Before Trump’s purge at DHS, top officials challenged plan for mass family arrests

So many executive orders, so much twitter. What to do? Well, discuss it here for one...

Moderators: admin, Inquisitor, ForumModerator, WebsiteContent

Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
K9s
Verified Member
Verified Member
Posts: 3951
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:18 pm
Location: LGC Member: Georgia
Contact:

Before Trump’s purge at DHS, top officials challenged plan for mass family arrests

#1 Post by K9s » Mon May 13, 2019 11:01 pm

In the weeks before they were ousted last month, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and top immigration enforcement official Ronald Vitiello challenged a secret White House plan for mass family arrests in a blitz operation against migrants in 10 major U.S. cities.

According to current and former Department of Homeland Security officials, the administration wanted to target the crush of families that had crossed the southern U.S. border after the president’s failed “zero tolerance” prosecution push in early 2018. The ultimate purpose, the officials said, was a show of force to send Central American migrants the message that the United States was going to get tough by swiftly moving to detain and deport recent immigrants — including families with children.

The sprawling operation included an effort to fast-track immigration court cases, allowing the government to obtain deportation orders against those who did not show for their hearings — officials said 90 percent of those targeted were found deportable in their absence. The subsequent arrests would have required coordinated raids against parents with children in their homes and neighborhoods.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigrat ... story.html
In the weeks before they were ousted last month, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and top immigration enforcement official Ronald Vitiello challenged a secret White House plan to arrest thousands of parents and children in a blitz operation against migrants in 10 major U.S. cities.

According to seven current and former Department of Homeland Security officials, the administration wanted to target the crush of families that had crossed the U.S.-Mexico border after the president’s failed “zero tolerance” prosecution push in early 2018. The ultimate purpose, the officials said, was a show of force to send the message that the United States was going to get tough by swiftly moving to detain and deport recent immigrants — including families with children.

The sprawling operation included an effort to fast-track immigration court cases, allowing the government to obtain deportation orders against those who did not show for their hearings — officials said 90 percent of those targeted were found deportable in their absence. The subsequent arrests would have required coordinated raids against parents with children in their homes and neighborhoods.

But Vitiello and Nielsen halted it, 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.

Senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller and ICE Deputy Director Matthew Albence were especially supportive of the plan, officials said, eager to execute dramatic, highly visible mass arrests that they argued would help deter the soaring influx of families.

The arrests were planned for New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and the other largest U.S. destinations for Central American migrants. Though some of the cities are considered “sanctuary” jurisdictions with police departments that do not cooperate with ICE, the plan did not single out those locations, officials said.

ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations branch had an initial target list of 2,500 adults and children, but the plan, which remains under consideration, was viewed as a first step toward arresting as many as 10,000 migrants. The vast majority of families who have crossed the border in the past 18 months seeking asylum remain in the country, awaiting a court date or in defiance of deportation orders.

DHS officials said the objections Vitiello and Nielsen raised regarding the targeted “at large” arrests were mostly operational and logistical and not as a result of ethical concerns about arresting families an immigration judge had ordered to be deported.

“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, who, like others, described the plan on the condition of anonymity.

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.”

Officials at ICE and DHS declined to comment, and Vitiello and Nielsen did not respond to requests for comment. Miller declined to comment through a White House spokesman.

But administration officials who described the plan said Vitiello and Nielsen’s pushback was a factor in President Trump’s decision to oust both officials — particularly Vitiello.

The president has been livid about the number of unauthorized border-crossers being released into the U.S. interior, and he has repeatedly urged his aides to take the “toughest” approach possible.

Melissa Mark-Viverito, president of the Latino Victory Project and a former New York City Council speaker, said the goal of the policies appears to be to change migrant behavior, but she noted that it is not working.

“The level of depravity in terms of this administration has no bounds. It’s just insane,” Mark-Viverito said. “It’s inhumane. There is no sense of the understanding what the implications are for the greater society. There is no consideration that these families are making positive economic contributions to these cities. It is about fearmongering to the nth degree.”

Vitiello, a 30-year veteran of the Border Patrol, had been on track to be the Trump administration’s first confirmed ICE director when his nomination was abruptly rescinded on April 5 without explanation. Trump told reporters the next morning that he had opted to go in a “tougher direction,” without elaborating.

Nielsen was forced out two days later, faulted by the president for the unchecked rise in border crossings.

Miller 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, according to current and former administration officials.

The president’s supporters also have been urging him to wield a firm hand.

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.”

Vitiello had narrowly survived a confirmation vote to advance his nomination earlier this year, and some at ICE warned that a controversial raid rounding up children would probably sink his candidacy. They wanted to wait until his confirmation before executing the plan, arguing that it was more important for the agency to have a Senate-confirmed leader.

But the idea for the plan was conceived in September, current and formal officials said, and the pressure to carry it out continued to build as the president’s anger grew.

The Department of Justice had developed a “rocket docket” that prioritized the immigration cases of newly arrived families, allowing the government to secure deportation orders as soon as possible — jumping over an immigration court backlog that is nearing 900,000 cases.

DHS and White House aides had several high-level meetings about the proposal, officials said.

By January, Justice officials had obtained deportation rulings for 2,500 parents and children in 10 locations whose names were added to a target list for ICE.

Though Albence, a Miller ally who replaced Vitiello as acting director at ICE, was eager to execute the plan, current and former officials said, Vitiello urged caution and insisted that Nielsen should be consulted first. Her staff had concerns about how agents would handle families with children who are U.S. citizens and a lack of bed space to keep the families in detention, among other things.

Vitiello urged ICE agents to conduct more surveillance work, in particular to ensure that children would not be separated from their families in the blitz — such as in instances when a child might be at school or at a friend’s house when their parents were taken away.

Their objections reflected a deeper concern that the White House was pushing a shock-and-awe operation designed for show, but lacking in deliberative planning and research.

Vitiello“didn’t think it was a good idea,” said one DHS official with knowledge of the discussions.

“Both he and Nielsen instinctively thought it was bad policy and that the proposal was less than half-baked,” the official said.

Another DHS official who supported the plan rejected claims that it wasn’t fully developed, describing it as the product of nearly a year of planning. The government tried to contact the families for deportation hearings via certified mail, but most did not show up, officials said.

U.S. authorities detained more than 109,000 migrants in April, and families and children accounted for nearly 60 percent, the highest share ever.

The number of Central Americans coming across the Rio Grande jumped again during the past week, with Border Patrol agents taking more than 5,000 into custody on several days, leaving holding cells and overflow tent sites dangerously cramped, according to DHS officials.
The border between civilization and savagery is porous and patrolled by opportunists. Resist fascism. Vote like your democracy depends on it.

User avatar
Bisbee
Verified Member
Verified Member
Posts: 5975
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:38 pm
Location: On The Border with no need of The Wall.
Contact:

Re: Before Trump’s purge at DHS, top officials challenged plan for mass family arrests

#2 Post by Bisbee » Mon May 13, 2019 11:11 pm

Great. Shock & Awe seems to tear its ugly head regularly w Republicans in charge.
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent." -Gandhi

Stiff
Loquacious
Posts: 2817
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2015 1:43 am
Contact:

Re: Before Trump’s purge at DHS, top officials challenged plan for mass family arrests

#3 Post by Stiff » Tue May 14, 2019 7:02 am

I almost wish that they go ahead with the plan. It would expose the breathtaking racism and depravity of this administration to the general public. His deplorable supporters would cheer him on, but the majority of decent people in America (some of them are actually Republicans) will find deporting entire families abhorring.

User avatar
TrueTexan
Verified Member
Verified Member
Posts: 14887
Joined: Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:28 pm
Location: LGC MEMBER: The "Crazy" part of Denton Texas
Contact:

Re: Before Trump’s purge at DHS, top officials challenged plan for mass family arrests

#4 Post by TrueTexan » Tue May 14, 2019 10:15 am

But the worse is already happening at the border. The abuses from the Border Patrol sound like it is from the worst of the Right Wing Militias. When you read militia think Border Patrol.
The militia group was hunting for border-crossers near the U.S.-Mexico boundary. Soon it encountered a group of migrants. Its members made them “take off their shoes and walk for half an hour in their socks,” then “lie face-down in the dirt for an hour.” The militia’s members stole the migrants’ food and fed it to their horses. They took the migrants’ sweaters, tossing them dirty blankets covered in cactus spines to use against the cold.

Actions like these have made the militia infamous. Human rights researchers log its many crimes. Legal organizations record thousands of its abuses. But the militia, defiant, is digging in.

“We are America’s frontline,” their manifesto reads. “We safeguard the American homeland at and beyond our borders. We protect the American people against terrorists and the instruments of terror.”

Its members dismiss detractors. One man, recently retired, said he was “completely positive” about the outfit, stressing that “they’re doing the best that they can,” especially given some politicians’ efforts to restrict militia activity. “I wish all those guys in Washington would spend just one day down here to see what the hell they’re talking about,” a long-serving member declared.

But charges against the group have accumulated in recent years. They range from legal violations to physical, psychological and sexual abuse.

Consider lawbreaking first. One member shot through the border fence into Nogales, killing a teen on Mexico’s side of the fence in 2012. The group’s present policy, according to the ACLU, is to detain migrants and then “brazenly violate their religious-freedom rights,” taking away Bibles and rosaries from Christian border-crossers. The ACLU also writes that militia men “routinely ignore or misunderstand the limits of their legal authority,” because they “are stopping, interrogating, and searching Americans on an everyday basis with absolutely no suspicion of wrongdoing, and often in ways that our Constitution does not permit.”

Now turn to abuse. Many of the worst offenses come just after the militia has captured migrants trying to enter the U.S. One child remembers how militia men “awoke a group of migrants sleeping in the Arizona desert by yelling at and kicking them.” Another, aged 16, recalled how a man “threw him down and smashed his head into the ground with his boot.” One militia member drove his truck over a child, whose leg suffered “crushing damage” and “significant trauma.” Yet another boy was “lying on his back in a bush when an agent approached and tased him in the stomach.” Then the assailant “proceeded to physically assault him by standing on the child’s leg and pressing down with force; pushing the child; kneeing the child twice in the stomach; and kicking the child into a thorn bush, injuring the child’s neck.”

These events give just a glimpse of border violence. Other militia members, on distinct occasions, “stomped on a child,” “threw a child to the ground,” “punched a child’s head,” “hit a child’s head with a flashlight,” and “pulled a child to a standing position by his hair” before knocking him “to the ground, where the side of the child’s face hit a rock.” On a different occasion, one of the armed men “tased a child.” Another “ran over a 17-year-old” with his vehicle before beating the teen with his fists.

Then there are the sexual violations. For example, when “two teenage girls reported that they had been sexually assaulted” by a militia member, “who they said forced them to strip [and] fondled them.” Another woman was “bound with duct tape, raped and stabbed.” One militia man “viciously attacked [a teenage girl] and her mother, twisting their necks, slashing their wrists and leaving them, finally, to bleed.”

This torment continues after militia members lock up migrants in their immigrant jails. Central Americans detained in these buildings suffer physical and verbal assault, untenable sleeping conditions and unsanitary drinking water.

“We had to drink water from the toilet to keep hydrated,” one woman explained. Another woman, from Guatemala, “spent four nights in a freezer in Arizona.” An investigation found that detention jail supervisors “had harassed and assaulted children, including fondling and kissing minors, watching them as they showered, and raping them.”

Such is the militia’s record. Its name? Perhaps you guessed a vigilante group, like New Mexico’s United Constitutional Patriots, covered in a flood of recent stories after they held migrants in the desolate desert. But no. It is a different group described here, one whose range of outrages the Patriots could only dream to match. This group is the U.S. Border Patrol.
https://truthout.org/articles/us-border ... ia-of-all/
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.-Huxley
The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer-Kissinger
Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired.-Swift

User avatar
featureless
Verified Member
Verified Member
Posts: 3359
Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 6:11 pm
Location: California
Contact:

Re: Before Trump’s purge at DHS, top officials challenged plan for mass family arrests

#5 Post by featureless » Tue May 14, 2019 10:57 am

Stiff wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 7:02 am
I almost wish that they go ahead with the plan. It would expose the breathtaking racism and depravity of this administration to the general public. His deplorable supporters would cheer him on, but the majority of decent people in America (some of them are actually Republicans) will find deporting entire families abhorring.
I dunno, Stiff. If the children in cages didn't do it, I don't know what will. Fucking disgusting.

User avatar
kronkmusic
Verified Member
Verified Member
Posts: 255
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:34 pm
Location: South Florida
Contact:

Re: Before Trump’s purge at DHS, top officials challenged plan for mass family arrests

#6 Post by kronkmusic » Tue May 14, 2019 11:51 am

featureless wrote:
Stiff wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 7:02 am
I almost wish that they go ahead with the plan. It would expose the breathtaking racism and depravity of this administration to the general public. His deplorable supporters would cheer him on, but the majority of decent people in America (some of them are actually Republicans) will find deporting entire families abhorring.
I dunno, Stiff. If the children in cages didn't do it, I don't know what will. Fucking disgusting.
It would just further shift the window of what people would be willing to accept from this administration. Trump's poll numbers have been remarkably steady since shortly after the inauguration, and have stabilized moreso since early 2018. People have already decided how they feel about him, and short of crashing the economy, I don't think there's anything this administration could do that would significantly move those poll numbers.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests