The Trump administration’s latest crackdown on immigration continues.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, with the 2020 presidential election approaching, the president appears to be embarking on yet another immigration crackdown, targeting asylum seekers, threatening traveling migrants, and urging Mexico to contain those passing through its territory.
According to a new report from CNN‘s Jake Tapper, during his visit to the border at Calexico, California, last week, Trump told a top immigration official to break the law and block asylum seekers from entering the United States. The president also promised to pardon the official if necessary, according to individuals briefed on the matter.
The official in question is reportedly the then-Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Kevin McAleenan. McAleenan has since been named acting Secretary of Homeland Security, following Kirstjen Nielsen’s abrupt departure. According to individuals briefed on the meeting, Trump told McAleenan that he “would pardon him if he ever went to jail for denying U.S. entry to migrants.”
The administration denies the report. In a statement supplied to CNN, the Department of Homeland Security said the following.
“At no time has the President indicated, asked, directed or pressured the Acting Secretary to do anything illegal. Nor would the Acting Secretary take actions that are not in accordance with our responsibility to enforce the law.”
This is not the first media report to allege that Trump is encouraging immigration officials to break the law. According to The Hill, during his Calexico visit, Trump told Border Patrol agents to refuse to let any migrants into the United States, encouraging them to break the law and defy court orders.
“Sorry, judge, I can’t do it. We don’t have the room,” is what the president suggested that Border Patrol agents to say to judges if pressed. The agents reportedly talked to their superiors about the issue, who told them to disregard the president’s orders, as they would be blatant violations of the law.
Trump says administration 'giving strong considerations' to releasing migrants in 'sanctuary cities' https://t.co/ZDVyXRH2pu
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 12, 2019
As The Hill notes, other reports have suggested that the firing of Kirstjen Nielsen came following a confrontation between the then-Homeland Security secretary and the president. Trump reportedly ordered Nielsen and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to completely shut down certain ports of entry at the southern border.
Nielsen reportedly pushed back against the president’s suggestion, explaining to him that denying asylum seekers is against the law.
“I don’t care,” Trump allegedly responded, pressuring the administration to continue the crackdown. Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney reportedly managed to talk Trump out of the plan, but Nielsen has nevertheless left the post.