- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 23, 2015

President Obama’s Homeland Security Department is reportedly planning to target illegal-immigrant families from Central America for a series of raids, with raids coming as early as next month.

According to the report Wednesday evening in the Washington Post, citing “people familiar with the operation,” the raids will be the first large-scale effort to deport people who have been fleeing violence in Central American countries but also defying removal orders by immigration judges.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation, which The Post says has not been given final approval, is expected to target hundreds of families and result in immediate deportation.

About 100,000 families are believed to have crossed the Mexican border since last year.

According to the Post report, the proposal has been “controversial inside the Obama administration.”

President Obama has come under attack by liberal advocacy groups such as Not One More for deporting too many people. Meanwhile, he also is embroiled in a court fight over elements of his deportation amnesty, though even the uncontroversial policies shield most of the nation’s illegal-immigrant population from the threat of deportation.

“It would be an outrage if the administration subjected Central American families to even more aggressive enforcement tactics,” Gregory Chen, director of advocacy for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told The Post. “This administration has never acknowledged the truth: that these families are refugees seeking asylum who should be given humanitarian protection rather than being detained or rounded up. When other countries are welcoming far more refugees, the U.S. should be ashamed for using jails and even contemplating large-scale deportation tactics.”

But Mark Krikorian, executive director of the restrictionist Center for Immigration Studies, was skeptical. “I’ll believe it when I see it,” he said.

“And even if the plan were to happen, Mr. Krikorian said, it would merely be “a drop in the bucket” and “enforcement theater.”

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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