Trump's New ICE Chief Can Spot Future Gang Members With His X-Ray Eyes
Donald Trump has picked yet another talker from Fox News for a top administration job, proving once again that knowing things is not nearly as important as being on TV. On May 5, Trump announced he was nominating Mark Morgan, who briefly served as the head of Border Patrol in the closing months of the Obama administration, to be the new head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Morgan replaced Trump's previous nominee, Ron Vitiello, who was shitcanned for not being "tough" enough. It was a bit of a surprise that Trump didn't go with Matthew Albence, the guy he'd picked to replace Vitiello as acting head of ICE, but perhaps advisors thought Albence might face confirmation trouble over his 2018 statement to Congress that government baby jails were a lot like "summer camps" Thank goodness there's no such public record of insane comments to get Mark Morgan in trouble!
You know, other than in some of the 80 times since January Morgan has been on Fox News to defend Trump's immigration policies as the wisest, smartest ideas ever, including a January 14 visit with Tucker Carlson in which Morgan claimed he could simply look at immigrant kids and predict which ones would become gangbangers (all of them, Tucker).
Here's the perfectly reasonable fearmongering about how all those immigrants are just waiting to MURDER US ALL. Just LOOK at the teenager in that still image, being hugged off camera by Nancy Pelosi, no doubt:
Is an immigration loophole letting MS-13 members go free? www.youtube.com
In the segment, Morgan touted his expertise as a former FBI agent who had done surveillance on MS-13, and said Congress could eliminate the threat posed by dangerous immigrants by passing a law to eliminate troublesome protections for migrant kids so they could be jailed forever like the Bible tells us to (fine, we added that last bit). What's more, he explained it's not hard to spot kids who'll become gang members, at least not for a sharp expert like Morgan:
"I've been to detention facilities where I've walked up to these individuals that are so-called minors, 17 or under. And I've looked at them and I've looked at their eyes, Tucker — and I've said that is a soon-to-be MS-13 gang member. It's unequivocal."
Carlson even came kind of close to understanding a point, noting that MS-13 in the US preys on other migrants -- which is true! So obviously, the only way to stay safe is to treat all migrant kids as gangbangers, like even the ones trying to escape MS-13. Distinguishing between "predators" and "prey" is just a lot of namby-pamby liberal nonsense. As Politico notes, in the charmingly quaint belief that facts make any difference,
The view that unaccompanied minors are more likely to become criminals is unsupported by statistical evidence. Studies have shown immigrants — legal and undocumented — are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans.
But assuming that all young migrants are potential machete murderers has been GREAT for Trump, and it's an essential part of Fox News's business model, so it stands to reason Trump would simply love Morgan. After all, Trump went to Long Island, New York, scene of some truly horrific crimes by MS-13 members, to whip up a frenzy about all the murderers and rapists posing as young people, and proclaiming that all the "unaccompanied alien minors" are a threat. "They look so innocent. They're not innocent."
TRUMP on unaccompanied undocumented minors: "They look so innocent. They're not innocent." https://t.co/jkz21OKKXy— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1527099147.0
Trump, of course, always leaves out the part where local and federal sweeps for MS-13 members also grab up a lot of kids who never did anything, but hey, they were Salvadoran, and isn't that enough? And with Mark Morgan running ICE, the agency will be free to keep its jackboots at the ready. If he's confirmed, of course, and so now we all have to start pestering our senators not to. In addition to his X-Ray Eyes, HuffPost offers plenty of reasons not to confirm this guy, whose main qualification to lead a major federal law enforcement agency really does seem limited to his willingness to shill on TV for absolutely everything Donald Trump says or does on immigration. His actual experience in immigration isn't especially broad, even:
A former U.S. Marine and two-decade veteran of the FBI, Morgan served two brief stints with Customs and Border Protection ― first a temporary post establishing the agency's internal affairs unit in 2014, and then four months heading the Border Patrol, a division of [Customs and Border Protection], as the Obama administration drew to a close in 2016.
Also amusing: When he served as Obama's Border Patrol chief, Morgan was actually condemned in a Breitbart op-ed by Brandon Judd, the far-right head of the Border Patrol union, as a "disgrace" who was too weak on immigrants, and nothing but a shill for that traitor Obama. Trump fired Morgan almost immediately after taking office; as HuffPo notes, "in a move likely influenced by the union, which took the unusual step of endorsing Trump in the 2016 presidential election."
Luckily for his career, since Morgan took to Fox News, other cable outlets, and wingnut media, he's really made himself one of Trump's biggest cheerleaders. A sampling!
The influx of tens of thousands of Central American families isn't just a "crisis," Morgan said, it's "the worst we've ever experienced in our history." Migrant kids locked up in Border Patrol custody aren't put in cages, he insisted more than once. The Trump administration "wasn't separating families," it was just following the law, Morgan said. Trump had "no choice" but to declare a national emergency to shore up funds for the border wall, he said.
And yes, he's dutifully condemned Democrats as advocates of "open borders" and complained that "activist judges" are out to ruin America. Fox News and Fox Business started pushing Morgan as a nominee, and on May 4, Morgan himself graciously accepted a Trump nomination that hadn't actually been made:
"If this president asked me to come up, I'd say yes in a heartbeat," Morgan said. "This isn't based on ideology, this is based on 30 years of law enforcement, and I know this border. The president's doing the right thing, he's right on this issue, and if he asks, I'd go work for him in a heartbeat."
And wouldn't you know it, the very next day, Trump named him to head ICE. What we'd like to know is when Trump will call for the staff of Fox News to officially move into the West Wing, since clearly that organization is doing the real work of governing this country.
Also, if any Fox News interns are reading, could you please futz with Tucker's teleprompter so he calls on Donald Trump to build WALL out of pasta? We'd love to see his tweets the next day.
Yr Wonkette is supported by reader donations. Please send us money! At drinky things, we can tell by looking in your eyes if you're a donor.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.