Donald Trump’s tweets on using even harsher methods of removing undocumented immigrants appeared to come out of nowhere, with no official plans on record to back them up. With detention centers overflowing, creating vast systems of human rights abuses, and children and families being moved to army bases that once served as Japanese internment camps, the president promised to make the situation even worse on Tuesday evening.
According to an article on MSN, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Mark Morgan stopped short of confirming Trump’s tweets, but did commit to removing as many undocumented immigrants as possible regardless of their criminal history or positive contributions to this country. This is a notable shift from former polciies of focusing on removing immigrants who commit crimes, as was the original stated intention behind creating the government agency.
‘Speaking a day after President Trump tweeted that ICE would begin the process next week of removing millions of illegal immigrants from the country, Morgan said it would not be possible in one quick swoop for his agency to remove all 11 million of the nation’s estimated undocumented immigrants.
‘But he indicated ICE is determined to carry out the president’s policies, and he criticized those who have demonized the agency.’
In his first two weeks on the job at ICE, Mark Morgan has said publicly that he plans to beef up interior enforcement and go after families with deportation orders.
— The Marshall Project (@MarshallProj) June 18, 2019
ICE was originally formed in 2003 in response to the events of September 11, 2001. The agency’s purpose was to prevent another such attack by focusing on foreign actors who made their way into the United States in order to do harm. There was never a mandate to enforce immigration law against non-criminal undocumented immigrants living and working in the United States.
Morgan said that the agency no longer focuses entirely on criminals, but will instead equally target families and people just trying to survive who work, pay taxes, and contribute to society. Morgan said the old way didn’t prevent immigration, although that’s not the purpose behind the agency.
‘Because then we’re sending this message that if you belong to a certain demographic, and you come here illegally, and you stay here illegally, even after you receive due process in order [to be removed], then the message is if you’re in that demographic, you will never be touched, what’s going to happen? The incentive is so strong, they’re going to keep coming.’
"I'm not confirming our operational activities for obvious reasons" says acting ICE director Mark Morgan to @IAmAmnaNawaz about POTUS saying next week that ICE will begin raids
— Sara Just (@sarajust) June 18, 2019
Morgan blamed politics for the demonization of ICE under Trump, but failed to note that the deaths of children, family separation policies, and human rights abuses have happened and fuel calls to abolish the agency. In fact, it hasn’t just been Democratic lawmakers calling to abolish ICE, some of the agents who work in the department have done so, as well, saying they felt they were being used for purposes that didn’t reflect the mission of the agency.
Morgan toed the party line, though, and blamed Congress.
‘Morgan said Congress is to blame both for restricting the administration’s immigration enforcement budget and for tarnishing ICE’s image.
‘”You have lawmakers saying how horrible ICE is and how it needs to be abolished. And you have other NGOs [non-governmental organizations] that are saying the same thing, that makes it really challenging for a law enforcement organization to do that,” said Morgan.’
US doesn't have resources to deport 11M immigrants: ICE chief: Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Mark Morgan said in an interview with The Hill Tuesday that his agency is committed to removing as many undocumented immigrants as it… https://t.co/rLqqHo7tol
— Kona Nature Tours (@KonaNatureTours) June 18, 2019
Featured image screenshot via YouTube