East County News Service
Rep. Vargas denounces exclusion as “unacceptable”, says Trump actions are creating “chaos around the nation”
February 16, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – Several Hispanic members of Congress including Congressman Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) were booted out of a bipartisan meeting with the acting director of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by Speaker Paul Ryan’s staff, reportedly on orders from President Donald Trump.
Congressman Vargas, whose district includes San Diego’s border region that encompasses southern East County, issued this statement.
“Today my colleagues in the Hispanic Caucus and I were excluded from a meeting with officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and that is completely unacceptable. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus requested a meeting with the Acting Director of ICE because our constituents are living in fear. By being excluded from today’s meeting, we were unable to get clear information regarding the immigration policies that are directly impacting our communities. All we want are answers.”
Vargas adds, “Children in communities around the country are living in fear because they don’t know if their mom or dad will be taken from them. Hardworking parents are fearful that they’re going to be ripped away from their children. Innocent families are being targeted and separated. Our country is better than this.”
San Diego’s Congressman said the lack of transparency coming from the Trump Administration is “creating chaos around the nation. Relationships between community members and law enforcement are affected when immigrants are forced to retreat into the shadows because they are fearful. This administration should be transparent and tell us exactly who they are targeting and who has been detained in raids around the country.”
He promised, “We will continue to demand a meeting with the Trump Administration and ICE officials to request more information. Our constituents have questions and they deserve answers.”
The unprecedented snub comes just days after ICE abruptly cancelled a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Javier Gamboa, Hispanic Media Director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) also denounced the action. He stated, “It’s wildly insulting that Speaker Ryan kicked several of his Hispanic colleagues out of a critical meeting that greatly concerns their community, especially after witnessing the fear that President Trump’s deportation force has brought to Latino and immigrant communities. What’s even more shocking is that the Speaker delivered this insult to his colleagues apparently at President Trump's command.”