New reporting about the firing of Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen indicates that President Donald Trump was upset that she was unwilling to bring back his most controversial immigration policy.
Three American officials tell NBC News’ Geoff Bennett and Julia Ainsley that Trump since January has been pounding the table about reinstating his policy of separating immigrant children from their parents when they are apprehended at the border.
According to Bennett, Nielsen resisted Trump’s orders on this issue and told him that “federal court orders prohibited DHS from reinstating the policy and that he would be reversing his own executive order from June that ended family separation.”
Even though Trump agreed to end his family separation policies last year, sources tell Bennett that he has been itching to bring it back because he believes it “has been the most effective policy at deterring large numbers of asylum seekers.”
EXCLUSIVE from @JuliaEAinsley and me: President Trump has for months now urged his administration to reinstate large-scale separation of migrant families crossing the border, according to three U.S. officials with knowledge of meetings at the White House.
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) April 8, 2019
Trump has been pushing this policy since January, the sources said.
A senior administation official says they believe Trump is convinced that family separation has been the most effective policy at deterring large numbers of asylum seekers.
— Geoff Bennett (@GeoffRBennett) April 8, 2019
Other reports have indicated that Trump was unhappy with Nielsen because she regularly told him that his plans to stop immigrants from claiming asylum in the United States would break the law.
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Top Spokesperson Was Fired After Trump Outrage Over Poor ICE Raids Media Coverage – and After More Fury Another Just Quit
President Donald Trump was furious with the media’s coverage of his ICE raids last month, with outlets from Breitbart to The New York Times reporting that out of 2000 arrests, just 35 immigrants were detained. Apparently in response to White House outrage, ICE fired its top spokesperson, Axios reports.
“Not long after the raids, Carol Danko, the spokeswoman for ICE, was fired.”
Axios now reports President Trump was furious with this week’s announcement from the Dept. of Homeland Security that it is pulling out of the Flores Agreement, which mandates migrant minors can only be detained for 20 days. The Trump administration now plans to hold migrant families together indefinitely.
Trump apparently wanted a huge announcement at the White House to brag about how the federal government of the United States will be mistreating undocumented immigrants in its concentration camps, but instead the Department of Homeland Security held the event at the Reagan Center, the building that houses the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol’s D.C. office. That led to little coverage and no live coverage of the announcement on national TV.
Axios reports Andrew Meehan, who serves as the top aide and spokesman to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan (photo), “is resigning amid frustration in the White House over the Department of Homeland Security’s handling of major policy rollouts and White House distrust of McAleenan and his inner circle.”
“Flores is a huge deal to the president,” a senior official told Axios. “This is the underpinning of the whole fight. This just seems to me this is a very important rollout and they … undersold it at the Reagan Center.”
So keeping migrant families locked up indefinitely is the whole fight.
Note also the use of the word “undersold,” as if policy is a sales job. The new policy will literally imprison migrants possibly for life, and the President wanted a huge rollout.
So in response to outrage from the White House, the top spokesperson at DHS is resigning over the supposedly “botched rollout.”
Acting Dept. of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan “could have been on all the TVs if he wanted to,” the senior official said. “But not everybody’s taking live coverage from the Reagan Center at the last minute. At some point something has got to go right at DHS with their messaging and rollouts.”
Everything for the Trump administration is about messaging and TV coverage.
The 1997 Flores Agreement set a 20-day limit for detaining migrant children.
The Trump administration wants to end it, allowing families to be held in detention for months or even YEARS.
This is more than cruel. It’s beyond logic and humanity. pic.twitter.com/VQPQ39TRS1
— Amnesty International (@amnestyusa) August 21, 2019
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