U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will begin deporting illegal immigrants who have final removal orders from immigration judges, acting ICE Director Mark Morgan said Wednesday.
Speaking to “Fox & Friends,” Morgan said President Donald Trump “has been very clear” that he “wants to maintain integrity in the system, make sure that we enforce the rule of law and address this crisis that we have on the southwest border.”
“So one of the things that we’re doing is we’re making sure that we’re looking at this from a simplistic viewpoint. If you are here illegally in violation of federal immigration law, if you’ve received due process, there should be consequences, including families. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to make sure that we apply the law and we enforce the law across the board,” he said.
“We’re not going to exempt a certain demographic. We need to make sure that everybody that has been here in violation of the law has consequences,” the acting director said.
“We’ve heard the number there are at least 12 million people in the country illegally, but I think the caveat that I heard in your answer was people who have had the due process. So in other words … starting next week, they’re gonna go after the people who are in the country illegally and who have had an order of deportation against them. Right?” Fox News host Steve Doocy asked.
Morgan refused to say specifically when ICE will conduct the deportations and how they’re going to do it. However, he said, “Generally, that’s correct.”
“We have a demographic that has had an enormous amount of due process. They’ve had access to attorneys. They’ve had access to interpreters. They’ve received a final order of removal from a judge,” the acting director said.
“We’ve even sent them letters, saying, ‘You’ve received an order. Come to ICE. We’ll work with you. We’ll give you 30 days to get your affairs in order, and we’ll help you return you to your country.’ Those have been ignored. Those people in those categories, over 90 percent haven’t showed up, and they’ve ignored the order,” Morgan said.
He said ICE wants illegal immigrants to work with the agency to carry out the deportations in “a humane, dignified manner.”
“What I’m trying to tell them, Steve, real quickly is look, as ICE, I don’t want to come to your door. I don’t want to come to your home. I don’t want to come to your workplace. What I’m asking these individuals that have these final orders, come to ICE. Work with ICE in a humane, dignified manner to return you to your country of origin as it’s been order. That’s what I hope we can do here,” he said.
“Yeah, but do you really think they’re going to do that?” Doocy asked.
Morgan admitted that history has shown that illegal immigrants will not do that, “but that’s why we’re out here trying to communicate.”
“ICE gets vilified every single day for doing our job, and what we’re trying to do is say, ‘We don’t want to come into your neighborhoods. Come to us. Work with us, and we’ll do this in a humane way to make sure we restore the rule of law,’” he said.
When asked to comment on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s comments calling Customs and Border Protection detention centers “concentration camps,” Morgan said, “This type of rhetoric from our elected leaders is irresponsible, reckless, misinformed, and wrong, and what’s ironic about this is, we’ve been saying alone for a long time that we have a crisis. It’s real. It’s not manufactured.
“Our resources are overwhelmed. The Border Patrol, for example, those facilities are designed for adults. They’re not designed for families and kids, and we’ve been saying that for a very, very long time. Congress can pass meaningful legislation that could end this tomorrow. So the irony is unbelievable here,” he said.
“In addition to that, we’ve been asking for a very long time to get Congress to do what hopefully they’ll do today is pass the supplemental so that these kids that Border Patrol has in the facilities, we can get them out of these overcrowded facilities and get them in the hands of HHS to get them into more adequate facilities. We’ve been asking Congress to do this, and they have failed to do so,” Morgan concluded.
“The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border and that is exactly what they are,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an Instagram live video on Monday. “They are concentration camps.”
“I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that ‘never again’ means something,” she said. “The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the ‘Home of the Free’ is extraordinarily disturbing and we need to do something about it.”