Senate Dems move to nix Trump's deportation order
© Getty
A group of Senate Democrats want to roll back President Trump's executive order on deportation in the wake of a string high-profile immigration raids. 
Cortez Masto accused the Trump administration of creating an "unprecedented deportation machine." 
"The president's executive order sends a clear message to our immigrant families: You are a target for deportation," she said at press conference with immigrant groups opposed to the order.  

The legislation would also undo Trump's crackdown on so-called "sanctuary cities," which don't follow federal immigration law.

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly defended the arrests earlier this week, noting that roughly 75 percent of the 680 undocumented immigrants arrested were "criminal aliens." 

Under the new order, the Trump administration expanded the definition of “criminal alien” to include individuals who entered the country without authorization, which was originally considered a misdemeanor offense. 

Immigrants who have "committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense" are now priorities under the order, even if they have not yet been convicted.

Top Democrats and outside groups have decried the recent string of raids, arguing they are sparking fear in the Hispanic community. 

Durbin argued on Thursday that the change threatens millions of undocumented immigrants currently in the country. 

"[They] are currently living in the United States with no threat to our country, no criminal record, with strong families," he said. 

Democratic Sens. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetDemocrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Senators hammers Ross on Trump tariffs | EU levies tariffs on US goods | Senate rejects Trump plan to claw back spending Senators hammer Ross over Trump tariffs MORE (Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenate moderates hunt for compromise on family separation bill All the times Horowitz contradicted Wray — but nobody seemed to notice Hillicon Valley: Trump hits China with massive tech tariffs | Facebook meets with GOP leaders over bias allegations | Judge sends Manafort to jail ahead of trial | AT&T completes Time Warner purchase MORE (Del.), Tammy Duckworth (Ill.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — GOP lawmakers race to find an immigration fix Richard Painter puts out 'dumpster fire' in first campaign ad Bill Clinton says 'norms have changed' in society for what 'you can do to somebody against their will' MORE (Minn.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineVirginia Dems want answers on alleged detention center abuse Democrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor Koch group won't back Stewart in Virginia MORE (Va.), Pat Leahy (Vt.), Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyDemocrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor Dems press EPA nominees on ethics, climate Lawmakers prep for coming wave of self-driving cars MORE (Mass.), Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezSchumer: Obama 'very amenable' to helping Senate Dems in midterms The Hill's Morning Report: Can Trump close the deal with North Korea? Senate must save itself by confirming Mike Pompeo MORE (N.J.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyDem senator: If Nielsen doesn't reunite families, 'she should resign' Senate Dems call for Judiciary hearing on Trump's 'zero tolerance' GOP lawmaker compares cages for migrant children to chain-link fences on playgrounds MORE (Ore.), Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Association of American Medical Colleges —Dems, health groups demand immigrant children be quickly reunited with families White House releases sweeping proposal to reorganize government Democrats protest Trump's immigration policy from Senate floor MORE (Wash.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenMulvaney aims to cement CFPB legacy by ensuring successor's confirmation Trump calls Nevada Dem Senate candidate 'Wacky Jacky,' renews 'Pocahontas' jab at Warren On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump floats tariffs on European cars | Nikki Haley slams UN report on US poverty | Will tax law help GOP? It's a mystery MORE (Mass.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenScrutiny ramps up over Commerce secretary's stock moves Hillicon Valley: Justices require warrants for cellphone location data | Amazon employees protest facial recognition tech sales | Uber driver in fatal crash was streaming Hulu | SpaceX gets contract to launch spy satellite On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Supreme Court allows states to collect sales taxes from online retailers | Judge finds consumer bureau structure unconstitutional | Banks clear Fed stress tests MORE (Ore.) are also supporting the legislation, along with Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersA case for open borders and how it can boost the world economy Sen. Sanders: 'Hypocrite' Trump rants against undocumented immigrants, but hires them at his properties On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump floats tariffs on European cars | Nikki Haley slams UN report on US poverty | Will tax law help GOP? It's a mystery MORE.

It’s the first bill newly elected Nevadan Cortez Masto has sponsored. 

Reports emerged over the weekend that ICE officials had conducted raids in several cities, though an exact number of arrests was not disclosed. The Department of Homeland Security said the operations were "consistent with the routine, targeted arrests carried out by" immigration enforcement teams "on a daily basis."

Trump took a hard line on immigration during his presidential campaign pledging to deport roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants. 

But he appeared to soften that stance more recently, saying he would reach a "deal" on undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children and focus on immigrants with criminal records. 

He also defended his policies during a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this week, pledging he would step up his effort to deport "criminal" aliens. 

“I said we will get the criminals out — the drug lords, the gang members — we're getting them out,” Trump said. 

But Daniel Ramirez Medina, a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, was detained this week by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials when they showed up at his house to arrest Ramirez's father.
Medina filed a lawsuit against the administration on Wednesday, arguing it violated his Fith Amendment rights by  failing to adhere to the terms of DACA.
On Thursday, immigrants and activists in several cities planned “Day Without Immigrants” protests to speak out against Trump’s executive actions on immigrants. Businesses and restaurants in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Houston, New York City and other major cities in the U.S. will be closed for part or all of the day.