Trump recently tweeted that immigration authorities would soon launch a massive operation to deport millions of immigrants, but the details of that operation had not been announced or reported to the public before Trump's leak.
Trump was forced to cancel or at least delay the operation, but even if the operation had gone ahead as planned, it probably would have been an underwhelming disaster.
Agents who spoke to The New Yorker say that they only had days to plan an operation that would ordinarily take months to plan and they had little if any direction for what to do with the immigrants they were suppose to apprehend.
“Almost nobody was looking forward to this operation,” the officer said. “It was a boondoggle, a nightmare.” Even on the eve of the operation, many of the most important details remained unresolved. “This was a family op. So where are we going to put the families? There’s no room to detain them, so are we going to put them in hotels?” the officer said. On Friday, an answer came down from ice leadership: the families would be placed in hotels while ice figured out what to do with them. That, in turn, raised other questions. “So the families are in hotels, but who’s going to watch them?” the officer continued. “What happens if the person we arrest has a U.S.-citizen child? What do we do with the children? Do we need to get booster seats for the vans? Should we get the kids toys to play with?” Trump’s tweet broadcasting the operation had also created a safety issue for the officers involved. “No police agency goes out and says, ‘Tomorrow, between four and eight, we’re going to be in these neighborhoods,’ ” the officer said.
The New Yorker also reports that some members of the Trump regime including the acting director of ICE, Mark Morgan, have waged a whisper campaign against acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan because he is opposed to Trump's mass deportation plan. And McAleenan is technically Morgan's boss, so that's awkward.
Although McAleenan is Morgan's boss, Morgan has been reporting directly to Trump and disrupting the chain of command according to sources who spoke to the New Yorker.
At least some immigration officers who spoke to the New Yorker also said they preferred the enforcement priorities of the Obama administration which instructed officers to focus on criminals who actually pose a threat to society instead of grandmas and grandpas who've been living in the U.S. for 40 years.
Officers say they were actually able to deport more immigrants under the Obama administration because most of the innocent people they pick up under Trump are just circulated through the system because they have legitimate reasons to be here.
The ice officer said, “One person told me, ‘I never thought I’d say this, but I miss the Obama rules. We removed more people with the rules we had in place than with all this. It was much easier when we had the priorities. It was cleaner.’" [...]
“I don’t even know what we’re doing now,” the officer said. “A lot of us see the photos of the kids at the border, and we’re wondering, ‘What the hell is going on?’ ” The influx of Central American migrants, the officer noted, has been an issue for more than a decade now, spanning three Presidential administrations. “No one built up the infrastructure to handle this, and now people are suffering at the border for it. They keep saying they were caught flat footed. That’s a bald-faced fucking lie.”
Now, obviously, it's difficult to feel any sympathy for outspoken immigration officers -- and even more difficult to suggest that these feelings are shared among most officers -- because for each outspoken officer there are likely many more who couldn't give less of a shit who they're harming and some who actually enjoy doing it.
The bottom line is that Trump has taken a nominally functional immigration enforcement system and rendered it completely dysfunctional.
The next presidential administration needs to make it a priority to fix this shitshow once and for all, but that may not be possible as long as Republicans maintain control of the Senate.