Kirstjen Nielsen opposed secret White House plan to arrest thousands of migrants – Washington Examiner
Top Homeland Security Department officials opposed a secret White House proposal to arrest thousands of migrants before they were shoved out of the Trump administration.
Seven current and former DHS officials told the Washington Post that the White House devised a plan to arrest thousands of parents and children in 10 major U.S. cities, to prove that the administration would detain and deport recent migrants, even if they had children.
Under the proposal, immigration court cases would be expedited so the government could receive deportation orders for those who failed to appear for their hearings.
But Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting Director Ronald Vitiello pushed back on the plan due to concern that U.S. ICE agents were insufficiently prepared to take on the task. They were also worried about backlash and pulling resources from the border. According to DHS officials, the opposition was primarily logistical and didn’t involve ethical red flags.
“There was concern that it was being hastily put together, would be ineffective, and might actually backfire by misdirecting resources away from critical border emergency response operations,” one DHS official told the Post.
Among those people in the administration pushing for the proposal were senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller and ICE Deputy Director Matthew Albence. The plan is still under consideration. Cities on the list include New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Officials at ICE and DHS declined to provide the Post with comment, as did Miller through a White House spokesperson. Vitiello and Nielsen, who were pushed out of the administration, did not respond to requests for comment.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Washington Examiner.