US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been conducting aggressive raids to deport Central American families who are undocumented refugees, and now all three Democratic candidates have spoken out against them:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called on Monday for an end to raids by U.S. officials to deport undocumented Central American families, saying they were divisive and sowing fear in immigrant communities.Of course, many of the undocumented refugees have been refused refugee status, despite the fact that they are fleeing violence and, in many cases, certain death if they return.
Breaking with President Barack Obama, Clinton condemned the raids carried out by the Department of Homeland Security and released a plan that she said would help protect Central American families seeking asylum.
"I do not think the raids are an appropriate tool to enforce the immigration laws. In fact, I think they are divisive, they are sowing discord and fear," Clinton said at the Iowa Brown and Black forum on minority issues.
Rivals for the Democratic nomination Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley have both spoken out against the raids, and participated in the forum.
...Sanders said the United States should be careful in deporting the undocumented back to potentially unstable situations in Central America.
"We have a moral responsibility. What refugee status is about is to make sure that people are not forced to return to communities where their lives may be in danger," he told the forum.
As I mentioned last week, the ICE raids are being fought on many fronts, including advocates asserting (quite rightly, in my estimation) that the raids are not even legal, given that many of the Central American refugees targeted in the immigration raids "are disabled, as defined under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973," as they are trauma survivors likely to be "grossly re-traumatized by ICE raids."
One hopes that now all of the Democratic candidates have condemned the raids, it will result in better policy. Provided that any one of them who gets the nomination wins the presidency.
When you hear people saying there's not a damn bit of difference between the two parties, they can only say that with a straight face because issues like ICE raids, which have a massive impact on the lives of so many people, don't get much attention in the mainstream news, since the people affected aren't considered newsworthy. There is a huge difference between the candidates of both parties on this issue. And it matters.