to Washington D.C. to address the issue of violent extremism.
Minnesota has the largest Somali population in the country and remains a recruitment target for extremists.
During his testimony, Stanek explained the importance of local efforts in stopping threats from terrorist organizations.
“Violent extremism is a local threat. Local law enforcement will be the first to respond and we should be on the front line to educate and strengthen our communities, and to prevent or disrupt these threats. Our local law enforcement efforts coincide with the White House national strategy for counterterrorism. To protect our local communities in ways that are consistent with our values as a nation and as a people,” Stanek said.
Stanek told MPR that homeland security grants are helping to pay the overtime for extra security at the Mall of America.
On Thursday, house republicans agreed to push forward a short-term bill without language addressing immigration.
If approved by the Senate, which is expected, the bill would fund the agency through March.