The pressure Democrats and amnesty activists have applied to the Obama administration has Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) predicting that there will be a “pause” in the recent immigration raids targeting illegal immigrant families.
“I think you’re going to find a pause in these deportations,” Reid said following a conversation he had with DHS Sec. Jeh Johnson earlier that day, according to The Hill.
Reid added that Johnson “understood” Democrats’ concerns.
Congressional Democrats and Democratic presidential candidates have railed against the recent deportation actions.
“We strongly condemn the Department of Homeland Security’s recent enforcement operation targeting refugee mothers and children from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala,” 145 House Democrats wrote in a letter to Obama Tuesday. “The DHS operation has generated widespread fear and panic in immigrant communities and has far-reaching impacts beyond the alleged targets for removal.”
Earlier this month, 121 illegal immigrants were apprehend in raids focused on removing recently arrived illegal immigrant family units who remain in the U.S. despite having orders of removal issued by an immigration judge.
According to DHS those targeted were recent border crossers who were apprehended illegally entering the U.S. after May 1, 2014. The number of illegal immigrants detained to-date, however, is small compared to the recent influx of migrants illegally surging across the border. More than 250,000 unaccompanied minors and family unit members have been apprehended illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border from FY 2014 though December 2015.
Democrats and amnesty activists, however, argue the raids are a poor response to a humanitarian crisis of violence and poverty in Central America that has “pushed” the migration northward. Republicans meanwhile say the administration’s lax immigration enforcement policies and executive amnesty as enticements for illegal immigration.
In recent days Democrats and activists have started to call for the Obama administration to extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to those Central Americans in the country illegally who say they are fleeing violence in their home countries. TPS grants the recipient “temporary” amnesty from deportation and work permits.
“The crisis in our hemisphere will only be resolved when the United States engages in a comprehensive, regional solution to this refugee crisis. This solution should include refugee screening and resettlement, the use of safe havens in appropriate third countries, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for those individuals in the United States, and the use of priority refugee processing, and other humanitarian remedies,” the 145 Democrats wrote Tuesday.
According to a report released Wednesday by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, if the United States were to extend or re-designate TPS for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras more than 757,422 Central Americans living in the U.S. illegally would be granted “temporary” amnesty from deportation and work permits.