The 2009 Quadrennial Homeland Security Review process, a web-based interactive dialogue designed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to allow your opinions and ideas to inform and strengthen the Department’s relationship with its vast array of partners and stakeholders, has been up and running for a few weeks now. The online portal, however, will stop taking comments this Sunday, September 6.

Sadly and predictably, the website’s comment section is 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.

Much has been said about DHS, which has received tons of criticism (often earned) over the past several years. So when DHS opens up an avenue for constructive dialogues, it seems like those who care most about the tactics of the largest law enforcement agency in our nation should take the time to read through their goals and thoughtfully comment on the content.

In an earlier post, Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center, thoughtfully shared her perspective on the goals outlined by DHS. Now it’s up to the wider community to add their own perspective on DHS goals and strategies. What do you think about employment verification programs like E-Verify? What impact has immigration enforcement had on your community? What do you think of local police enforcing immigration laws? How can DHS do more to encourage legal immigration?

It’s rare when a government agency is asking for criticism. So when they do, it’s up to all of us to join the dialogue and show DHS that there is more reason and thought about immigration and homeland security than fear-mongering, scapegoating and paranoia. Your opinion matters, so log onto the website and share your thoughts.