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Trump Sparks Fear, Outrage With Description Of Military Operation To Deport Immigrants

Donald Trump says deportation will be a military operation

If his words are to be taken literally, U.S. President Donald Trump will continue with the deportation of ‘bad hombres’ and it will be through tougher means than previously imagined. During a policy discussion at the White House with several dozen manufacturing executives, Trump used very questionable vocabulary to talk about one of his most controversial decisions regarding immigrants. He called his efforts to ramp up deportations a “military operation”; as quoted from The Hill:

“You see what’s happening at the border. All of the sudden, for the first time, we’re getting gang members out. We’re getting drug lords out. We’re getting really bad dudes out of this country. And at a rate nobody has ever seen before. And they’re the bad ones. And it’s a military operation.”

The deportation of undocumented migrants was an early campaign promise, and since taking office Donald Trump has undertaken several controversial actions to make that promise a reality. In an effort to step up the process, the Trump administration released on Tuesday some memos with details of aggressive immigration laws that will potentially result in millions of immigrants being considered for deportation. The plans include significant changes to the policies pursued by President Obama, out of which only the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) survives.

Trump’s comments came as top diplomats, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, are in Mexico for a meeting with their counterparts. Of DHS Secretary Kelly, Trump said:

“(he) has been unbelievable at the border.”

Trump’s new guidelines involve hiring thousands of new agents; however, the military is not involved. As explained by The Washington Post,

“Federal immigration policy is enforced by several divisions inside DHS, including Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the military has no role.”

His framing of deportations being a military operation focused on John Kelly, whose department oversees the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). Yet the ICE and border patrol are civilian organizations, not military. The reference to a military operation will certainly raise some eyebrows among human rights and immigrant rights advocates; even within the Department of Homeland Security. In fact, a leaked DHS proposal to deploy the Army National Guard to apprehend undocumented migrants immediately provoked intense backlash.

According to CNN, however, a White House spokesperson said Trump used the word ‘military’ as an adjective:
“The President was clearly describing the orderly and professional manner in which his executive orders are being implemented, and the administration’s emphasis on removing serious criminals here in the US illegally.” 

This is not the first time Trump chose peculiar and out-of-place words to express himself. A more careful selection of words could save the White House many unnecessary scandals.

Featured image via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News

 

From Mexico City, Carolina has lived in five different countries, experiences she defines as the most enriching. She has focused her studies and work on international conflicts and international security issues, diplomacy and protocol. Carolina holds two MA degrees and hopes to begin her PhD studies soon.