April 22, 2019
An insightful - and frightening - look at Stephen Miller
Stephen Miller is the architect of the Trump administration’s approach to immigration. As we have noted many times, immigration policy was already a mess when Trump took office. The Obama administration had itself engaged in harsh detention and deportation strategies, and put a strong emphasis on border security, apparently in the hopes that doing so would encourage Republicans to come to the table on a broader reform agenda. It didn’t work. That said, Trump is both quantifiably worse than Obama (e.g., detentions have soared since he took office), and qualitatively a disaster. His rhetoric is irresponsible, emboldening militias and white nationalist organizations to engage in practices such as kidnapping people at the border at gunpoint (see below). Trump is Trump. However, turning his hyper-whiteness-as-patriotism talking points into a workable policy agenda requires someone with actual skills in this area; thus enters Stephen Miller.
Soon after Trump took office, for instance, Miller began calling U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials to insist that they include more details — such as full names and pending criminal charges — in press releases about immigrants they had apprehended, detained or planned to deport, according to three current and former DHS officials.
“At one point, he wanted us to be releasing press releases every day about the people we had detained and their criminal status. We were constantly doing a dance just to remain in a legal place,” recalled a former DHS official.
U.S. officials say that such a thing had never been done. Unless the individuals had been convicted or charged, releasing such information could constitute a breach of privacy and possibly deprive them of a fair hearing, according to Leon Fresco, an immigration attorney and senior Justice Department official under President Barack Obama.
Read the full story on Politico.
FBI Arrests Militia Leader
The FBI arrested Larry Mitchell Hopkins, leader of United Constitutional Patriots. Hopkins group had been filmed detaining immigrants at the border at gunpoint. The group claimed to be helping border patrol. In some of the video that surfaced, they were actually pretending to be border patrol, and after detaining people, they called in the real CBP. Why the border patrol was allowing this to happen, has not been fully investigated yet. Though CBP did release a statement condemning the actions of the group: “CBP does not endorse or condone private groups or organizations that take enforcement matters into their own hands. Interference by civilians in law enforcement matters could have public safety and legal consequences for all parties involved.”
On Earth Day, we take a look at the Carbon Bootprint of ICE
On our blog today we offer some background on ICE Air Operations, and offer an estimate of the impact of ICE Air on carbon emissions. Compared to other government institutions, like say the U.S. military, which is the single greatest institutional source of carbon emissions on the planet, ICE Air may not seem like a huge contributor. But in the context of the extraordinary waste created by ICE operations in general, and the unnecessary, and unusually cruel activities they engage in, it seems worth highlighting the environmental costs as well. Read more.