I can understand why he’s irritated. Democrats like Chuck Schumer and Joaquin Castro are pushing the idea of “mass deportation” as hard as they can to nudge the media to cover the raids being conducted by ICE as some sort of ominous, unprecedented mass mobilization of federal power. Meanwhile, Trump has refused to rescind Obama’s DACA order despite having promised to do so during the campaign and is hinting to any reporter who’ll listen that DREAMers are going to be amnestized before very much longer. This is just Kelly showing frustration at trying to carry out basic immigration enforcement with liberals screaming hysterically as though 11 million people are about to be put on buses.
Complaining that the media is falsely claiming that the military is involved in deportations is harder to stomach, though, thanks to Trump. I think Kelly’s referring to that dubious AP report from last week which claimed, based on little evidence, that as many as 100,000 National Guards troops might be deployed to remove illegals. That’s fair enough, but his boss isn’t helping him tamp down this stupid talking point. On the contrary:
President Trump praised the Department of Homeland Security’s new efforts to arrest and deport more illegal immigrants Thursday, calling it “a military operation” that is getting “really bad dudes” out of the U.S.
“We’re getting drug lords out,” Mr. Trump told business executives at a White House meeting. “We’re getting really bad dudes out of this country, at a rate that nobody’s ever seen before. It’s a military operation.”
No, it’s not a military operation. It may, perhaps, be an operation that’s being conducted with military-style precision, a thought which in Trumpese translates to “military operation” just like watching a segment on immigration in Sweden on Fox News the night before translates to “last night in Sweden.” But it’s not a “military operation.” Bad enough that Kelly has to wrestle with Schumer’s talking points; now he has to wrestle with Trump’s too.
The funny thing about this clip is that it’s aimed at a wide audience of Americans and Mexicans who aren’t onboard with strong immigration enforcement, and meanwhile there must be endless numbers of pro-Trump border hawks watching and thinking, “What do you mean ‘no mass deportations’?” Oh well. He and Trump are making progress on enforcement, though, at least if Ted Cruz is to believed. Cruz told CPAC today that he was told by the Border Patrol that illegal immigration across the Rio Grande is down 50 percent over the last month. If that can be verified, expect to hear a lot more about it from the White House soon.