Trump Officials Shrug Off Crying Children As White House Demands More Raids
August 12th 2019
By Lisa Needham
While the rest of the country reels from the cruelty of the massive ICE raid in Mississippi, members of the Trump administration took to the Sunday shows to defend what happened.
Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan went on “Meet the Press,” where Chuck Todd pressed him on the timing of the raid, just a few days after El Paso was rocked by a mass shooter who targeted Hispanics. Todd pointed out that the raid could have been postponed “a week, even two weeks” but that didn’t faze McAleenan.
Instead, McAleenan tried to pivot to pretending the real motivation for the raid was to go after the five companies in Mississippi who were “exploiting undocumented workers” and “just ignoring the law entirely.”
One problem: Only undocumented immigrant employees were arrested. Todd brought up that exact fact, only to have McAleenan bob and weave some more, and brag about a past investigation that resulted in “an individual employer who’s got a year-and-a-half sentence in federal prison” for employing undocumented workers.
One employer with a year-and-a-half sentence doesn’t stack up against hundreds of families torn apart.
McAleenan was also unapologetic about the fact that hundreds of children spent the night without their parents. He told Todd that each school had an ICE liaison present the day of the raid and that the raid was “done with sensitivity.”
That’s a peculiar definition of sensitivity.
Over on CNN, Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, was perhaps even worse. Jake Tapper asked Morgan about a video that showed a girl crying and begging ICE to let her parents go.
Morgan’s response? “I understand that the girl is upset and I get that. But her father committed a crime.”
It got worse from there.
Morgan declared that the video was “done on purpose to show a picture like that.” He went on to say that since undocumented workers use fraudulent documents to get work, “it is not just a victimless crime.”
Morgan’s partly right. There are victims here. The victims are the undocumented workers themselves, who work at grueling and risky jobs that Americans won’t take. The victors are the companies that exploit them — companies like Mobile Payroll Construction, a Trump company that has employed undocumented Hispanic workers.
Tapper even asked Morgan why ICE hasn’t investigated or raided any Trump properties despite repeated reports that the eight locations employ undocumented people. Morgan told Tapper “there are investigations going on all the time that you’re unaware of.”
Given that only 11 people — and zero companies — were prosecuted for employing undocumented individuals over the last two years, it seems highly unlikely that Trump’s companies are in any danger.
Meanwhile, Trump has reportedly demanded ICE conduct dozens more workplace raids. It’s a safe bet none of them will be on businesses owned by Trump or his family.
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