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As Trump Stokes Fear Over Criminals, ICE Deports Non-Criminals Like Michigan Mom Cile Precetaj

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Matt Hildreth: “This kind of fear-mongering has no place in our country. We are better than this.”

As the White House’s continues to stoke fear over immigrants and as President Trump delivers another anti-immigrant stemwinder on Long Island, it’s again worth remembering the ongoing gulf between the Trump administration’s rhetoric and the reality of who they are actually targeting. And it’s essential to recognize that the White House’s fear-mongering is driven by politics, not the realities on the ground.

The following is a statement from America’s Voice Political Director Matt Hildreth:

We should remember that Trump’s talk is nothing more than ugly scare tactics aimed to turn neighbors against each other. Trump and the GOP are engaging in a divisive and ugly brand of politics that provides cover for a real life policy agenda that is taking a toll on families and communities across America.

Trump style politics don’t change the fact that America was founded on an ideal: all people are created equal and should have the chance to build a better life and feel safe, no matter what they look like or where they were born.

This kind of fear-mongering has no place in our country. We are better than this.

As Dara Lind assessed in Vox of the White House’s ongoing fear-mongering and Trump’s dehumanizing comments, “The problem with fighting about whom Trump meant when he said what he said is that, on a policy level, what he said does not actually matter. His administration is not focusing on deporting people who have committed particularly heinous crimes, gang members, or people with criminal records.”

In reality, the administration is targeting, increasingly, long-settled immigrants who are contributors and heads of families – not public safety threats. As Elise Foley recently noted in HuffPost assessing the latest ICE statistics, “About two-thirds of those arrested by ICE from October 2017 to the end of March had no criminal convictions.”

This includes immigrants such as Cile Precetaj, a mom from Albania living with her husband and three U.S. citizen children in Troy, MI. A woman with no criminal record, who has been seeking asylum in the U.S. since 2000. As Tresa Baldas of the Detroit Free Press reported:

A Troy mother with no criminal record was deported to Albania without being offered the opportunity to say goodbye to her three children or husband, family members say.

While a spokesperson for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said ICE notified family members of Cile Precetaj’s impending departure and told family members to pack her bags 10 days ago, her husband said that he did not learn that his wife was deported until 4 a.m. Thursday, when she called him from Germany telling him that she was en route to Albania with two ICE agents.

“My kids are devastated. They can’t stop crying,” Pete Gojcaj told the Free Press Thursday morning. “My children are traumatized. …

“They got on the bus crying,” he said, noting he sent them to school to keep things as normal as possible. “They said, ‘This is not the government they teach us about in school.'”