Exclusive: Trump team seeks agency
records on border barriers, surveillance
Trump's transition team asked the Department of Homeland Security last month
to assess all assets available for border wall and barrier construction.
detention and about an aerial surveillance program that was scaled back by the
Obama administration but remains popular with immigration hardliners. And it
asked whether federal workers have altered biographic information kept by the
department about immigrants out of concern for their civil liberties.
and Department of Homeland Security officials, according to an internal agency
memo reviewed by Reuters. The document offers a glimpse into the president-
elect's strategy for securing the U.S. borders and reversing polices put in place
by the Obama administration.
spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and
Border Protection declined to comment.
staffers identified more than 400 miles along the U.S.-Mexico border, and about
the same distance along the U.S.-Canada border, where new fencing could be
erected, according to a document seen by Reuters.
border barrier. During the campaign, Trump pledged to build a wall and expand
fencing on parts of the U.S.-Mexico border but said he sees no need to build a
wall on the border with Canada.
was Operation Phalanx, an aerial surveillance program that authorizes 1,200
Army National Guard airmen to monitor the southern border for drug trafficking
and illegal migration.
was downsized by Barack Obama, a move blasted by some conservatives who
argue the surveillance is vital to border security.
sent to immigration agents since Obama took office in 2009, according to the
memo summarizing the meeting.
including a 2012 order to allow children brought to the U.S. illegally by their
parents to remain in the country on temporary authorizations that allow them to
attend college and work.
addresses that could theoretically be used to locate and deport them if the policy
is reversed. Another request of the transition team was for information about
whether any migrant records have been changed for any reason, including for
civil rights or civil liberties concerns, according to the internal memo seen by
anonymity, said the agency interpreted the request to mean the transition team
wanted to make sure that federal workers were not tampering with information
to protect DACA recipients and other migrants from deportation.
a promise that may have prompted the transition team's request for information
about the feasibility of expanding temporary detention facilities.
Trump's transition team and U.S. Customs and Border
protection said the team had requested a comprehensive
picture of border security as well as resources available
for walls and barriers.
representatives who attended the meeting believed the
request to include both the northern and southern borders.
along border of Canada and the states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, New
York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
expensive, according to the estimate of $11.37 billion, because it would be
aimed at keeping pedestrians as well as vehicles from crossing.
versus $4.1 million per mile to build to build, according to the report.
agents apprehended 2,626 illegal migrants on the U.S.-Canada border
compared to 331,333 apprehended on the U.S.-Mexico border.