During the Adolescent-in-Chief's low-cost reality show, a.k.a. campaign, he boasted about deportations. Lots of deportations. Yuge numbers of deportations. A week after the election, while he was still in victory-lap mode, he announced a goal to deport two to three million people, stipulating that he would concentrate on those "that are criminal and have criminal records, gang members, drug dealers" (I suppose his rapists were implied in there, somehow). Administrative actions since then have underscored this claim, from high-profile ICE raids in major cities (as opposed to lower-profile raids under the Obama Administration) to newly-announced loosening of policies under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and "tripling the number of removal agents at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, by adding 10,000 agents."
According to a column by Dara Lind at Vox, the head of the DHS, John Kelly, issued memos that pave the way for broader detention and deportation of undocumented persons in the US.
Kelly’s memos direct Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to treat most unauthorized immigrants currently in the US as “priorities” for deportation. They direct the government to dramatically increase its capacity to detain immigrants, and dictate that it should detain nearly all immigrants caught near the US border. They instruct ICE to work aggressively deputize local law enforcement agents to arrest unauthorized immigrants. And they make it much easier to deport children who come to the US alone to reunite with their parents — and the parents they’re reuniting with.She notes that these memos were drafts and subject to review, but doubts that they will change much in later versions. They are likely to continue to call for strengthening the tRump administration's "massive immigration 'machine'" which will be expected to "have nearly free rein to arrest, detain, and deport unauthorized immigrants wherever it finds them."
In yesterday's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), tRump's chief puppeteer...er chief strategist, Steve "I look like Goering, but think like Goebels" Bannon, added weight to these concerns by claiming, "All [tRump is] doing right now is he laid out the agenda with the promises that he made [on the campaign trail]...He's maniacally focused on that." An adjective like maniacally when applied to tRump is disconcerting, indeed, especially when on the same day he characterized his plans as a "military operation."
|ICE agents in their militarized regalia. from: https://i1.wp.com/www.vivaliberty.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/ICE-Raids.jpg?fit=1200%2C630|
And yet, on the same day in Mexico City, the same John Kelly who issued the DHS memos, assured the Mexican public that there would be "no 'mass deportations'" and that there would be "No, repeat, no use of military force in immigration operations. None." Of course the always-good-for-a-cringe Sean Spicer tried to pitch tRump's use of military operation as metaphorical. Yet, at this point, Spicer and the boys have played the outrage card often enough that they might as well be saying, "Wolf!" So it's an operation being carried out by a militarized law enforcement agency but not a military operation?
Now, in all fairness in Obama's eight years, he deported millions of people as well, with numbers ranging from 2.5 million to 3.1 million, compared George W. Bush's "just over to 2 million," according to Snopes.com; so tRump's claim is actually rather consistent with recent precedent. Incidentally, Snopes also reports that between 1892 and 1997, the US deported 2.1 million people, so the last two presidents have at least doubled that number in sixteen years. The new DHS policies, however, weaken a number of guidelines that were put in place by Obama and open the door for more deportations.
In any case, yesterday's messages were contradictory...and oxymoronic.