Conservative writer calls for investigation of Trump's plot to release immigrant detainees in Democratic regions
Rachael Bade and Nick Miroff of the Washington Post reported Thursday that Trump White House officials tried to pressure immigration authorities into releasing immigrant detainees into the streets of Democratic sanctuary cities as a means of retaliating against President Donald Trump’s political adversaries; their report was based on e-mails reviewed by the Post and sources in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). And conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, in her Friday column, urges the House Oversight Committee to investigate the allegations.
“If you find it hard to imagine the mindset of someone who would do such a thing, remember that Trump has consistently dehumanized migrants—calling them ‘animals,’ describing their asylum efforts as an ‘infestation,’ claiming there are terrorists in their midst and generally characterizing them as ‘very bad’ people,” Rubin asserts. “It’s then not so surprising that he would try to weaponize migrants against his political enemies, whom he refers to as ‘treasonous.’”
Rubin notes that according to Bade and Miroff’s “blockbuster report” published April 11, Trump White House officials “were candid about their motives”—and that included a desire to “send a message to Democrats.” But Homeland Security officials, Rubin adds, “pushed back and killed the idea.”
The conservative columnist draws a parallel between the alleged Trump White House plot that was abandoned and Bridgegate, the scandal “in which multiple aides to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie were convicted of crimes” that included “misappropriation of funds in connection with the closure of lanes on the George Washington Bridge in retaliation against Fort Lee, New Jersey Mayor Mark Sokolich, who had refused to endorse Christie’s reelection bid.”
Rubin writes that “in both cases, government resources were deployed for political revenge” but notes a key difference: “in Bridgegate, the weapons of choice were traffic cones. For the Trump crowd, it was human beings.”
Reportedly, White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller helped turn President Trump against Acting ICE Director Ronald Vitiello and former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielson, believing that they weren’t severe enough when it came to immigration. According to two Homeland Security sources interviewed for the Bade/Miroff report, Miller discussed the proposal to flood sanctuary cities with immigrant detainees with ICE. And Rubin concludes her column by stressing that Miller “must be subpoenaed” as part of a House Oversight Committee investigation.
“If accurate,” Rubin says of Miller, “there should be a bipartisan demand for his resignation. And then the question will remain: What did Trump know, and when did he know it?”