“Words matter,” said acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan. He called out his interviewer for using terms like “undocumented immigrants” and ICE “raids,” which are deceptive and politically motivated.
In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday, Morgan defended an ICE operation in Mississippi on Wednesday that resulted in 680 illegal immigrants initially being detained. 300 of those who had children were subsequently released and returned to where they were detained. Liberal media outlets have been attacking the Trump administration for the action.
“President Trump is defending the immigration raids in Mississippi this week in which at least 680 people were detained. Leaving some children crying out for their parents,” said Tapper. “The president said the raids were a very good deterrence to those considering crossing into the U.S. illegally.”
A clip showing a crying 11-year old girl whose father was detained was played in which she was asking for his release.
“Now you and the President said a few weeks ago that the pending ICE Raids coming down the pike were focused on violent criminals,” Tapper claimed. “That is not what happened here in Mississippi. Why not?”
“I never said that the raids as you call them were focused on violent criminals. I’ve never said that. And also I think words matter. These aren’t raids. These are targeted law enforcement operations,” said Morgan. “And in this case, this was a joint criminal investigation with ICE. And the Department of Justice targeting work site enforcement, meaning companies that knowingly and willfully hire illegal aliens so that in most cases they could pay them reduced wages, exploit them further for their bottom line. That is what this investigation was about. A criminal investigation, Jake.”
“So I want to get to that in one second. Just to get your exact quote and you’re right, you didn’t say violent, you said quote, their part has always been and it will be to go after those that are criminal aliens, meaning those people that are here illegally and committed additional crimes against American citizens.”
“So that was my response to a question about priorities,” Morgan replied. “And ICE’s priorities will always be to go after criminal aliens as a priority. That doesn’t mean they exclude all demographics. We still have to apply consequences meaning, enforce the rule of law for those individuals that are here illegally against immigration law.
Watch that segment of the interview here …
Video by CNN
Tapper continued to pressure Morgan about the intent of the action in Mississippi that targeted several food processing plants. “I want to ask you, because you’re talking about how this is a pending investigation for these business but we see the human cost of this borne by the undocumented immigrants and their families over and over again. I just gave you the statistic from Syracuse in the last year, zero companies prosecuted and only 11 individuals prosecuted. If you focused on the companies, wouldn’t that have more of a deterrent effect than going after the individuals?”
“Jake, again this is the third time, that was the intent of the investigation,” said Morgan.
“I can’t speak to the Department of Justice on how many cases they have. I’m the commissioner of CBP so I’m not involved in those investigations but what I can tell you is that’s exactly what this investigation was about.
“Again, let’s go back to words matter. These aren’t undocumented immigrants–they are illegal,” Morgan said with emphasis.
“They are here in this country illegally. They’re obtaining jobs illegally. So I think words matter. And let’s keep in mind that ICE during this target enforcement operation, they took extraordinary efforts to make sure that, when everyone that was apprehended, and they actually had agents dedicated full time during this operation that they did nothing but be prepared to reach out to schools, to reach out to day care and every single person they apprehended and the first question that they asked is, ‘do you have a child and where are they?’ Are they at day care or are they at school? They had phone banks there for everybody to call to reach out to the loved ones and children. The agents contacted over 12 schools and they made sure that they were — had a full understanding of where everybody was and that is why over 300 of the 600-plus arrested were reunited on humanitarian reasons because they had kids and children and released on their own recognizance.”
That segment can be viewed here …
Video by CNN