Bernie Sanders Issues Powerful Response to Deporting Central American Families

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders had some strong words for immigration officials, following the news that enforcement agencies would begin deporting families who began entering the U.S. last year, fleeing violence in their home countries.  

"I am very disturbed by reports that the government may commence raids to deport families who have fled here to escape violence in Central America," read a Facebook post on Sanders' page last week. "As we spend time with our families this holiday season, we who are parents should ask ourselves what we would do if our children faced the danger and violence these children do? How far would we go to protect them?"

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I am very disturbed by reports that the government may commence raids to deport families who have fled here to escape...

Posted by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders on Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Christmas Eve post came shortly after reports circulated that officials with the Department of Homeland Security and agents with Immigration Customs Enforcement would begin deporting families as early as January. More than 100,000 families, including adults and many children, have sought refuge here since the beginning of last year, according to a Washington Post report.

According to officials quoted by the paper, the impending operation, which is still being planned, will target those adults and children who have already been ordered out of the country in immigration court. The issue of how to handle the massive influx of South and Central American refugees fleeing violence, corruption, and disorder in their home countries has long simmered in the U.S., pitting immigration advocates against others who have criticized the Obama Administration for too-loose border laws. Officials also said DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson had been pushing for the deportations for months.

The news comes at a time when immigration issues have flared nationally on both the local and national stage, with many GOP candidates proposing hard-line border restrictions, and Democrats voicing support for those fleeing violence.

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A separate post on Sanders' campaign page decried the rumored deportations for running against national ideals.

"Our nation has always been a beacon of hope, a refuge for the oppressed," the post stated. "We cannot turn our backs on that essential element of who we are as a nation. We need to take steps to protect children and families seeking refuge here, not cast them out."

The Sanders page posted a video of a 10-year-old Mexican immigrant whose mother was deported.

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"My name is Bobby de la Rosa. I am ten years-old. In 2009, returning from my visit in Zacatecas to see my Abuelita, Maria, my mom got deported and has not been allowed into the United States to see all that her children have accomplished. At four years-old, I really did not understand what deported meant. I remember thinking, deportado, what is that? A border patrol had stopped my mother and father. I was in the back seat with my sock monkey, not knowing my life and the life of my brothers and sister would become a nightmare."

Posted by Bernie Sanders on Saturday, October 10, 2015