Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and a top immigration official challenged a White House secret plan to arrest thousands of migrant parents and children in nearly a dozen U.S. cities, Fox News informed.
Trump administration considered targeting migrant families that had crossed into the U.S. from Mexico, thus showing that the U.S. was not going to step aside from its border position by arresting and deporting illegal immigrant families.
This action consisted of fast-track immigration court cases that opened way for U.S. to deport those who would not appear in front of the court, but also coordinated raids against parents with children in several cities, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other major metropolitan areas.
Nielsen and top immigration official Ronald Vitiello did not support this action, citing lack of preparation, public outrage and worries that it could use border resources. Stephen Miller and ICE Deputy Director Matthew Albence backed the plan, saying that such action could deter migrants from crossing into the U.S.
Although Nielsen and Vitello’s were against this plan, still their concern was not about the ethical reasons behind it, but for the logistics. Nielsen was also concerned that the targeted parents and children might detract from the White House’s goal of going after so-called “criminal aliens.”
“There was concern that it was being hastily put together, would be ineffective and might actually backfire by misdirecting resources away from critical border emergency response operations,” a Homeland Security official told The Washington Post.
Nielsen and Vitello’s push back was reportedly part of the reason why Trump pushed both officials out of the administration.