Mark Morgan, the acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, pushed back on a claim by CNN’s Jake Tapper that immigration officials are turning a “blind eye” when it comes to the Trump Organization.
Speaking about the illegal immigrants detained recently during Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids, Morgan told the “State of the Union” host that he was offended by his question implying that Trump Organization properties hire illegal immigrants and that they are given a pass by the Department of Homeland Security.
Tapper brought up a report in The Washington Post which claimed that construction crews hired by President Trump’s properties regularly used undocumented laborers. The CNN host confronted Morgan on what he saw as a double standard, accusing federal officials of ignoring a Trump property “crime” while conducting raids on other businesses.
The discussion had focused on immigration raids at food processing plants in Mississippi last week which led to the arrests of 680 people. Morgan pushed back on the term “raids,” schooling Tapper on the terms and clarifying that they are “targeted law enforcement operations.”
“And, in this case, this was a joint criminal investigation with ICE and the Department of Justice targeting worksite enforcement, meaning companies that knowingly and willfully hire illegal aliens, so that, in most cases, they can pay them reduced wages, exploit them further for their bottom line. That is what this investigation was about, a criminal investigation,” he said. “These aren’t undocumented immigrants. They are illegal immigrants. They are here in this country illegally. They’re obtaining jobs illegally.”
Tapper eventually brought up the Washington Post report in his effort to shame the CBP chief, noting the “many headlines” about Trump properties allegedly using illegal immigrant laborers.
“So The Washington Post reported that eight Trump Organization properties have employed, whether you call them illegal or undocumented immigrants, and this is one of many headlines about undocumented immigrants working for President Trump properties, construction crews, working at his properties or golf clubs,” Tapper said.
“There have been zero raids on any of those companies despite headline after headline. It is like you are turning a blind eye to this crime being committed by the president’s own companies,” he told Morgan.
“I’ve been in law enforcement for over 25 years so, first of all. Again, I’m the commissioner of CBP, so it’s not my responsibility,” Morgan clarified.
“I understand. But you were head of ICE, until recently,” Tapper said.
“That is correct. But [what] I could tell you is, is that in my 25 years, I take offense to say anybody is turning a blind eye to someone that is violating the law,” the acting CBP head shot back.
But Tapper continued to try to make his point.
“I don’t understand why it is that the president’s companies ― there’s headline after headline after headline about them employing undocumented immigrants ― and there’s never been a raid. There’s never been any sort of law enforcement investigation that we can discern,” he said.
“You really can’t say that for sure,” Morgan corrected the CNN host, rebuking him for making claims on his speculations.
“Because there are investigations going on all of the time that you’re unaware of,” Morgan said. “And we shouldn’t be aware of those investigations. So those investigations should be done without notifying everyone because of course it will jeopardize the investigation if I come on here and talk to you about an investigation that is going on.”
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