The new year started swiftly for the Department of Homeland Security as Immigration and Customs Enforcement launched deportation roundups of families who had fled violence in Central America. Yesterday Jeh Johnson announced the following in terms of removals that had already taken place over the weekend:
“The focus of this weekend’s operations were adults and their children who (i) were apprehended after May 1, 2014 crossing the southern border illegally, (ii) have been issued final orders of removal by an immigration court, and (iii) have exhausted appropriate legal remedies, and have no outstanding appeal or claim for asylum or other humanitarian relief under our laws. As part of these operations, 121 individuals were taken into custody, primarily from Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina, and they are now in the process of being repatriated. To effect removal, most families are first being transported to one of ICE’s family residential centers for temporary processing before being issued travel documents and boarding a return flight to their home countries.”
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which represents Latinos serving in the House, has been silent on the deportation raids. The Hispanic Caucus is usually out in front of immigration issues, but when it comes to these removals, as a group, it has remained silent. The last press release on the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s media site is dated December 11, and the subject matter is judicial nominees. So as of Tuesday, January 5, 2016, the group that represents the community who will be most impacted by these particular deportations has not issued any condemnation of the removals.
Just two days before the Christmas holiday when the deportation raids were announced publicly, the Hispanic Caucus remained silent on its Twitter feed about the removals. Yet whoever was managing the Twitter account for the Hispanic Caucus found the time to tweet holiday greetings during that time.
A few months ago the Congressional Hispanic Caucus was denouncing Donald Trump’s appearance on Saturday Night Live. The GOP presidential contender has been vociferous in taking credit for the latest round of ICE raids, yet this same caucus won’t make a statement about the removals that are in progress at this moment.
Photo credit: Congressional Hispanic Caucus Facebook page.