President Trump is reportedly mulling over the idea of opening a federal position that pays exclusive attention to immigration and the border.
The position dubbed an “immigration” or “border czar” would be responsible for coordinating with Trump to construct and implement his immigration agenda, the Associated Press reports.
From the report:
As he threatens to shut down the southern border, President Donald Trump is considering bringing on a “border” or “immigration czar” to coordinate immigration policy across various federal agencies, according to four people familiar with the discussions.
Trump is weighing at least two potential candidates for the post: former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, according to the people, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the conversations publicly.
Kobach and Cuccinelli are far-right conservatives with strong views on immigration. Cuccinelli was seen at the White House on Monday.
The planning comes as Trump is threatening anew to close the U.S.-Mexico border as soon as this week if Mexico does not completely halt illegal immigration into the U.S. And it serves as the latest sign that the president plans to continue to hammer his hardline immigration rhetoric and policies as he moves past the special counsel’s Russia investigation and works to rally his base heading into his 2020 re-election campaign.
According to BizPac Review, Trump would also have to decide if he wanted the position to reside under the White House or the Department of Homeland Security. The latter of which would require a Senate confirmation (which Democrats continue to delay and obstruct). Choosing to add the position under the White House would be an immediate hire.
“A Department of Homeland Security official noted that White House czars have been appointed in the past when there has been an “urgent need” for sustained, inter-agency policy coordination. While Homeland Security often plays a leading role when it comes to immigration policy and enforcement, the department is not in charge of officials at the departments of Health and Human Services, State, Defense and Justice, which often play key roles,” the Associated Press adds.
BizPac Review reports the United States Customs and Border Protection recently saw nearly 4,000 arrests take place at the border, a single day record under Trump’s administration.
From BizPac Review:
“The security and humanitarian crisis at our southern border is getting worse every day,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen stated in a string of tweets over the weekend, begging Congress to enact legislative fixes.
“On Tuesday there were 4,000 apprehensions. I know that a thousand overwhelms the system. I can’t imagine what 4,000 a day looks like. So, we are truly in a crisis,” former President Barack Obama’s DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, Nielsen’s predecessor, said during a Thursday interview.
Customs and Border Protection officers apprehended or stopped 3,974 illegal migrants on March 19, marking the single biggest day since Trump began his administration. There were six other days in February during which crossings topped 3,595, beating out the 3,530 daily average not seen since 2006. March is expected to have experienced the highest number of apprehensions and encounters in over ten years.
Trump recently declared a national emergency at the southern border, allowing him to utilize the Department of Defense funding to construct a border wall. His administration is also trying to stop giving foreign aid to countries within the Northern Triangle—El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—where much of the immigration originates.
The security and humanitarian crisis at the southern border is persisting and Trump is looking to dial up his efforts in securing it.