Appearance of Selective Enforcement to Protect President
In an exchange at today’s subcommittee hearing of the House Appropriations Committee, Acting ICE Director Kevin McAleenan was given the opportunity to say if his agency would give President Trump’s businesses special treatment on immigration and prosecution. His answer was evasive, and seemed to indicate he thought reports of President Trump’s multi-state ongoing practice of hiring undocumented workers was no big deal.
The question came from California Democrat Rep. Pete Aguilar (video), who first asked McAleenan if he agreed that employers whose business model is based on hiring unauthorized workers are cheating. He does. Then Rep. Aguilar asked:
It has been reported that there are multiple individuals who have worked for the Trump Organization without legal status. Can you insure that the Department will not play favorites on who HSI [Homeland Security Investigations] is deployed to in the business setting?
The response from the Acting Ice Director was generic, indicating that the agency would “remain targeted at the most significant violators” and then changed the subject to a worksite raid that had netted 300 arrests earlier this month.
Watch the clip:
McAleenan suggests that Trump's hiring of undocumented workers is small fry and below the law.
Remember that Trump Org employed a "pipeline" of workers, likely knew they were undocumented, exploited them, fired them once reports came out. One more thing Trump gets to slide on? pic.twitter.com/Cngl7D9bsK
— America's Voice (@AmericasVoice) April 30, 2019
Pili Tobar, Deputy Director of America’s Voice, which has been tracking the hiring practices of the Trump Organization replied in a statement:
The Trump Organization has said that they have “tens of thousands of employees” at their properties, yet the Acting Secretary seemed to be saying he doesn’t see the President and his businesses as big enough fishes to go after when their business model is clearly based on hiring, exploiting, underpaying, and in some cases falsely documenting and recruiting unauthorized workers. The Trump Organization’s multi-state criminal enterprise is a big fish by any measure, but the Acting Secretary was on TV, so he dare not say anything that would run afoul of his TV star boss, the President, or the President and his family business that has and continues to profit on the backs of undocumented workers. This selective enforcement and kid gloves treatment when it comes to rich, well connected employers is part of what is broken about our immigration system and part of the reason Republicans have been so unwilling to fix it.