Trump's obsession with stopping immigrants has taken an ugly, illegal turn.
Trump told several officials to break federal law as part of an attempt to block immigrants from entering the United States.
CNN reports that first, Trump tried to order the port of El Paso closed, but officials objected and pointed out it would be dangerous and economically devastating to states like Texas. The network reports that chief of staff Mick Mulvaney talked Trump out of it.
So, he decided to try and break the law.
"The president … was insistent that his administration begin taking another action: Just denying asylum seekers entry into the United States. [Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen] Nielsen tried to explain to the president many times that the asylum laws allow migrants from Central America to come to the U.S. and gain entry," CNN's Jake Tapper reported on Monday.
Last Friday, when Trump was in Calexico, doing a photo-op with a segment of replacement fence and declaring it a wall, Trump apparently pushed for more law-breaking.
CNN said he met with border agents and told them not to let migrants in.
"'Tell them we don't have the capacity,' he said. 'If judges give you trouble, say, Sorry, judge, I can't do it. We don't have the room,'" CNN reported him saying, according to two sources who were in the room with him.
The border agents consulted their leaders, who told them that following Trump's directions would break the law and cause them to incur personal liability.
Nielsen executed many of Trump's most cruel and inhumane policies at the border, including separating children from their parents and holding them in cages. And she publicly defended such practices. She even lied to Congress to do so.
But apparently, directly violating the law as Trump repeatedly ordered was one of the few violations of the public trust she would not undertake.
Nielsen was forced to resign this weekend, in part, according to multiple reports, because she wasn't tough enough for Trump.
Trump, meanwhile, remains focused on his desire to reimplement his cruel and inhumane family separation policy, which a federal judge ordered him to stop.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.