Bernie Sanders: Central American refugees should not be ‘cast out’

December 24, 2015
5 Comments

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders said Thursday that he is “very disturbed” by reports that the Obama administration has begun preparing for a series of raids that would target for deportation families who fled violence in Central America.

“Our nation has always been a beacon of hope, a refuge for the oppressed,” the Vermont senator said in a statement. “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 Washington Post reported Wednesday night that the nationwide campaign, to be carried out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents as soon as early January, could affect hundreds of families who have flocked to the United States since the start of last year. The ICE operation would target only adults and children who have been ordered removed from the United States by an immigration judge.

As he competes against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, Sanders has pledged, if elected president, to aggressively use executive action to offer protections to undocumented immigrants against deportation as he seeks comprehensive reform from Congress.

In polls, he lags far behind Clinton among both Latino and black voters and has been stepping up efforts to make inroads into those communities.

“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?” Sanders said in his statement. “How far would we go to protect them?”

Another Democratic candidate, former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, also spoke out on the plan being developed by the Department of Homeland Security.

“DHS’ Christmas Eve announcement that they are planning to launch mass holiday raids and deport families who risked their lives to flee violence in Central America is completely at odds with our character as a nation,” O’Malley said in a statement. “We must put an end to these mindless deportations.”

The Washington Post’s Jose A. DelReal contributed to this story.

© 2015, The Washington Post

You may be interested

President Solís recovers from successful prostate operation
Costa Rica
168 views
Costa Rica
168 views

President Solís recovers from successful prostate operation

Katherine Stanley - October 18, 2017

President Luis Guillermo Solís took a medical leave to undergo prostate surgery Wednesday after postponing the procedure last week to…

VIDEO: A closer look at ‘Battlefield’ before its Costa Rican premiere
Events
518 views
Events
518 views

VIDEO: A closer look at ‘Battlefield’ before its Costa Rican premiere

Katherine Stanley - October 18, 2017

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wujGfRevDOE&feature=youtu.be "Battlefield," from acclaimed director Peter Brook, premieres tonight at San José's National Theater. Read our full story here.

Costa Rica, Lima Group call for urgent audit of Venezuelan elections
Latin America
699 views
Latin America
699 views

Costa Rica, Lima Group call for urgent audit of Venezuelan elections

The Tico Times - October 18, 2017

The 12 countries that make up the recently formed Lima Group demanded on Tuesday that an urgent “independent audit” of…