In the wake of the largest-ever immigration raid in a single state, Representative Nannette Barragan, from California's 44th district, says the raids are part of an on-going campaign by the President aimed to instill fear and "deterrence."
"It's more of his cruel policies on separating families, separating children, targeting immigrants," said Barragan, while on TODAY in LA Sunday Morning. "Very heartbreaking to see these young children who have been here all their lives and now not know what's going to happen to their parents."
Child welfare services said they were not given a forewarning to better assist with children, many who are American citizens, came home from school to find their parents had been arrested.
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One ICE official told NBC News, "We are a law enforcement agency, not a social services agency." The official said that any advance notice to welfare agencies or schools could have alerted undocumented immigrants to the raid and botched the operation.
"I want people to know that if they come into the United States illegally, they are getting out," said President Trump. "They're going to be brought out. And this serves as a very good deterrent."
Barragan said the priority should be placed on violent felons not families.
"Nobody disagrees that those violent felons, of course, should be sent back, should be deported. That is nor what's happening here. That's the heartbreaking part is that you are separating and ripping parents apart from their children. It's wrong," said Barragan.
The congresswoman says the recent ICE detentions have swept up American citizens. She encountered at least one citizen while on a tour of a detention camp along the US/Mexico border.
"I talked to a woman... she said her daughter was born in America. I said where? She said Queens. I said can your prove it? She pulled out a passport with her behind the fence and the agent that saw me said we have to keep going," said Barragan.
The congresswoman was persistent and fought to get both daughter and mother released.
"Her and her mother did get released, but it raises the questions how many more American citizens are being detained in these facilities? Completely unacceptable."