- Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are reportedly angry over the poor planning of a series of immigration raids that were recently called off.
- One ICE officer told The New Yorker that “almost nobody was looking forward to this operation” and that it was filled with logistical challenges.
- The Trump administration has been weighing such an operation since last fall, but former Homeland Security officials always raised concerns about optics, logistics, and what to do with the American children of deported immigrants.
- Another ICE officer reportedly said things were better under the Obama administration, when there were clearer deportation priorities.
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Last week, federal agents were planning to round up thousands of migrant families in 10 major US cities.
And now Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are enraged by the botched plans and confused by the chaos surrounding the Trump administration’s immigration agenda, The New Yorker reported.
After a day of public outrage and backlash from congressional Democrats, Trump tweeted that he would push the raids back two weeks to allow lawmakers time to reform US asylum laws.
One relieved ICE officer told The New Yorker that “almost nobody was looking forward to this operation” and the plans had been rife with logistical hurdles, such as where to put the families and what to do if officers were arresting migrants with US citizen children.
“What do we do with the children? Do we need to get booster seats for the vans? Should we get the kids toys to play with?” the officer told staff writer Jonathan Blitzer.
An ICE spokesperson declined to comment to INSIDER on the logistical hurdles of the raids but faulted a “leak” to the public for ruining the agency’s operation – even though Trump himself first made the plans public via Twitter.
“Any leak telegraphing sensitive law-enforcement operations is egregious and puts our officers’ safety in danger,” the spokesperson said. “The president’s postponement protects officers and provides an opportunity for Congress to swiftly work together in a bipartisan fashion to end the incentives for child smuggling and ensure all illegal aliens can be promptly returned upon apprehension at the southern border.”
‘I never thought I’d say this, but I miss the Obama rules’
Members of the Trump administration have been enraged by the crush of asylum seekers crossing the US-Mexico border and have long sought to retaliate against migrants who evade deportation orders.
The operation was first conceived months ago, but former officials like then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and former acting ICE Director Ron Vitiello pushed back against the plans, according to The Washington Post.
Nielsen and Vitiello had opposed the raids largely because of the poor optics, limited resources and bed space, and concern about what to do with American children whose parents were rounded up,The Washington Post reported in May.
Last week’s plans for the operation even included an idea to put the migrant families in hotels because much of the immigration detention facilities were already full, The New Yorker reported.
An ICE officer told the magazine that rank-and-file agents are frustrated with the chaos from the Trump administration and even miss the Obama administration’s rules.
“One person told me, ‘I never thought I’d say this, but I miss the Obama rules. We removed more people with the rules we had in place than with all this. It was much easier when we had the priorities. It was cleaner,'” the officer told The New Yorker.
The officer added: “I don’t even know what we’re doing now … A lot of us see the photos of the kids at the border and we’re wondering, ‘What the hell is going on?'”
- Read more:
- An 8-year-old was taking care of a 4-year-old because conditions at one Texas Border Patrol station were so dire
- Trump still isn’t deporting as many immigrants as Obama did
- Trump says ‘Obama built the cages’ that his administration has been using to lock up migrant children
- This 4-month-old baby was separated from his parents at the border. Now he is nearly 2 and still can’t speak or walk.
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