The Trump regime continues to move quickly to remove obstacles in the path of mass arrests and deportations, and the next step on the list is to strip power from immigration judges, starting with decertifying the judges' union by reclassifying them as management, not employees.
The Justice Department moved Friday to potentially decertify the union that represents federal immigration judges, a spokesman said, a maneuver that could silence an organization that has been critical of some aspects of the Trump administration’s overhaul of immigration enforcement.
The department filed a petition asking the U.S. Federal Labor Relations Authority to examine whether it should revoke the certification of the National Association of Immigration Judges because, a Justice Department spokesman said, its members are “management officials” under the law.
Judge Ashley Tabaddor, the association’s president, said she thinks the petition’s intent is to “disband and destroy the union,” which has publicly pushed for judges to have more independence and sparred with the Justice Department over a quota system it imposed.
“It’s designed to take full control of judges without having a balancing force or a balancing voice,” Tabaddor said.
Meanwhile the Trump regime will be directing ICE to conduct more massive workplace raids nationwide, leading to thousands, if not tens of thousands of more arrests.
The White House has told ICE officials to conduct dozens more workplace enforcement operations this year, a senior immigration official with knowledge of the conversations told CNN.
The news comes on the same day that President Donald Trump said raids like those in Mississippi this week are a "very good deterrent" for undocumented immigrants.
Shortly after the raids in Mississippi that led to the detention of at least 680 undocumented immigrants, US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement field offices across the country were instructed to identify at least two locations in their regions as potential targets for workplace enforcement operations, the source said.
Those operations can include criminal investigations, business audits and raids.
This week's raids led to a series of heart wrenching images and videos of family members -- including young children whose parents were detained -- reeling from the arrest of their relatives.
Trump on Friday defended ICE's workforce enforcement strategy as well as the agency's strategy for dealing with the children whose parents were detained.
Asked Friday why there wasn't a better plan in place to deal with the children after their parents' arrests, Trump told reporters outside the White House south lawn, "You have to go in, you can't let anybody know."
"Otherwise when you get there, nobody will be there," Trump said. "The big factor is to let people outside of the country that want to come in legally," he continued.
"I want people to know that if they come into the United States illegally, they're getting out," he said. "They're going to be brought out. And this serves as a very good deterrent."
"When people see what they saw (earlier this week), like they will be for a long time, they know that they're not staying," he added.
The campaign of terror is the point. Trump wants the undocumented in America to be terrorized and terrified. He wants the safety precautions in the government removed. He wants mass arrests and mass deportations playing out on TVs and monitors week after week, if not day after day.
But the biggest obstacle to mass deportations isn't in America at all, and it's not under Trump's control one bit. Guatemala, the Trump regime's potential dumping ground for millions of undocumented, is having elections on Sunday, with President Jimmy Morales not running for re-election. That's a huge problem for Trump.
Morales is the one who signed a safe harbor agreement with Trump, but neither Guatamala's courts nor either of the candidates who could succeed Morales, Sandra Torres and Alejandro Giammatei, are expected to honor the agreement.
On July 26, the Morales administration signed a deal with the White House to establish Guatemala as a “safe third country” and require asylum seekers who pass through Guatemalan territory on their journey north to seek refuge there. However, the costly and time-consuming work of carrying out such an agreement would fall to the winner of Sunday’s electoral contest.
There’s good reason to believe Guatemala’s next government will not put the accord into effect. Giammattei has called Morales’s acquiescence to the Trump administration “irresponsible.” Torres also rejected any safe third country agreement, though she did meet privately with acting homeland security secretary Kevin McAleenan during his bid to sell the agreement within Guatemala. Though Guatemala’s top business associations have supported the agreement under the threat of devastating tariffs, the deal remains widely unpopular among the rest of society, even triggering protests outside the Presidential Palace.
Guatemala’s constitutional court, moreover, has ruled that the agreement requires congressional approval. Guatemalan human rights ombudsman Jordán Rodas has lodged an additional legal challenge on the grounds that, per international law, “agreements signed under threats cannot take legal effect.”
But even if the next president agreed to implement the agreement, it’s unlikely he or she would be able to do so. The Trump administration wants Guatemala — a country that ranks among the most corrupt and ineffective in the world — to harbor refugees and to stop its citizens from leaving. That’s not going to happen, regardless of Sunday’s outcome.
Expect Trump to slap crushing tariffs on Guatemala if either Torres or Giammattei won't play ball. The resistance to the Trump regime in Guatemala City will most likely evaporate by the end of the year, if not before then.