Trump Proposed Shooting Migrants to Prevent Them From Crossing the Border

A new book from two New York Times reporters contains some horrifying details.

Alex Brandon/AP

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President Donald Trump once pitched fortifying the border with a snake-filled trench, creating an electrified wall with spikes, and reportedly suggested officers shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down, according to an excerpt from a new book written by New York Times reporters Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael Shear. 

The excerpt provides a revealing look at the internal drama within the White House as the Trump administration has aggressively cracked down on migration to the United States; White House advisers are described as being in a state of “near panic” after Trump ordered the closure of the US-Mexico border in March.

At the time, then-Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen reportedly warned in a March meeting that migrants would still try to claim asylum after crossing into the United States if Trump closed the border. In another exchange, Trump suggested the need for a cement wall, to which Nielsen reportedly responded: “I literally don’t think that’s even possible.” According to the report, the president “routinely berated Ms. Nielsen as ineffective and, worse—at least in his mind—not tough-looking enough.” Trump eventually ousted Nielsen as part of an overhaul inside his administration of other officials who White House aide Stephen Miller “believed were thwarting efforts to block immigrants.”  

“The president was frustrated and I think he took that moment to hit the reset button,” former acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan told the Times

Read the rest of the excerpt here.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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