Tuesday, May 14, 2019
In "Before Trump’s purge at DHS, top officials challenged plan for mass family arrests," Nick Miroff and Josh Dawsey in the Washington Post offer some dramatic background to the shakeup in the leadership of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). According to the story, in the weeks before they were ousted last month, DHS 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."