Acting ICE director: Deportations won't stop despite raid delays

Acting ICE Director Mark Morgan said Saturday night that the 2-week delay in executing deportation raids does not put an end to his department’s efforts to deport illegal aliens. Removal efforts will continue for those who remain in the United States after failing to show up for court dates and are now under deportation orders.

“I’ve got the green light to anyone that’s here in violation of federal immigration law, I have the authority and the support to go after them, apply consequences, and remove them.”

President Trump delayed deportations raids in twelve cities across the country scheduled for Sunday morning. In the last minute decision, Trump decided to allow a two-week delay so that members of Congress from both parties can work on hammering out a policy to alleviate the crisis on the border. Speaker Nancy Pelosi allegedly placed a late night call to President Trump Friday night and asked for the delay.

At the time of the announcement that the raids would take place Sunday morning, I wondered why the plan was being made public in advance of the operation, as Jazz wrote about Saturday. Then I read reports that perhaps the leak to the press came from acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan. McAleenan wasn’t on board with the plan to pick up approximately 2,000 illegal alien families so he deliberately leaked the information, it is being reported. The Washington Post reports that McAleenan wants a more restrained plan.

Acting DHS secretary Kevin McAleenan has been urging ICE, an agency within his department, to conduct a narrower, more targeted operation that would seek to detain a group of about 150 families that were provided with attorneys but dropped out of the legal process and absconded.

McAleenan has warned that an indiscriminate operation to arrest migrants in their homes and at work sites risks separating children from their parents in cases where the children are at daycare, summer camp or friend’s houses. He also has maintained that ICE should not devote major resources to carrying out a mass interior sweep while telling lawmakers it needs emergency funding to address the crisis at the U.S. border.

WaPo’s reporting claims that McAleenan isn’t against deportations but he isn’t in favor of a zero-tolerance policy. He wants a slower moving process with the raids.

McAleenan has said that the crisis at the border — where more than 144,000 were taken into custody last month — remains the most urgent problem for DHS. Following Trump’s threats to slap tariffs on Mexico, McAleenan led negotiations with Mexican officials that resulted in commitments to dramatically toughen enforcement and begin work on a regional asylum overhaul that would allow the United States to send asylum seekers back to Central America.

Officials say McAleenan does not oppose ICE interior enforcement against families with deportation orders, but he wants a more limited approach that averts a repeat of “zero tolerance.”

Mark Morgan, however, is seen as more of a hard-liner who is in step with President Trump’s idea of border security.

“It’s just not about the numbers, Morgan said. “We need to continue to do interior enforcement against anyone who is here illegally including families because [if] we do that, I promise the American people, we start removing people that had final orders including families, the numbers will go down, this crisis will be positively impacted.”

Morgan, like most of us, I think, remains skeptical that Congress will get on the ball and do its job. What will the leaders involved in the negotiations possibly accomplish in two weeks that they haven’t been able to do for more than two years with Trump’s administration? Does anyone think that the open borders crowd in the Democrat party will suddenly become border hawks concerned about human trafficking, drug cartels, exaggerated asylum claims, and all the other problems linked to thousands of foreign intruders streaming across our southern border? The first step could be appropriating the money to start hiring additional Border Patrol agents and judges at the border to streamline the process. The problem of housing and caring for illegal immigrants remains, though. Democrats want them to simply be released without consequences while the cities and communities affected by the influx of the migrants are overwhelmed and resources are being depleted.

Meanwhile, the leaders of the targeted cities remain belligerent. In my own city of Houston, hours after President Trump announced the delay, the newly elected Harris County Judge (not an actual judge, by the way, it’s a political title) tweeted out a statement from her office declaring her intention to support lawlessness in the nation’s third largest county. It wasn’t even a bold move, considering she tweeted it several hours too late.