The last person to hold the title of Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, commonly known as ICE, left that job on the day Donald Trump was inaugurated almost exactly two years ago. Sarah Saldaña served as the Director during the Obama administration and was replaced by an acting director on the day Trump entered the presidency.
No actual director has been confirmed since that day. In fact, Trump has gone through three acting directors in just two years. So it’s not a stretch to say that, as the last person hand-picked and confirmed to run the agency tasked with policing our borders across their two divisions — investigations and removal — Saldaña knows what she’s talking about.
When Saldaña sat down with Zainab Salbi, the host of “Through Her Eyes,” a weekly half-hour show on Yahoo! News, she had some insights on illegal immigration that could only come from her more than two years on the job at ICE — including a dim view of the border wall that will absolutely drive Donald Trump insane.
It’s easy for the average non-Trump-supporter to see the ridiculousness of the wall: It’s expensive and largely just a symbol; we see pictures every day of immigrants climbing over, tunneling under, or simply going around sections of fencing and wall that already exist. But the symbolism of it is important to Trump — due to his having promised it on the campaign trail and knowing that he’s delivered essentially zero percent of his campaign promises in two years — and to his followers, because he was elected by a group of mostly racist xenophobes who would do almost anything to keep the country free of brown people.
Saldaña told Salbi,
We have to focus on the true threats. And the true threat is not a mother or child at the border. That is not a true threat. It’s not a mother or child or a family in the interior. The true threats are those persons who come to do harm to our country … [and] that’s a very small number compared to the number of people who seek entry. This is why the wall that is being proposed, enforcement-wise, makes so little sense.”
As you no doubt know, there is no “crisis” at our southern border. The myth that border crossings are increasing is almost the most offensive part of Trump’s push for the barrier, since illegal crossings are actually at a 45-year low. Saldaña points out that most undocumented people in the United States illegally have simply overstayed their visas — a fact that Trump dare not admit if he’s going to keep the fear stoked in his base.
But the wall is what bothers her the most — not because she necessarily agrees with Nancy Pelosi that walls are inhumane, but because she knows it just simply won’t work.
I don’t know who is telling the president that this is a good idea. Because you always weigh these measures by effectiveness and cost.”
Featured image via screen capture