Katharine Gorka, a former Breitbart writer, is expected to become the new press secretary at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), according to CNN.
Acting CBP Commissioner John Sanders told the outlet that Gorka — who is married to Sebastian Gorka, the former deputy assistant to President Donald Trump — is expected to take the position and he personally advocated for her to join the agency.
Gorka was previously employed at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) where she played a major role in rolling back funding for Countering Violent Extremism, or CVE, programs. Like her husband, Katie Gorka has publicly espoused Islamophobic views. Her bylines at Breitbart News frequently appeared on stories about ISIS killings and the plight of Christians in the Middle East.
In a 2014 Breitbart story, Gorka wrote that “Presidents Bush and Obama both publicly declared Islam to be a religion of peace, which has struck a sour chord for many.”
“To date, American and Western leaders have preemptively shut down any debate within Islam by declaring that Islam is the religion of peace and that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam,” she added.
Former coworkers of Gorka’s believed she used her personal bias against Muslims to steer DHS in a direction that would downplay the efforts to combat white nationalism.
“Katie is much more dangerous than Sebastian,” Eric Rosand, a former senior State Department official responsible for programs on CVE, told Buzzfeed News in 2017. “She played a significant role in denying CVE grant funding to groups that work to de-radicalize neo-Nazis and other far right extremists and Muslim-American groups that work to build resilience against violent extremism, but without the involvement of the police.”
Gorka’s Islamophobic rhetoric could come into play in her new post at CBP, considering the agency plays a major role in monitoring Muslim communities. Last spring, for example, CBP published a draft report that recommended Muslim immigrants be monitored on a “long-term basis.”
DHS has been in upheaval since a number of officials resigned in the spring, reportedly over concerns that presidential adviser Stephen Miller was steering it further right. Since the start of 2019, former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and former United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) director Lee Cissna have left the administration.