Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, Friday joined members of the House Hispanic Caucus to denounce plans by the Trump administration to conduct weekend sweeps that caucus members say will divide families and spread fear through communities.
The operation, which was postponed by the administration late last month, would pursue people with final deportation orders, including families whose immigration cases were fast-tracked by judges in 10 major cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Miami.
Asked to comment on the immigration action, Paul Prince, a spokesman for Homeland Security Investigations and Enforcement and Removal Operations in San Francisco, said:
“ICE does not conduct ‘raids, sweeps or checkpoints.’ The agency’s Enforcement and Removal Operations component conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law and agency policy.”
Costa called the Trump administration “the most anti-immigrant in the history of America,” and said the sweeps were really about the president’s reelection effort.
“We’ve been here before,” said Costa, who mentioned workplace audits conducted at packing houses and other businesses in the central San Joaquin Valley where immigration officials checked for undocumented workers.
Costa said he recently took up the issue in Los Banos with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
“‘Do you realize this anti-immigration policy is creating fear like we’ve never seen before?’” he asked during the meeting.
Added Costa of the new sweeps:
“We should be working on a bipartisan project of comprehensive immigration reform.”