After the recent surge in Central American immigration, the Obama administration has scheduled a wave of illegal immigration raids targeting illegal immigrant families and promising to deport them out of the country. The raids, first reported last week, are an extension on the enforcement approved by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson at the end of last year.
Said announcement has led to a deep divide among Obama’s supporters, including the two Democratic candidates for the nomination.
Sen. Bernie Sanders began a fundraising drive in opposition to the raids, saying his father was an economic immigrant, but the children and families coming into the U.S. now from Central America are fleeing violence and deserved to be allowed to stay.
Hillary Clinton also opposed the raids, stating that “large scale raids are not productive and do not reflect who we are as a country.”
Sending women and children back into harm’s way after they already fled horrendous violence in Central America is painful and inhumane and must be stopped,” Said Sanders.
The first round of raids captured 121 illegal immigrant parents and children who authorities say were ruled deportable by judges after rejecting their claims of refugee status and were until now still in the country.
More than 250,000 families and unaccompanied children were caught on the border since the start of the 2014 fiscal year, with these 121 individuals being just the first in this set of raids. There are approximately 11 million reported illegal immigrants in the country.
The rate of deportations has decreased drastically over the years, with overall deportations reduced by nearly 50 percent, and the Secure Communities program, a program aimed at granting work permits to about half of the illegal immigrants in the country, was cancelled.
Currently, there is a less than 1 percent chance of any illegal immigrant being deported in a given year.