Bill Richardson: DHS Raids to Deport Kids, Defenseless People ‘Is Not America’

Thursday on MSNBC, while discussing The Washington Post report that the Department of Homeland Security is planning raids to deport families who surged across border from Central America, the former Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) said he hopes someone is only floating a trial balloon and after public outcry the White House will stop the plan, adding “This is not America.”

Richardson said, “My hope is it’s just a trial balloon. I have been in government and you float these to gauge reaction. I hope the reaction is swift, it’s negative. I don’t know why they want to do this. It’s inconsistent with President Obama’s policy. A year ago he tried to halt five million deportations. The courts have blocked it. But this is Christmas, this is mainly minors that are going to be targeted. This is not America. Look at other countries accepting refugees, Germany, France, the Syrian refugees. They are escaping, these are political asylees escaping political persecution in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala. There’s a spike in murders in that region, there’s a drought. This makes no sense. Hopefully it’s a trial balloon and the White House will halt what the bureaucracy, I suspect, wants to do. They are reliable reporters, no question about it, so somebody is floating this but I hope the reaction is swift and negative and it doesn’t happen.”
He continued, “Well, I think they are testing whether they should go ahead with these raids which would possibly happen early in the year and if they get a negative reaction from the Hispanic community, from the immigrant groups, from the Congress, then it won’t happen. But this is Christmas. I just heard that report about the weather in Texas, where some of these detention centers are. The problem we have is a broken immigration system. These detention centers, all of these immigrants, they are crowded, the legal processing doesn’t work, it’s slow and cumbersome and it’s mainly children. I mean you know, this is America. for God’s sake, at this time, let us find a solution to this broken immigration problem instead of like having these raids, deporting kids, deporting defenseless people.”
He added, “These are Central American refugees, mainly kids, mothers coming into the United States fleeing persecution, dictatorships in Central America and Honduras and El Salvador, in a region that is fraught with violence, with murders, with all kinds of droughts. They need humanitarian protection, not detention facilities. Leave it alone. Let’s resolve the immigration process. Let’s deal with the visa backlog issue. But let’s not take this action right before Christmas. I hope this is just a trial balloon but you know, it sounds like it probably is going to happen. My hope is the president rejects this recommendation.”
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN