In a new book excerpt published by the New York Times on Tuesday, reporters Michael Shear and Julie Davis reveal a dark and disturbing portrait of the fulminations behind President Donald Trump’s immigration policy, beginning in March 2019.
Trump was infuriated at the state of immigration at the southern U.S. border, and he was furious with his leading officials, the excerpt revealed. He was intent on closing down the entire U.S.-Mexico border, as he made clear publicly at the time, despite officials warning him that this would only make the situation worse.
But as ludicrous as the “shut down the border” idea was, it was far from the worst of Trump’s ideas. The excerpt explained:
Privately, the president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate. He wanted the wall electrified, with spikes on top that could pierce human flesh. After publicly suggesting that soldiers shoot migrants if they threw rocks, the president backed off when his staff told him that was illegal. But later in a meeting, aides recalled, he suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down. That’s not allowed either, they told him.