Calm Down: Immigration Raids Under Trump Are The Continuation of Obama Policy

FILE - In this May 25, 2010 file photo, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent walks down the aisle among shackled Mexican immigrants a boarded a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement charter jet for deportation in the air between Chicago, Il. and Harlingen, Texas. A Homeland Security Department internal watchdog says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement could have saved millions of dollars on charter flights carrying deported immigrants to their home countries by not leaving seats empty. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

The headlines for the current immigration raids taking place exist in a world where these raids didn’t occur until Donald Trump was sworn in as President.

The NY Times:

  • Reports of Raids Have Immigrants Bracing for Enforcement Surge

Washington Post:

  • Federal agents conduct immigration enforcement raids in at least six states

The Hill:

  • Protests erupt in NYC over immigration enforcement raids

Washington Monthly:

  • Deportation Force Goes to Work

The problem is, none of this is new. It is merely a continuation of the policy initiated by the Obama administration. From Reuters in May of 2016:

U.S. immigration officials are planning a month-long series of raids in May and June to deport hundreds of Central American mothers and children found to have entered the country illegally, according to sources and an internal document seen by Reuters.

The operation would likely be the largest deportation sweep targeting immigrant families by the administration of President Barack Obama this year after a similar drive over two days in January that focused on Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina.

Those raids, which resulted in the detention of 121 people, mostly women and children, sparked an outcry from immigration advocates and criticism from some Democrats, including the party’s presidential election frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has now told field offices nationwide to launch a 30-day “surge” of arrests focused on mothers and children who have already been told to leave the United States, the document seen by Reuters said. The operation would also cover minors who have entered the country without a guardian and since turned 18 years of age, the document said. Two sources confirmed the details of the plan.

In fact, it was reported at the time how it might harm the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders:

Clinton and Sanders are jockeying for their votes, but the administration crackdown is hurting outreach.

Donald Trump and his incendiary immigration rhetoric was supposed to send Latino voters to the polls in droves for Democrats this fall. But the Obama administration’s controversial immigration raids are threatening to weaken the Democrats’ advantage.

The volatile issue of immigration and the power of the Latino vote is coming into sharper focus in advance of the June 7 primary in California, where Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are showing off their pro-immigrant bona fides in their increasingly contentious nomination fight.

So can we please stop freaking out about these raids?