The Trump administration is ramping up plans to create what the Washington Post calls a “nationwide deportation force” so that President Trump can make good on his campaign promise to save America from the scourge of illegal immigrants once and for all.
An internal memo from the Department of Homeland Security obtained by the Post lays out the administration’s plan to move quickly to make Trump’s dream a reality. The agency has found 33,000 additional detention beds for undocumented immigrants, began discussions with local police forces about empowering them with “enforcement authority” and figured out where the construction of the border wall could possibly begin.
Additional Customs and Border patrol agents will be needed to carry out the deportations and the raids, but don’t worry, there’s a plan for that, too. To speed up the hiring of the 5,000 agents Trump’s plan calls for, the documents obtained by the Post discuss possibly doing away with both the polygraph and the physical fitness tests required for CBP employees in some cases. The document also included this surefire plan for how to handle immigrants waiting for their cases to be heard by the courts:
From the New York Times:
The administration also wants Mexico to agree to hold would-be immigrants while their cases go through American immigration courts. To speed those hearings, the administration is considering holding them by videoconference or sending more immigration judges to the border.
David Lapan, a spokesman for the department, told the Times that anything in the document obtained by the Post is “draft that hasn’t made it to the front office yet,” and that any of it is “subject to change.” Still, any attempt to speed up the process of hiring agents could be bad news for the agency itself.
James Tomsheck, a former assistant commissioner for internal affairs at Customs and Border Protection, told the Times that the polygraph caveat is “preposterous” and that he can’t see how these changes would “make the border anymore secure.”
Hiring all these people and building the wall will cost an awful lot of money; the DHS document states that Border Patrol will move forward with the construction of a prototype of the wall using the $20 million reappropriated by lawmakers in March, with the goal to complete that prototype by July. As for beefing up the staff both CBP and ICE, according to the DHS documents hiring just 500 new employees would cost $100 million.
Though the document is technically still a draft, the stage that’s being set is cause for concern. Speaking to the Post, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center Marielena Hincapié said “This is an administration that very much is interested in setting up that mass deportation infrastructure and creating the levers of a police state. In these documents, you have more proof and evidence that they’re planning to carry it out.”