Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and top immigration enforcement official Ronald Vitiello were ousted last month in part because they didn’t support a White House plan to arrest upwards of 2,500 undocumented adults and their children, according to the Washington Post.
The plan, which would have spanned 10 cities, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, is still under consideration and is just the beginning of an operation that hopes to arrest up to 10,000 migrants and their children from their homes and neighborhoods.
Nielsen, Vitiello and others in the administration did not support the operation because they felt it was “hastily put together,” would not be very effective, would likely backfire in the public eye and would divert resources from the southern border with Mexico.
“Both he and Nielsen instinctively thought it was bad policy and that the proposal was less than half-baked,” a Department of Homeland Security official told the Washington Post.
Nielsen and her staff also had concerns that the plan did not take into consideration undocumented parents that had children who were born in the U.S. and were citizens and that there is not enough bed space in detention centers for so many additional people.
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Both Nielsen and Vitiello thought the plan needed more assurance that children would not be separated from their parents, exacerbating the hundreds of Central American children still separated from their parents from President Donald Trump’s first disastrous “zero tolerance” policy.
The current administration’s official immigration goal is to go after “criminal aliens” but current plans seem to focus mainly on families. According to the Washington Post, officials said the purpose of raiding the homes and neighborhoods are mostly meant to be a show of force.
President Donald Trump is desperate to cut down on the number of migrants fleeing their countries and requesting asylum as last week saw another jump in Central Americans crossing the Rio Grande.
Border Patrol took in more than 5,000 migrants into custody over several days last week, Department of Homeland Security officials told the Washington Post.
Trump’s latest policy pushes have been ineffective in slowing migration from Central America and instead are likely fueling the increased number of people headed for the United States.