During the 2008 financial crisis, future Obama chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel told a Wall Street Journal conference, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste.” Congressional Democrats have taken that advice to heart.
The Washington Examiner reported on Saturday that a coalition of 15 Democrat lawmakers are demanding that Immigration and Customs Enforcement halt all deportations, citing the coronavirus pandemic as the justification.
Deportation deemed “a matter of life and death”
“Immigration detention facilities, even before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, have been breeding grounds for illness,” they said in a letter addressed to acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf on Friday.
“For detainees who are immunocompromised or otherwise susceptible to the worst consequences of contracting COVID-19, holding them in detention may be literally a matter of life and death,” the group alleged.
They went on to insist that removing “people who may have been exposed to coronavirus to either countries that have few or no cases or to countries with weak health care infrastructure is an unacceptable risk to take.”
“Many countries, including the United States, are implementing strict border controls during this pandemic, and we should make no exception for ICE Air and deportations,” the Democratic contingent concluded.
Omar a frequent opponent of border security
The demand isn’t new for Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), one of the advocates for the policy, as she has long pushed for a softer stance on illegal immigration, even going so far as to call for the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“Abolish ICE,” the Minnesota congresswoman tweeted in August of 2018, going on to add, “There is no compromise.”
“Our immigration system is deeply broken,” she concluded. “We shouldn’t seek to punish families seeking safety and opportunity. We should create fair and accessible pathways to citizenship.”
Omar is herself under investigation by federal authorities for allegedly marrying her brother to fraudulently secure him a visa.
The Democrats’ letter made no mention of what should be done with foreign criminals in lieu of deporting them. Removing criminal aliens has been a priority for the Trump administration.
Over the last 3 years, ICE agents have apprehended aliens who were responsible for some 4700 murders in the United States.