Court documents recently revealed that hundreds of children kidnapped at the southern border by the Trump administration when officials were “piloting” the family separation policy in 2017 still haven’t been reunited with their parents, but unlawfully appointed acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Sec. Chad Wolf has other priorities. And by priorities, I really mean just one priority: his boss’ reelection.
Fresh off getting trotted to Arizona to basically campaign for impeached president Donald Trump’s reelection, Unlawful Chad is now set to visit Texas on Thursday to “celebrate the historic completion of 400 miles of new border wall system under the Trump administration,” a press release claimed. Officials have commemorated the stupid fencing before. But that Unlawful Chad is doing it just a handful of days before Election Day continues to show that this politicized DHS is going all-in to aid Trump.
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Unlawful Chad won’t be alone
in campaigning on Thursday in McAllen. The press release said that accompanying the unlawfully appointed acting secretary at this fencing “celebration” will be other top administration officials, including acting (always acting) Customs and Border Protection commissioner Mark Morgan and Border Patrol chief Rodney Scott.
I mean, the administration is also claiming that it’s also just so fearful of the possibility of “civil unrest” amid the election that it’s again preparing to deploy immigration agents in our communities, but apparently not that scared because a good chunk of DHS leadership didn’t feel the need to cancel or even just postpone this
campaign stop press conference either. Everything’s just totally normal here, all.
Also totally normal is that one of these officials, Rodney Scott, is still in his job after reportedly being a member of the violent and racist Facebook group where members mocked the death of a teenaged boy in the agency’s custody last year and ultimately resulted in the firing of a number of border agents. The extent of Scott’s involvement is unclear—and we don’t even know key findings into the probe because CBP is blocking it. Even more totally normal stuff here, all.
But we haven’t yet even touched on what these
campaign surrogates officials will be in Texas to commemorate: the stupid and wasteful monument to Trump’s racism built using money swindled from the U.S. taxpayer. Much of it has been replacement fencing, but that makes it no less harmful, advocates have noted.
“Border-wall construction has brought devastation to the land, the wildlife, the water and the people,” Hon'mana Seukteoma, a member of the Tohono O’odham nation and intern with the Center for Biological Diversity, recently wrote on Medium. “It’s wiping out entire species of animals, taking millions of gallons of water from fragile desert aquifers, butchering protected ceremonial plants like the saguaro and organ pipe cactus, and blasting and bulldozing our ancestors’ graves.”
Indigenous peoples and activists have additionally been violently assaulted by federal rangers for protesting construction, Seukteoma continued. “The National Park Service is supposed to be protecting sacred sites like Quitobaquito. Instead they’re kicking us off our ancestral lands and throwing us in jail for trying to stop the destruction.”
The administration has rushed to scar the land and its people in a clearly political act, as The Washington Post notes: “Trump administration in an all-out push to build border wall before election,” read one recent headline. Trump’s not even trying to hide it. He’s waving it in our faces. And he’s getting a shameless, corrupt assist from political appointees like Chad Wolf, Mark Morgan, and Rodney Strong.