Acting U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Mark Morgan confirmed Saturday that blame for the unexpected delay in the agency’s planned immigration raids partially rests with the media.
“The media got a hold of some operational specifics, and they reported it,” he said to Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro. “It’s egregious and it puts the lives of the officers and agents at risk. The men and women at ICE are true American heroes. The president recognized that. He postponed it to protect them.”
He issued the confirmation hours after President Donald Trump announced an unexpected two-week postponement of immigration raids that were originally slated to occur Sunday.
In a series of tweets posted Saturday afternoon, the president claimed that he’d delayed the raids “[a]t the request of Democrats”:
At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border. If not, Deportations start!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2019
While this is certainly true — Morgan confirmed it later in the interview Saturday — reports have emerged suggesting that this was a secondary, less important reason, and that the primary reason the raids were delayed was because somebody within ICE leaked details of them to the press.
And as usual, the press rushed to publish the details to the entire world — just like they did roughly a week earlier when they outed potentially classified information about the Pentagon’s cyber operations against Russia. The president responded to that leak by screaming “treason.”
While it remains unclear who exactly leaked information on ICE’s raids, both former acting ICE Director Thomas Homan and five other anonymous Trump administration officials believe acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan may be responsible.
Dovetailing back to the discussion on FNC’s “Justice with Jeanine,” the host, a staunch illegal immigration opponent, pressed Morgan about whether something will ever be done.
“The American people are fed up,” she said. “Every time we like hit the peddle, we pull back. The president, you know I absolutely support him totally … Now he puts the pressure on Nancy Pelosi, says give us a couple weeks. Do you have any faith that something is going to happen in two weeks when nothing has happened since 1986?”
Morgan replied by confirming that, despite the delay, he still has “the green light” to remove anyone who’s in the states in violation of federal law.
“I’ve got the green light to anyone that’s here in violation of federal immigration law,” he said. “I have the authority and the support to go after them, apply consequences, and remove them.”
“When you say you have the green light, are you doing it anyway?” Pirro replied.
On an individual level, yes, he replied.
“The men and women of ICE are doing this every day. We’re going after individuals and removing them every day. So this was not anything new. This was just an overall operation designed to go after and apply consequences to every demographic that’s here illegally, including families, something that political will hasn’t been there before.”
“The political will of the American people is there,” the judge retorted. “But we worry about the political will in Washington.”
Listen to this portion of the discussion below:
Pirro continued by pointing out how Republican administrations have been promising to do something about illegal immigration for literally decades.
“I have been hearing about 11 million illegals in this country for years,” she said. “There have been a million who’ve come in since last October. There’s got to be 20 million illegals in this country. Every day they keep coming in and they are working on our social services and everything else. So we’ve put a halt on this, but in the meantime we still pay for everybody.”
Morgan concurred and further argued that this lawlessness is exactly why ICE needs to start targeting family units and not just aliens with criminal records. Until it’s made clear that illegal immigration will not be tolerated, period, nothing will change.
“We need to do interior enforcement against anybody who is here illegally, including families,” he pointed out. “If we do that, if we start removing people with final orders, the numbers will go down, this crisis will be positively impacted. We don’t talk about it enough.”
“Congress should get together to fix this!” he added in anger.
Sadly, the partially Democrat-led Congress has only exacerbated the crisis by refusing to fully fund the Department of Homeland Security and crying foul whenever ICE tries to deport someone.
What’s happening as a result is that ICE is having to release illegal aliens into the interior. And not surprisingly, illegals are taking advantage of this to cheat the system.
“When you lead people to the interior, 90 percent don’t come back to settle their asylum claim,” Pirro noted. “The claim of asylum was BS from the get-go. Is there any way you can just put an ankle bracelet on these people? Why are we just letting them into the interior?”
“We are forced to,” Morgan conceded.
Forced to because of Congress’s inaction, to be exact.
Listen to the rest of the discussion below:
So until Congress does its job, ICE will have no other option but to release illegals into the interior and then go chasing after them after these same illegals essentially give them the middle finger.
“I don’t want to go to their house or work site, but they left us no alternative,” Morgan said as the discussion concluded. “They refused again and again to comply with our laws. They are forcing me to send men and women of ICE to go out and get them.”
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