Trump and allies planning militarized mass deportations, detention camps

Trump and allies planning militarized mass deportations, detention camps

The Washington Post reports:

Faced with a surge of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2018 and 2019, Donald Trump’s White House discussed ways to more aggressively deploy the resources and the might of the U.S. military.

Aides and officials spoke privately about detaining migrants on military bases and flying them out of the country on military planes — ideas that the Pentagon headed off. Throughout his presidency, Trump himself would frequently demand to send troops to the border and catch people crossing.

“He was obsessed with having the military involved,” said a former senior administration official, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private discussions.

That approach and unfinished business have taken on renewed significance and urgency as the country confronts another migrant crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border, and as Trump closes in on the Republican presidential nomination. The former president is making immigration a core campaign theme, promoting a proposal for an unprecedented deportation effort if he is returned to power.

Trump pledges that as president he would immediately launch “the largest domestic deportation operation in American history.” As a model, he points to an Eisenhower-era program known as “Operation Wetback,” using a derogatory slur for Mexican migrants. The operation used military tactics to round up and remove migrant workers, sometimes transporting them in dangerous conditions that led to some deaths. Former administration officials and policy experts said staging an even larger operation today would face a bottleneck in detention space — a problem that Trump adviser Stephen Miller and other allies have proposed addressing by building mass deportation camps. [Continue reading…]

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