President Eisenhower implemented Operation Wetback, in which Mexicans were rounded up and deported back to Mexico on Greyhound buses in 1954. No one thought it was racist. It made sense. There is no moral imperative to turn over a country to invaders, even if they only arrive with leaf blowers in hand and not guns.
A memo from the Department of Homeland Security, which was recently reviewed by Reuters, suggest that the Trump administration plans to hit the ground running on the construction of that U.S.-Mexico border wall when they move into the White House later this month. The memo apparently summarized a meeting held between DHS officials and Trump’s transition team on December 5th in which requests were made for an assessment of “all assets available for border wall and barrier construction.”
In a wide-ranging request for documents and analysis, President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team asked the Department of Homeland Security last month to assess all assets available for border wall and barrier construction.
The requests were made in a Dec. 5 meeting between Trump’s transition team and Department of Homeland Security officials, according to an internal agency memo reviewed by Reuters. The document offers a glimpse into the president-elect’s strategy for securing the U.S. borders and reversing polices put in place by the Obama administration.
The Trump transition team also allegedly took aim at Obama’s executive actions, requesting “copies of every executive order and directive sent to immigration agents since Obama took office in 2009.”
The transition team also asked for copies of every executive order and directive sent to immigration agents since Obama took office in 2009, according to the memo summarizing the meeting.
Trump has said he intends to undo Obama’s executive actions on immigration, including a 2012 order to allow children brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents to remain in the country on temporary authorizations that allow them to attend college and work.
The program, known as DACA, collected information including participants’ addresses that could theoretically be used to locate and deport them if the policy is reversed. Another request of the transition team was for information about whether any migrant records have been changed for any reason, including for civil rights or civil liberties concerns, according to the internal memo seen by Reuters.
Among other immigration-related questions, the Trump transition team also hinted at expanding an aerial surveillance program and growing detention capacity for captured illegal immigrants.
One program the transition team asked about, according to the email summary, was Operation Phalanx, an aerial surveillance program that authorizes 1,200 Army National Guard airmen to monitor the southern border for drug trafficking and illegal migration.
The program once deployed 6,000 airmen under President George W. Bush but was downsized by Barack Obama, a move blasted by some conservatives who argue the surveillance is vital to border security.
The team also asked about the department’s capacity for expanding immigrant detention and about an aerial surveillance program that was scaled back by the Obama administration but remains popular with immigration hardliners. And it asked whether federal workers have altered biographic information kept by the department about immigrants out of concern for their civil liberties.
The best evidence we have right now is that Donald Trump intends to fulfill his campaign promise as it relates to the Mexican border. Now, to get Mexico to pay for it all.