Yesterday, President Donald Trump announced his pick for the next director of the immigration gestapo known as ICE: Mark Morgan, a 20-year FBI official who briefly served as the head of Customs of Border Protection at the tail end of the Obama administration.
Morgan, along with the vast majority of Obama appointees, was dismissed shortly after Trump took office. The nail in the coffin for Morgan, who clashed with the CBP union during his short time as the head of that agency, was reportedly telling a Senate committee that he supported a “comprehensive immigration overhaul.”
But in the years since, Morgan has become a vocal supporter of Trump on immigration, particularly his efforts to build a wall on the southern border with Mexico. In January, Morgan told the Washington Post as much. “I was removed. I’m standing up and saying, ‘I should have disdain for them, but I don’t because they are right,’ “ Morgan told the Post at the time. “I can stand up and say they are right because it’s the right thing to do for this country. I’m begging the president to stay the course.”
In case you had any remaining doubts that Morgan is a bonafide Game Player, he went on Tucker Carlson’s show around the same time to wax poetic about MS-13 members mocking America’s poor border security. And now? Morgan has a job in the Trump administration. It also doesn’t hurt, according to the Post, that “Trump has told advisers that he likes getting support from a former Obama administration official who is also willing to back his tougher policies.”
Trump picking Morgan reinforces several notions about how things work in the Trump administration, and especially so in the immigration agencies. Morgan going on TV and wading into the media to defend Trump and then Trump making him the head of ICE four months later—just a few years after unceremoniously kicking him to the curb—is so on the nose that it hurts. But beyond Trump’s standard-level vanity, Morgan’s selection indicates that what a lot of immigration activists and the left have been saying for years is true: that the rot in America’s fascist immigration regime is systemic, and can’t be fixed just by having a nicer president who’s friendlier to immigrants.
After all, Obama himself oversaw the most deportations in the country’s history, earning him the infamous nickname “deporter-in-chief.” And now Trump has hired Obama’s own CBP chief, which is rather unsubtle nod to the fact that Obama was virtually just as bad when it came to this shit, if less overtly racist about it. It’s a little like Obama keeping Bush administration appointee Robert Gates on as defense secretary after running on withdrawing from Iraq, if Obama had actually fired Gates and then only brought him back after Gates told any television camera within five miles about what a great job Obama was doing.
These agencies—ICE and CBP, as well as the Department of Homeland Security itself—are deeply immoral and inherently fascistic institutions meant to enforce xenophobia and bigotry under the guise of the law. There is no fixing them. Abolition is necessary, but at the very least, they have to be restructured to the point where they’re wholly different from their current form. If the fact that a wall-touting cop like Mark Morgan is set to become the most bipartisan member of the Trump administration doesn’t convince you of this, nothing will.