Senate Democrats introduced legislation on Thursday, in an attempt to rescind the executive order issued by President Donald Trump, which prioritized the deportation of undocumented immigrants who have criminal records. The legislation was introduced by Hawaii Senator, Mazie Hirono, Illinois Senator, Dick Durbin, and Nevada Senator, Catherine Cortez Masto. They claim that the bill is intended to keep immigrant families together, and have urged Congress to move on immigration reform.
The legislation would also see a roll back of the executive order signed by Trump to target sanctuary cities refusing to cooperate with federal law on undocumented immigrants. Cortez Mastro claimed that the Trump administration had created an ‘unprecedented deportation’ machine after immigration authorities carried out several high-profile raids and that the President has sent a message to immigrant families that they are targets for deportation.
But John Kelly, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, defended the actions of officers with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after reports of the raids. Kelly insisted that the only people apprehended by ICE were those who have no right to be in the country in the first place, many of whom have committed serious crimes.
The recent raids have been decried by immigrant groups and top Democrats, claiming that they are causing widespread fear within the Latino community. Activists carried out a ‘Day Without Immigrants’ on Thursday, to protest against the President’s stance.