Democratic presidential candidate nominees Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley have slammed the immigration raids conducted against immigrants from Central America. The pair made their comments on Saturday while attending a liberal forum in a church in Des Moines, Iowa.
In front of almost 1,000 people, Sanders said that he does not agree with President Obama’s policy with regard to deportation, despite their otherwise close working relationship. Meanwhile, O’Malley criticized the raids taking place over the Christmas period, pointing out that “Jesus himself was a refugee child”.
Both candidates have previously objected to the immigration raids; however, the policy was defended by White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Friday, who claimed that the raids merely continue the administration’s immigration priority of deporting those who illegally cross the border between the United States and Mexico and those with criminal convictions.
Democratic presidential candidate nominee frontrunner Hillary Clinton did not attend the forum; however, a statement was released by her spokeswoman, Xochitl Hinojosa, soon after the news about the planned raids was made public by the Washington Post. The statement said that Mrs. Clinton “believes the United States should give refuge to people fleeing persecution. … She believes we should not be conducting large-scale raids and roundups that sow fear and division in our communities.”
A number of liberal activists in Iowa were not happy by the fact that Mrs. Clinton was not part of the forum, despite previously campaigning heavily in the state, chanting: “Where is Clinton?”