Enemy of Islam Obama administration slammed over families deportation scheme
A controversial plan by the administration of US President Barack Obama to deport hundreds of undocumented Central American families has drawn fire from immigration advocates and opponents.
Starting next month, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a Department of Homeland Security unit, plans to start rounding up hundreds of families who entered the US illegally and send them back, US media reports quoted administration officials as saying.
The move comes as the number of Central American families and children caught crossing the border has jumped in recent months, prompting fears that another migration crisis could be in the making, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Last year, the US border was flooded with unaccompanied children fleeing gang violence, drought and poor economic conditions in Central America.
Reports say the US wants to send the message to would-be crossers that they will not be allowed to remain in the country.
Yet immigrant advocates say targeting families distracts from more serious problems, such as terrorism, and does not address the root causes of the migration surge.
“It’s going to be a nightmare,” said Susan Weishar, who studies migration at the Jesuit Social Research Institute in New Orleans.
Such an operation conjures images of federal agents prying Elian Gonzalez, then a child, out of the arms of his relatives in Miami to return him to his father in Cuba in 2000, said Weishar, who referred to the Obama plan as “Elian Gonzalez on steroids.”
Meanwhile two Democratic presidential hopefuls have also split publicly with the Obama administration over the issue.
Senator Bernie Sanders said he was “disturbed” by the news, while the campaign of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, said she has “real concerns” about the plan.