Schaaf, Khanna Condemn Trump's Plan to Deport 'Millions'

President Trump speaks on immigration in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, D.C. on May 16, 2019.

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement plans to deport "millions" of immigrants who are living in the United States without authorization starting next week.

Trump made the announcement, which quickly drew sharp rebuke from Bay Area officials, as he launched his re-election campaign. NPR reports that the focus of the enforcement effort will be on those who skipped immigration court dates or those with final removal orders.

According to NPR, there are few details on how ICE, the federal agency charged with immigration enforcement, will carry out the plan.

Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Fremont, said Trump is politicizing an issue that should be reserved for law enforcement and the courts.

"The president can shape policy, the president can set policy," said Khanna. "But the details of enforcement is not supposed to be for political reasons."

He said he's worried about mixed-status families and said any efforts toward mass detentions and deportations raise a whole host of legal and humanitarian concerns.

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"What happens in the case of a situation where the parents may be undocumented but the children are American citizens and going to school," Khanna said. "Is this administration going to again separate kids from their parents?"

Khanna said Congress should exercise "vigorous oversight" over ICE.

"We need to make sure that people's rights are being protected, we need to make sure that the agencies are complying with the law," he said. "We need to make sure that ICE is doing its primary function, for which Congress appropriated funds, and that is protecting against sex trafficking, drug trafficking, child trafficking, that is the primary threat that the United States faces at the border. It's not the people who are undocumented who are living here, paying taxes, working, who have kids going to school.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf called Trump's policies, including the latest plan, "frightening" and "racist" during a press conference Tuesday. She said mass roundups can easily lead to civil rights violations.

"I cannot stomach this racist hate mongering from someone who is in government," said Schaaf.

Schaaf said it is ironic that Trump would make such an announcement about potential raids when she had once been criticized by the president for warning Oakland residents about similar operations in her city.

Schaaf said Oakland will remain "unapologetically" a sanctuary city, "We are not breaking any laws. We are simply not using our precious local resources to in any way assist with what is a federal civil matter and that is immigration enforcement."

Peter Jon Shuler and Marnette Federis contributed to this report.

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