President Trump kicked off his 2020 reelection campaign by renewing one of his 2016 campaign promises (and outing a secret ICE operation in the process).
Monday night, the president cranked up the old Twitter to announce: “Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States.”
Now the folks in the mainstream are pretending that Donald said a million people are going to get deported next week (because it makes a better headline). But he didn’t say that.
The president said ICE would “begin the process of removing” millions of illegal aliens next week, referring to a secret operation targeting more than a million illegal immigrants on final notice.
I’ve “begun the process” of cultivating a six-pack. That doesn’t mean I’m going to be beach ready next week. (Or ever. I think I broke my magic ab belt.)
So what’s the problem?
Well, “secret government raids” are meant to be… (hold on… come closer… closer… no that’s way too close, back up… OK you’re good) secret.
ICE officials said they’re not sure which specific operation the president was referring to. But they confirmed that the organisation has been beefing up their deportation branch to prep for thousands of raids on immigrant homes in the coming weeks. And they’ve even requested Homeland Security pitch in to help with arrests.
However, it’s unclear if they’re going to go ahead with the planned raids, which were scheduled to take part simultaneously all over the country, now that it’s all out there in the open. (If I was an illegal immigrant, you wouldn’t catch me chilling at home, binge-watching Breaking Bad next week.)
Could ICE Deport “Millions?”
The short answer is “no.” (The long answer is “no, but…”)
According to the most recent numbers, ICE currently arrests and deports 7,000 illegals in the interior a month. At this rate, it would take 143 months (or 12 years) for ICE to deport a million of those folks.
Even if you talk about total deportations, which includes those turned away at the border, last year we only saw 250,000 deportations total. ICE would need to quadruple that figure and pull off a miracle to hit “millions.”
Now, it’s worth noting these numbers are down substantially from previous years because hundreds of ICE agents have been reassigned to patrol the southern border.
With increased manpower and some help from Homeland Security, they could boost their numbers by a few percentage points. But manpower isn’t the only issue here.
Right now there are currently a million illegal immigrants on “final notice.” But ICE doesn’t actually know where they are.
ICE only knows the address it issued the “final removal orders” to. (Most folks who are being hunted don’t leave a forwarding address.)
Which means you don’t just need guys and gals with guns. You need investigators and detectives to conduct investigations and track down these folks.
With all that said, I don’t think the president ever intended to say, or even imply, that a million folks would be deported next week. (And as a licensed Trump whisperer, I speak from a place of authority.)
Trump was campaigning, plain and simple. The tweet signals a renewed focus on interior deportations and reminds his supporters why they elected him. (And riles up those that didn’t.)
I’d like your take on this, folks — both Republican and Democrat readers.
Was this a show of force to scare off future illegal immigrants? Was it all bluster? Or just a poorly timed campaign promise?
The Fed Decides
Moments before we go to print, the Fed held a press conference to announce its rate decision.
After yesterday’s rally, the markets were paused today in anticipation of Chairman Jerome Powell’s announcement (and Trump’s fingers were hovering over his Twitter ready to publically ridicule the government employee should he step out of line).
“There is a sense of caution,” Matt Ruffalo, senior strategist at Clarfeld Financial Advisors, told Investing.com this morning. “Investors are not willing to take too much risk because there seems to be so much ambiguity on whether there is going to be a rate cut or hike in this meeting.
“It is very important for Powell to be balanced in his comments and not tip the scale in any direction. More so, investors are focused on what course of policy action needs to be taken going forward.”
Here’s a rapid-fire blow-by-blow of the breaking news as it happens:
- The Fed decided to hold rates steady in a range of 2.25% to 2.5%.
- It’s unlikely they’ll cut rates in 2019, but the Fed opened the door to easing in the future.
- The Fed committee is split on outlook as eight officials see lower rates in 2019.
- Fed expects a strong labour market and inflation close to its goal. However, in its statement to the press, the Fed did its best impression of a magic-8 ball, saying “uncertainties about this outlook have increased.”
- In light of these uncertainties the Fed “will closely monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion.”
President Trump has said he would demote Chairman Jerome Powell if he didn’t move towards easing rates (though the legality of that is up in the air right now).
We’ll have to wait and see how that plays out.
RoboCop LIVES… in California
The California City Police Department is rolling out its very own (maybe copyright infringing) RoboCop.
Unlike the half-man abomination from the movies, California’s RoboCop is more of a polite trashcan on wheels.
The likeness is uncanny.
The RoboCop… (I’m sorry, I can’t keep calling that thing Robocop.)
Tall R2D2 has 360-degree vision, plays calming meditation music, and politely says “excuse me” and “good day to you” as it passes pedestrians. (Tremble in fear, criminals!)
The police department plans to roll out these overly polite crime fighters to parks and city areas across the city. But for now, a solitary trash droid, known as HP RoboCop, patrols Huntington Park.
“I’m very excited that we can officially call on HP RoboCop to help our police officers patrol our city,” said Mayor Karina Macias. “This is a big accomplishment for our city and introducing RoboCop shows innovation and the incorporation of new technology.”
What do you think about this initiative? Will it actually deter crime or is it a waste of money?
Coming soon: New York RoboCop who is the exact same but very standoffish and Texas RoboCop who has a large gun taped to the side.
The Ultimate Defense Against Russian Attacks
Yesterday, we discussed the problem of the national grid.
The grid has remained largely unchanged in the last century. It’s old, inefficient, and uses outdated engineering. Just like my mother-in-law, am I right, fellas? (Sorry Katie, are we still on for dinner tonight?)
But worst of all, because it’s all networked together, a single cyber attack could shut the whole thing down.
It’s not the engineers’ fault. They didn’t know cybercrime was even a thing 100 years ago. (They were still putting cocaine in their soda and heroin on their fries.)
The fact remains, it’s a major hole in our national security.
A hole that previous administrations have been made aware of but failed to take steps to resolve. Because it’d be expensive and politicians are cowards when it comes to spending on the things this country needs but people don’t necessarily want.
(Other common fears of politicians include common human decency, spines, and choosing constituents over party.)
So, what would a solution to our national grid problem be?
Well, instead of one enormous connected grid, we could have thousands of decentralised microgrids working independently of each other. And the benefit wouldn’t just be to security.
Microgrids are more efficient than the creaking behemoth we’re working with now. Energy is lost when transporting electricity. So the closer it is generated to you, the less energy lost.
And maintaining and repairing microgrids would a much easier and smaller task than trying to keep the monster we’re currently using running.
The reason we see a bright future for microgrids, however, is that they operate completely independent of a network.
The Russians could launch a cyber-attack on a single microgrid. But since the network is decentralised (not connected to the others), all other microgrids will remain functional.