Harris hosts Hispanic Caucus as House Dems push immigration reform

Vice President Harris hosted members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus this week — as House Democrats name on the administration to overtake federal immigration insurance policies they accuse of counting on a “discriminatory legal system.”

Harris’ Monday assembly with 15 Democratic lawmakers got here as report unlawful immigration surges proceed to overwhelm authorities on the southern border.

Speaking to reporters simply earlier than the beginning of the gathering, Harris touched briefly on the migrant disaster, noting that the group can be discussing “how we can address the root causes of migration.”

She additionally famous that, “We are bringing CEOs of private corporations in the US together to think about their support,” with out elaborating far more.

Several assembly attendees told The Hill on Monday that the vp touted these conferences with company leaders, whom she described as desirous to spend money on Northern Triangle international locations — Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

She additionally revealed to these within the assembly what the administration’s technique was for tackling the migrant disaster, saying it was based mostly on partaking teams starting from the personal sector, to third-world international locations, to non-governmental organizations within the area — not mentioning if any border brokers or Homeland Security officers can be concerned in talks on options.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), agents detain an immigrant on October 14, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.
Vice President Kamala Harris mentioned that the group can be discussing the foundation causes of migration.
John Moore/Getty Images

She additionally referenced the Mexican authorities, as properly as the Northern Triangle leaders.

What work she was doing with mentioned teams was not made clear.

The Biden administration’s undoing of former President Trump’s border insurance policies has prompted a flood of Central American and Mexican unlawful migrants on the US border, including thousands of unescorted children.

Central Americans in search of refuge from the Northern Triangle international locations have taken these coverage strikes, as properly as the overwhelmingly extra welcoming tone from Democrats, as an indication that President Biden is inviting them to cross the border.

Insisting that the border was not facing a crisis, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas mentioned in early March that the issues the company confronted should be blamed on the earlier administration.

The knowledge, nonetheless, overwhelmingly exhibits that migrants had been flooding the border as a result of they believed Biden would welcome them with open arms.

As Mayorkas denied the existence of a disaster, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador blamed the new president for the disaster, arguing that the “expectations” he set left migrants with the perception that they’d be let into the US.

Northern Virginia Gang Task Force officers partner with ICE officer to arrest an alleged MS-13 gang member in a Manassas, Virginia neighborhood Thursday evening August 10, 2017
Kamala Harris didn’t point out within the assembly if any border brokers or Homeland Security officers can be concerned in talks on options.
Melina Mara/The Washington Post through Getty Images

Despite this, numerous House Democrats are sustaining their declare that the federal authorities should radically remodel its insurance policies to “end the carceral approach to immigration.”

“Carceral,” on this case, refers to prison-like circumstances.

In a letter dated Friday from 34 Democrats led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the group argued that, “We are in a moment of racial reckoning in this country, with communities across the country calling for an end to mass incarceration and racist policing.”

The letter, despatched to Mayorkas and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Tae Johnson, takes situation with a Feb. 18 interim enforcement memo, which the lawmakers argue wants altering.

Getting into specifics, they recognized three flaws with it.

First, they argued that “the memorandum does not adequately protect the interests of the asylum seekers” by classifying any immigrant who unlawfully entered the nation after Nov. 1, 2020, as “a border security enforcement and removal priority.”

“This blanket presumption will effectively mean detaining an untold number of people who have fled persecution,” the letter continued.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas attends a press conference at a temporary Customs and Border Protection processing center on May 7, 2021 in Donna, Texas.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas insisted there was not a disaster on the border.
Go Nakamura/Getty Images

Second, the group takes situation with the definition of “aggravated felony,” particularly how people convicted of 1 are routinely “a public safety enforcement and removal priority.”

“This definition of ‘aggravated felonies’ is itself flawed — a relic of the racist War on Drugs — and should not guide the agency’s enforcement priorities,” the group continued.

“‘Aggravated felonies’ as a category have been designed to ensure that people have as few rights as possible to fight detention and deportation,” they later added.

Lastly, the Democrats questioned present steering prioritizing deportation of anybody convicted of an offense the place a component of the crime concerned “active participation” in a gang.

The steering additionally utilized to anybody over the age of 16 who “intentionally participated” in a gang.

Leaving ICE to find out what qualifies as an “element,” the group famous, might result in it being utilized too broadly.

The motive, they mentioned: bias from legislation enforcement in opposition to minorities.

As a outcome, the group argued that deciding whether or not somebody has been concerned in gang exercise “should not be left to an officer’s discretion or ‘good faith belief.’”

“It is well documented that law enforcement’s practices of labelling people as gang-involved is often faulty, based on arbitrary and racist factors, and not subject to due process,” the lawmakers wrote.

Reps for the White House didn’t instantly reply to The Post’s request for touch upon the letter.

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