Rep. Luis Gutiérrez expanded on his earlier statement denouncing the Central American deportation raids, adding that the raids “are not the Democratic Party’s solution to immigration questions, nor should it be America’s” during a House floor speech earlier today.
According to the most recent reports, since the past weekend at least 121 adults and children from multiple states across the nation have been detained for deportation to violence and death in Central America.
As we’ve previously noted, according to eyewitness reports, some ICE agents were reported to have arrived in unmarked cars, and in some cases presented warrants for unknown people. And despite being told to stay outside, the agents often went in homes anyway as terrorized families cowered in fear.
“The government is saying they could be coming to your house and they could be coming at any time. Already, we are seeing signs of panic,” said Rep. Gutiérrez during his speech. “We hear that children are not going to school and parents are not going to work out of fear. Not even a week into the New Year and 2016 has turned into one of fear and hiding.”
“I have gone to the detention centers in Texas and met with the moms and kids who were detained there when they came in. One woman summed up their plight concisely by saying, ‘In Honduras, my family and I could live in poverty, but we could not live in peace.’ Raids will not bring her peace. Raids will not bring us order. Raids will only bring misery.”
Rep. Gutiérrez noted that those families targeted for deportation by the Obama Administration are likely among the most vulnerable: “Those who are being deported are the ones most likely to have had no attorney, no understanding of the laws and the practices of immigration courts, and now could be vulnerable to attack and murder back in Central America.”
“This is not the Democratic Party’s solution to immigration questions, nor should it be America’s,” he continued. “We expect heated calls for raids and deportation from the other side. We hear their calls for walls, bigger jails, and further restrictions on legal immigration. We will fight their efforts to erect religious or economic barriers to who can qualify for a chance to come to America. Our Party has rejected those calls, with good reason.
“Americans want order and legality in immigration, not deportations and families forcibly split apart or exiled.”
The full text from Rep. Gutiérrez’s speech is available here, and video is available below.
— Luis V. Gutierrez (@RepGutierrez) January 6, 2016