Jason Hopkins on August 12, 2019
Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris suggested that a recent illegal immigration raid in Mississippi was part of the Trump administration’s “campaign of terror.”
“This administration has directed DHS to conduct these raids as part of what I believe is this administration’s campaign of terror, which is to make whole populations of people afraid to go to work,” Harris said Sunday to NBC’s Chuck Todd. “Children are afraid to go to school for fear that when they come home, their parents won’t be there.”
The California senator was referring to a record-breaking immigration raid that took place Wednesday. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents targeted seven chicken processing facilities across Mississippi suspected of employing illegal aliens.
The raids resulted in the apprehension of 680 individuals believed to be living and working in the U.S. illegally. The number was the agency’s single biggest in-state raid in U.S. history.
“People are afraid in our country,” Harris said earlier in the interview, agreeing with Todd’s question over whether Hispanics are being specifically targeted by President Donald Trump. “[Trump’s] actions have been to divide, to vilify, to do what is contrary to who we are as Americans — which is to say it’s ‘us versus them.’”
Harris, without evidence, suggested the raids are intended by the administration to scare illegal immigrant households from partaking in the U.S. census.
The Wednesday raids generated a lot of criticism from progressives and immigrant-rights advocates who argued the operation shouldn’t have taken place so soon after the El Paso, Texas, mass shooting — prompting Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan to call the timing “unfortunate.”
Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan defended the Mississippi operation, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that his agency will not refrain from carrying out the law.
“ICE’s priorities will always be to go after criminal aliens as a priority. That doesn’t mean they exclude all demographics,” Morgan stated. “We still have to apply consequences, meaning enforce the rule of law, for those individuals that are here illegally against immigration law.”