|Photo: David Bacon|
IMMIGRATION DOUBLE TALK: President Donald Trump touted his immigration enforcement record during a roundtable Thursday with manufacturing executives. "You see what's happening at the border, all of the sudden for the first time, we're getting gang members out, we're getting drug lords out, we're getting really bad dudes out of this country," Trump said. He called his deportation efforts "a military operation," a loaded phrase in view of a draft government memo that last week floated the idea of using National Guard to enforce immigration laws.
Even as Trump boasted about tough enforcement, one of his top immigration officials insisted not much had changed. Speaking in Mexico City, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said: "There will be no - repeat - no mass deportations." And also: "No - repeat - no use of military force in immigration operations. None."
Welcome to the Trump administration's duelling realities about immigration policy. Trump touts his new iron-fisted approach ("The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise," he tweeted earlier this month. "Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!"). Kelly and federal immigration officials insist it's business as usual (DHS "doesn't have the resources to go into communities and start rounding people up. That's entirely a fiction of folks' imagination," an anonymous DHS official said earlier this week). Is Trump all bluster? Or is Kelly downplaying some dramatic policy changes? We'll find out soon enough.
From Politico's Morning Edition