Newark, N.J. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez issued the following statement in reaction to the memorandums published by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Donald Trump’s mass deportation executive orders.
“Today’s DHS memos are an astonishing blueprint for President Trump’s disturbing mass deportation plan. Those seeking protection at the border and those apprehended in the interior, including countless families with U.S. citizen children, have been sent yet another message that they are not welcome and they must go deeper into the shadows.
"Beyond the fact that today’s implementation plans make no sense from a fiscal, practical or humane perspective, it is disturbing to see DHS chart out an execution strategy that will surely lead to racial profiling. These memos fall far short of previous memos that protected our nation’s security and public safety by targeting serious criminals and genuine threats to our security while protecting families, vulnerable populations, and due process. Instead, these actions will instill fear in communities and will likely keep children from going to school, keep families from going to church, and keep immigrants from reporting crimes.
“The Trump Administration’s inherently inward-looking approach to immigration is so flawed, we are now being told that the answer to our immigration enforcement challenges lays in eliminating any deportation prioritization policies of violent criminals over domestic violence victims, or hard-working immigrants who have lived in this country for years and have integrated themselves into the tapestry of our American society. It is irresponsible to treat a hardened criminal the same as an immigrant mother with children for purposes of deportation. These callous and xenophobic policies will not make our communities safe.
“In every century, in every generation, immigrants have contributed to the progress and prosperity of this nation. And since this administration insists on using the laws of our nation against immigrants, we must have an immediate debate in Congress to protect against this abuse and finally bring our immigration laws into the 21st Century. America, including Congressional Republicans, cannot stand for this mistreatment.”
April 22, 2021