Vanity Fair: TRUMP VOWS TO BEGIN MASS DEPORTATION OF “MILLIONS” NEXT WEEK
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Source: Vanity Fair – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
But government officials say ICE doesn’t have the resources and the operation is “not imminent.” Is it a Trump stunt, or a real threat?
For months, White House adviser Stephen Miller has been pushing a plan for the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants. Now, it appears Donald Trump is prepared to execute the operation. “Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” the president tweeted late Monday. “They will be removed as fast as they come in.”
The president offered no specifics regarding the plan, which appears to mirror a proposal first reported on in May, which would involve arresting some 10,000 undocumented immigrants in cities across the country. Miller had been a staunch proponent of the purge, but it was opposed by Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen and acting Immigrations and Customs Enforcement director Ronald Vitiello. Both were subsequently removed from their posts for failing to act on the president’s vision.
Neither Nielsen nor Vitiello appeared to disagree with the draconian proposal on moral grounds. Rather, they saw the sweep as “less than half-baked,” as a DHS official told the Washington Post last month. When Trump pulled Vitiello’s nomination to lead ICE permanently, he told the press that he intended to take immigration enforcement in a “tougher direction.”
It is unclear if Trump has filled in the missing details that gave pause to Nielsen, who previously led the administration’s heartless family separation policy at the border. The president still has not nominated anyone to lead Homeland Security, leaving the department in the hands of acting secretary Kevin McAleenan. It is also unclear if the plan is ready to be launched; according to the Post, ICE does not appear to have the resources to pull off the kind of large-scale raids that Trump promised on Monday night, and government officials told the paper that the operation was “not imminent.”
Indeed, the announcement may be more political than practical. On the far right, Trump has been losing support among high-profile allies such as Ann Coulter and Michael Savage, who have harshly criticized the president for failing to follow through with promises to expel migrants, build a wall on the southern border, and restrict legal immigration. Instead, border crossings have increased to historic levels as thousands of refugees continue to arrive from Central America, seeking asylum. Could this be another Trump stunt? Government officials were reportedly surprised by the president’s decision to announce ICE raids on Twitter, which would presumably undercut the effectiveness of any such operation. And yet, for the millions of people living and working in the shadows of America’s legal system, the promise to put the plan in action remains a real, and terrifying, threat.
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