Trump suggests shooting migrants in the legs, using alligators and snakes

'The New York Times' report describes a dramatic period for the administration’s immigration policy, which saw the president also seeking to completely shut down the border with Mexico.

By
October 2, 2019 19:34
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 74th session o

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City, New York, U.S., September 25, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS)

US President Donald Trump suggested shooting migrants in the legs to slow them down and using water-filled trenches with snakes and alligators, The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

The report describes a dramatic period for the administration’s immigration policy, which saw the president also seeking to completely shut down the border with Mexico, a move which would have affected tourists, commuters and the trade of goods from both sides as well as affecting migrants and asylum seekers.

According to the newspaper, over a dozen White House and administration officials were interviewed for the report, which is part of a forthcoming book by Michael Shear and Julie Hirschfeld Davis entitled “Border Wars: Inside Trump’s Assault on Immigration.” The book is to be released on October 8.

Most of the facts described in the report are said to have taken place this past March. After Trump grew frustrated with the lack of solutions for an issue that he considers his primary battle, the president lashed out at most of his officials for obstructing his plans and for not being keen to enforce his suggestions, which included shootings, alligators, closing the border and a cement wall, among others. 

The report described how Trump’s ideas were frowned upon by most aides for their impracticality, unlawfulness or potentially devastating consequences.

“The president was frustrated and I think he took that moment to hit the reset button,” Thomas D. Homan, who served as the administration's acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told the Times. “The president wanted it to be fixed quickly.”

“You are making me look like an idiot!” Trump reportedly shouted during a meeting in the Oval Office. “I ran on this; it’s my issue.”


According to the Times, among those in the Oval Office with Trump were former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, former Customs and Border Protection chief Kevin K. McAleenan, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House aide Stephen Miller, along with the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.

During the meeting, Trump strongly suggested that the border should be closed off within a few hours.

According to the report, Nielsen and Kushner tried to persuade him that it was not possible, nor would it work.

“All you care about is your friends in Mexico,” Trump yelled at Kushner. “I’ve had it. I want it done at noon tomorrow.”

Nielsen, a former aide to George W. Bush, was let go in April.

Later, Trump also came up with the suggestion that all migrants, with no exception, should be kept out, while speaking to a room full of Border Patrol agents. According to the Times, McAleenan told the agents to ignore Trump’s orders.

In spite of this, he was eventually appointed homeland security secretary in place of Nielsen and has embraced Trump’s push for stricter regulations.

The New York Times pointed out that for the most part, the president has replaced those who tried to restrain him.

According to the report, the chief architect of the operation was Miller, who was already instrumental both in initiating the travel bans placed on citizens of several predominantly Muslim countries, and the policy of separating migrant children from their parents.

Miller’s goal was a “culture change” at the agency, where he thought officers were too sympathetic towards asylum seekers. 


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