Border Wars: Inside Trump's Assault on Immigration

Border Wars: Inside Trump's Assault on Immigration

by Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Michael D. Shear


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Two New York Times Washington correspondents provide an inside account with never-before-told stories of the defining issue of Donald Trump’s presidency: his steadfast opposition to immigration to the US.

As his campaign rhetoric in the 2018 midterms demonstrated, no issue matters more to Donald Trump than immigration. And no issue—with the possible exception of his opposition to Robert Mueller’s investigation of his 2016 campaign—better defines his administration.

Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael D. Shear have covered the Trump administration from its earliest days. In Border Wars, they take readers inside the White House to document how Trump and his allies blocked asylum-seekers and refugees, separated families, threatened deportation and sought to erode the longstanding bipartisan consensus that immigration and immigrants make positive contributions to America.

As the authors reveal, Trump has used immigration to stoke fears (“the caravan”), attack Democrats and the courts, and distract from negative news and political difficulties. Even as illegal immigration has fallen in recent years, Trump has elevated it in the imaginations of many Americans into a national crisis. Moreover, his comments about legal immigrants—Nigerians in their “huts,” Haitians infected with AIDS, and people from “@#$%hole countries”—have been incendiary.

Border Wars identifies the players behind Trump’s anti-immigration policies, showing how they planned, stumbled, and fought their way toward major immigration changes that have further polarized the nation. This definitive, behind-the-scenes account is filled with previously unreported stories that reveal how Trump’s decision-making is driven by gut instinct and marked by disorganization, paranoia, and a constantly feuding staff.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781982117399
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 10/08/2019
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 54,951
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Julie Hirschfeld Davis is a congressional correspondent at The New York Times. She has covered politics from Washington for 21 years. She joined the Times in 2014 as a White House correspondent after stints at Bloomberg News, the Associated Press, The Baltimore Sun, and Congressional Quarterly. She won the 2009 Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress.

Michael D. Shear is a White House correspondent in The New York Times Washington bureau, where he covers President Trump. A veteran political correspondent, before coming to the Times in 2010, he spent eighteen years writing about local, state and national politics at The Washington Post, where he was also part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that covered the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

1 The Vessel 11

2 Breaking the Apology-Retreat Cycle 29

3 The Hamilton Group 41

4 Forty-Three Minutes 56

5 "Bring Out the Crazies" 68

6 "A Fucking Watered-Down Version" 81

7 Shackles Off 92

8 Angels and Demons 108

9 No Legal Basis 113

10 The Trump Effect Fades 121

11 The Admiral's Almanac 129

12 Refugees Not Welcome 134

13 A Not-So-Global Compact 150

14 Blind Spot 156

15 No Way Out 170

16 Life in Two-Year Increments 187

17 Forced Removal 191

18 "Just Bite the Bullet" 205

19 "Shithole Countries" 214

20 Ash and Trash 228

21 "No More DACA Deal!" 237

22 Zero Tolerance 252

23 Reverse Boomerang 269

24 Always a Bomb Thrower 280

25 "You've Kidnapped Our Kids" 291

26 Evelyn and Amber 299

27 "Pencils Down" 309

28 Use of Force 329

29 Hijacking the Midterms 338

30 Mexican Standoff 344

31 Shutdown 349

32 "We've Wasted the Last Two Years" 368

33 The Purge 378

Epilogue 389

Acknowledgments 397

Sources 403

Photo Credits 419

Index 421

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