Stephen Miller Had AWESOME Plan For 'Blitz' Against Immigrants But Kirstjen Nielsen Said No :(
Shortly before they were fired in that huge purge of the Department of Homeland Security earlier this year, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Ron Vitiello really pissed off Donald Trump by opposing a brilliant administration plan that would have arrested "thousands of parents and children in a blitz operation against migrants in 10 major U.S. cities," according to the Washington Post. The idea was that ICE would swoop in and arrest a whole lot of families in a "show of force," thus scaring all potential migrants and asylum seekers from ever wanting to come to the US ever again. As we all know, previous shows of force, like taking children from their parents at the border, worked like a charm, or would have, if only they'd been a little more brutal.
According to "seven current and former" DHS officials who spoke to the post, the plan had been put forward in September of last year, and would have fast-tracked immigration court cases against families who'd come to the US after the end of last year's family separation policy, so they could be deported quickly. People who lost their sped-up cases or who failed to show up for hearings would be the targets, to shock and awe anyone who might think of trying to come to the US. The mass arrests "would have required coordinated raids against parents with children in their homes and neighborhoods."
But darn it, Nielsen and Vitiello were just no fun at all. They put the kibosh on the plan because they were
concerned about a lack of preparation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, the risk of public outrage and worries that it would divert resources from the border.
Lest anyone labor under the impression that the two might actually have had any moral qualms about a BLITZKRIEG against families with children, the Post reassures us their insider sources clarified the two top immigration cops' objections were "mostly operational and logistical" -- Nielsen and Vitiello thought it would be a mess, not unethical.
"There was concern that it was being hastily put together, would be ineffective and might actually backfire by misdirecting resources away from critical border emergency response operations," said one DHS official [...]
Nielsen and others also worried that a massive effort to deport parents and children would detract from the Trump administration's stated goal of going after "criminal aliens."
"The proposal was nowhere near ready for prime time," the official said, which is why DHS senior leaders blocked the White House. "They wanted 10 cities, thousands of targets."
Not surprisingly, Trump's immigration Obersturmbannführer, Stephen Miller, was a big backer of the plan, as was Deputy ICE Director Matthew Albence, who after the purge was appointed to replace Vitiello as acting director. DHS officials told the Post the opposition from Nielsen and Vitiello was "a factor" in Trump's decision to shitcan them, especially Vitiello, whose nomination to become a Real Boy in charge of ICE was abruptly withdrawn April 5 because Trump wanted more "toughness."
Miller, the Post notes, "has told the president that some members of his administration don't have his best interests at heart, and that they are too worried about their own reputations to carry out his agenda effectively," so thank goodness there's a loyal Stephen Miller to whisper in his ear and keep up the pressure to purify America. It must be pretty good whispering -- the story includes several mentions of Trump becoming "livid" and increasingly angry over the lack of "toughness" in immigration policy.
The plan for mass arrests might still go forward now that Nielsen, Vitiello, and their perceived allies have been purged from DHS, because in the Trump administration, bad ideas have an infinite shelf life.
Speaking on "Fox and Friends" on Thursday, Vitiello's predecessor at ICE, Tom Homan, said the agency should "do operationally what Congress has failed to do legislatively."
"ICE needs to do a nationwide operation," Homan said. "Look for family units and single adults who had their day in court or didn't show up in court and [were] ordered removed by a federal judge," he said. "If those orders don't mean anything, if those orders aren't executed, there is no integrity to our system."
Yep, there's nothing like a former member of the Trump administration talking about how important it is for the Rule of Law to be strictly obeyed, is there?
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