Connect with us

Politics

Trump advisers discussed whether military could build and run migrant detention camps

Published

on

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

By Courtney Kube and Julia Ainsley

WASHINGTON — When some of President Donald Trump’s top national security advisers gathered at the White House Tuesday night to talk about the surge of immigrants across the southern border, they discussed increasing the U.S. military’s involvement in the border mission, including whether the military could be used to build tent city detention camps for migrants, according to three U.S. officials familiar with the conversations.

During the meeting, the officials also discussed whether the U.S. military could legally run the camps once the migrants are housed there, a move the three officials said was very unlikely since U.S. law prohibits the military from directly interacting with migrants. The law has been a major limitation for Trump, who wants to engage troops in his mission to get tougher on immigration.

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan was at the White House meeting Tuesday night and was open to sending more U.S. troops to support the border mission, so long as their assigned mission is within the law, according to the three U.S. officials.

Thousands of troops are currently deployed along the southern border, and are mainly used for reinforcing existing fencing with barbed wire.

Potential new projects for the troops that were mentioned Tuesday, according to the three officials — two from the Pentagon and one from Homeland Security — also included conducting assessments of the land before the construction of new tent cities in El Paso and Donna, Texas. They would also be used in assessments before construction of a new central processing center for migrants in El Paso, said the DHS official.

The creation of the processing center was announced last month. It is being designed to temporarily detain arriving immigrants, many of whom are being released in El Paso due to the lack of detention space.

The processing center will be similar to one currently used in McAllen, Texas, where children were kept in chain-link areas, which some called “cages,” while the Trump administration’s family separation policy was in effect last summer, according to two Customs and Border Protection officials.

The tent cities would hold immigrants while Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities continue to be at capacity. The Obama administration also used tents to hold immigrants in Donna, Texas, in 2016.

The idea has trickled down into planning meetings held this week at DHS, one of the officials said.

Discussions this week, at the White House meeting and afterward, have included the suggestion that troops may be needed to run the tent city detention camps once immigrants are being housed there, according to the U.S. officials familiar with the conversations.

The Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the use of federal troops for domestic law enforcement inside the U.S. This prevents them from direct interaction with immigrants crossing into the country. One U.S. official said recent meetings have included discussions about whether using active duty troops to run a detention camp would be a violation of Posse Comitatus.

While there has been discussion of an increase in troops, no specific numbers have been mentioned, and officials do not expect a large number of additional troops to be needed for any new mission.

A U.S. border patrol official speaking on the condition of anonymity said the military allows for faster construction than private contractors, who can protest decisions and slow down the process.

“The importance of DOD is that they are able to mobilize quickly because we face an immediate crisis now,” said the border patrol official.

Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics

As an example of the crisis, the border patrol official said on Tuesday, 253 Central Americans, mainly families were stopped in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Large groups present a challenge for border agents who must process, shelter and often find medical care for immigrants.

The border patrol official said he is not aware of plans to use troops to run detention facilities for migrants and noted it would be in violation of U.S. law.

The White House meeting came just two days after Trump tweeted that his secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, was leaving and that Kevin McAleenan, the CBP commissioner, would replace her as acting secretary. DHS Acting Deputy Secretary Claire Grady has also resigned.

On Wednesday, during a visit to Texas, Trump spoke about increasing the number of U.S. troops assigned to the border mission and alluded to the limitations to using active duty troops there.

“I’m going to have to call up more military. Our military, don’t forget, can’t act like a military would act. Because if they got a little rough, everybody would go crazy. … Our military can’t act like they would normally act. … They have all these horrible laws that the Democrats won’t change. They will not change them.”

DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In a statement, Defense Department spokesperson Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, said: “As we said last year when we were looking at possible facilities at Fort Bliss and Goodfellow Air Force Base, DOD could be involved in the possible construction of facilities to house immigrants. There are currently no new requests for assistance.”



Source link

Politics

Top Democrat urges foreign governments to stop paying Trump’s businesses

Published

on

The head of the House Foreign Affairs committee is directing the panel’s staffers to warn foreign governments not to patronize President Donald Trump’s businesses.

Rep. Eliot Engel — one of about 200 lawmakers who sued Trump in 2017 charging he’s violating the Constitution’s Foreign Emoluments Clause by making money from foreign governments while in office — issued the memo to the panel’s Democratic staffers on Monday.

“When meeting with officials from a foreign government, please inform them that by providing any form of payment or benefit to a Trump-owned property their government is facilitating the president’s apparent violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause,” Engel’s memo says.

Staffers should “urge those foreign officials to transmit to their governments that the House Foreign Affairs Committee requests that they cease and desist payments to the Trump Organization unless and until Congress approves the emolument, as provided in the Constitution.”

The emoluments clause says “[N]o Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under [the United States], shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”

Engel, a New York Democrat, noted in his memo that federal courts have ruled that emolument mean “any profit, gain or advantage, including profits from private transactions.”

Foreign governments have rented a number of suites and held large events at Trump properties since the President took office, and some othershave rented luxury condos at other Trump properties.

Trump’s lawyers have contended he is not violating the emoluments clause because the properties aren’t related to his duties as president.

A federal appeals court dismissed a suit brought by the attorneys general of Maryland and Washington, D.C. over the alleged violation last month, but the congressional lawsuit is still pending.

Speaking at a petrochemical company in Monaca, Pa. earlier in the day, Trump mocked the case against him, and denied he’s been profiting from the presidency — baselessly claiming his position will cost him $3-$5 billion.

“I got sued on a thing called ’emoluments.’ Emoluments. You ever hear the word? Nobody ever heard of it before,” Trump said. “And what it is is presidential harassment. Because this thing is costing me a fortune, and I love it, okay? I love it because I’m making the lives of other people much, much better.”

“This thing is costing me a fortune being president. Somebody said, ‘oh he might have rented a room to a man from Saudi Arabia for $500,'” he said. “What about the $5 billion I’ll lose?”

Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

AKK blow: Merkel replacement finishes BOTTOM of popularity poll

Published

on

GERMAN Chancellor Angela Merkel’s replacement has finished at the very bottom of a popularity poll, a month after taking over the role as leader of the Christian Democratic Union .

Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

Nigel Farage blow: Brexit Party drops in polls – Boris Johnson SEIZES Brexiteer support

Published

on

NIGEL FARAGE’S Brexit Party has dropped in popularity due to Boris Johnson’s bullish stand when it comes to taking Britain out of the European Union, according to new polling data.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending