Trump Wanted to Bus Murderers to Democrat Cities—Former DHS Chief of Staff

Republican governors have resurrected a "zombie" Trump administration policy to bus migrants from the border to Democrat-controlled states and cities, according to Miles Taylor, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)'s former chief of staff.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott have started a furor after transporting migrants from the southern border to cities and communities in the North that are viewed as liberal enclaves.

 Former President Donald Trump speaks
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a Save America Rally to support Republican candidates at the Covelli Centre on September 17, 2022 in Youngstown, Ohio. His rejected policy of transporting migrants to Democrat-controlled cities has been revived. Jeff Swenson/Getty Images

On Tuesday, Venezuelan migrants flown to the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard, and advocacy groups sued DeSantis and his transportation secretary, alleging the migrants were made to cross state lines under false pretenses.

Asked during an appearance on CNN if the Trump administration ever considered something similar, Taylor said: "Not only did the Trump administration think about something like this, I think they're the progenitors of the concept."

Taylor, who was appointed to lead the DHS during Trump's presidency but resigned in November 2019, said: "This is a zombie Trump administration policy that had died and has now come back to life, and these two governors have brought it back to life."

Taylor said former president Donald Trump tried to bus migrants from the border to Democrat-controlled states and cities in early 2019, but lawyers said it was illegal.

"In January and February of 2019, Donald Trump directed us to go and take immigrants from the border and quote, 'bus and dump them into Democratic cities and blue states.'"

But Trump was "much more specific," Taylor added.

"He wanted us to identify the murderers, the rapists, and the criminals and in particular, make sure we did not incarcerate them, and we put them in those cities."

Taylor said it "doesn't take a lawyer or a genius to recognize this would likely be very illegal to do, but put aside the murderers and the rapists and the criminals. Could you take people from the border and just dump them into blue states?"

Taylor said DHS officials consulted with lawyers, who said the federal government "cannot do that."

Taylor added: "These governors are walking into the same problem that we told the White House was illegal and they couldn't do it, and now they're trying to do the same thing."

After that CNN appearance, Taylor told Newsweek: "Donald Trump's immigration obsession created enormous distractions for the Department of Homeland Security, which was constantly pulled towards his whims when it should have been spending that time on cybersecurity, counterterrorism, and protecting the United States against foreign adversaries.

"His fascination with the idea of 'busing and dumping' migrants in Democrat cities and 'blue states' was one of the reasons I cited for quitting and campaigning against him. Saying 'no' was no longer enough. He didn't view migrants as people. He viewed them as political props. That's despicable when it's the view of any Average Joe, but when it's the nation's chief executive, it's vastly more disturbing — and consequential."

Taylor, who revealed in 2020 that he was the anonymous "senior Trump administration official" behind an explosive op-ed that criticized Trump, added: "Fortunately Trump didn't carry forward with that idea because we told his White House it was illegal the way he wanted to do it. But now you've got Trump acolytes resurrecting these bad policy ideas and taking them to the next level."

Newsweek has contacted Trump's spokesperson and DeSantis and Abbott's offices for comment.

Update 9/22/22, 6 a.m. ET: This article has been updated with additional comment from Miles Taylor.