By Cathy Burke
January 6, 2016
Deportation raids that began over the weekend are triggering outrage from Obama administration allies, who are blasting the president for taking a page out of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump's immigration policy playbook.
The criticism is being aimed at President Barack Obama by some Democratic lawmakers and immigration advocates, Politico reports.
The raids are "something we would expect from a President Trump," Frank Sharry, executive director of America's Voice, tells Politico.
"The very tactic — with teams of [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] officers showing up at someone's home, unannounced, using deception to gain entry, waking up sleeping children and carting away both parents and kids — is repugnant," Sharry tells the news outlet.
"When this happened during the Bush presidency, then-candidate [Barack] Obama denounced it. The fact that it is happening now under a President Obama is outrageous."
Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutiérrez is calling for a halt, saying the raids are a "cruel reminder of a discredited policy," Politico reports, adding that the Congressional Hispanic Caucus will talk about the issue Thursday.
And Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the sole Latino Democrat in the Senate, also blasted the administration's "harsh tactics," Politico reports.
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In a statement, Menendez argues the raids are targeting illegal immigrants "whose only mistake was to escape a certain death in their native countries."
The 121 undocumented immigrants who were taken into custody in weekend raids have already been ordered deported from the United States, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson says.
And they had all come into the United Sates May 2014, which is in line with administration policy that focuses on deporting criminals and those who came here illegally after Jan. 1, 2014.
"The incredible disconnect of the president's language about protecting refugees overseas as compared to his continuing treatment of the Central American population not as refugees but as illegal border crossers . . . will be a lasting legacy on his record," Greg Chen, director of advocacy for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, tells Politico.
"It's not just a blip of one weekend’s actions. It’s now an 18-month policy."
Politico notes all three Democratic presidential candidates have raised concerns about the Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations; front-runner Hillary Clinton, through a spokeswoman, said the government "should not be conducting large-scale raids and roundups that sow fear and division in our communities."
For more information, go to: www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com