Migration crisis: Trump’s two battlefronts
After more than two years fighting to get its most risky migration policies underway, the Trump Administration now faces a crisis beyond the border with Mexico.
Donald Trump’s battle to mold the American immigration system to his liking has become a problematic chess set.
While his pawns fall one by one due to incompetence or moral disagreements, his bishop and senior advisor, Stephen Miller, causes revolts in the White House staff.
The dismissal of the Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen was the first sign of an internal jolt in the team in charge of immigration decisions inside the Trump government.
Since then, Stephen Miller has been moving pieces for the new Department to be "more aggressive.”
According to a Washington Post in-depth report, Miller orchestrated Nielsen's dismissal, along with ICE interim director Ronald Vitiello and other senior officials, arguing that "the president needs a different team, one that will be more aggressive in carrying out his agenda.”
The real reason for this change in personnel was the opposition of Nielsen and Vitiello to the plan of mass arrests of parents and children "eligible for deportation in 10 U.S. cities," the Post continues.
Miller's new strategy included the consideration of Mark Morgan - former director of the Border Patrol during the Obama Administration - as director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), and Kevin McAleenan as interim director of the Department of Homeland Security.
While Miller agreed with both nominations, his strategic freedom needed to be contained in the West Wing given the risk that he would make arbitrary decisions just because he has the president's ear.
Last Friday, McAleenan blocked another initiative from the adviser, who was seeking this time to install Morgan as commissioner of the Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP).
Threatening to resign, McAleenan demanded his authority in the Department to be respected, putting a temporary hold on Miller's megalomania.
The internal chaos of the Administration, as is frequent, has its external manifestations.
After having raffled Congress with an emergency declaration to obtain funds and solve the border chaos, the White House has announced that this money won’t be enough.
Adding to the $ 4.5 billion previously obtained, the Administration has "warned" Congress that it will need 1.4 billion more.
According to Politico, the interim budget director said in a letter: "the number of unaccompanied immigrant children crossing the nation's southern border has dramatically increased to unprecedented levels."
Strategies improvised by the Department of Homeland Security to deal with the issue have included the identification of locations to move the hundreds of thousands of immigrants from detention centers on the border to the interior of the country, risking perpetuating administrative failures of previous efforts such as the Zero Tolerance Policy.
At this point, and more than a year after its implementation, the strategy continues to have consequences.
According to a recent NBC News report, the Trump Administration has identified 1,712 more children who were separated from their parents during the 2018 fiscal year.
The figures are the product of the judicial order of Judge Dana Sabraw, where it was intended to reunify the more than 2,800 children identified as victims of family separation. The government has reviewed, so far, less than a quarter of the 50,000 cases.