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Rep. Joaquin Castro Says ICE Has "Mass Deportation Plan"


  • PBS NewsHour
After attending a meeting with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Washington, D.C, San Antonio Congressman Joaquin Castro rushed to Twitter to share his concerns about what he's calling a "mass deportation plan."

"Only Dreamers with no offenses (including traffic tickets) or perceived gang affiliations seem exempt [from ICE deportations]," Castro tweeted, referring to the thousands of young immigrants who are registered under the federal deportation deferral program (also known as DACA).

This clashes with the Obama Administration's ICE policies, which only prioritized immigrants who've been "convicted of a felony offense, a significant misdemeanor offense, or multiple misdemeanor offenses" for detention or removal.

Castro pointed out that in the meeting with fellow members of Congress, ICE officials wouldn't share how many new people have been taken to detention centers following Trump's inauguration — or their countries or origin. ICE also wouldn't provide a breakdown of how many detainees were arrested for illegally crossing the border versus overstaying their legal visas.

In his very concerned tweet storm, Castro all but guaranteed that President Donald Trump's ICE would behave differently than under his predecessor (who wasn't particularly soft on immigration and is often referred to as the "deporter-in-chief").

"For those who argue it's the same as previous admins. ICE fully agrees mandate to deport is broader and will ask for larger budget," Castro tweeted.

And, he made sure followers knew he wasn't exaggerating the gravity of what he learned.

"[I] thought about how to describe it; I know families are scared," he wrote. "But it must be called what it appears to be."


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