ICE head cancels meeting with Hispanic Dems

ICE head cancels meeting with Hispanic Dems
© Greg Nash

A meeting between congressional Hispanic Democrats and the Trump administration's top immigration enforcement officer was canceled abruptly Tuesday in the wake of national immigration raids that have roiled Latino leaders.

Thomas Homan, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) Tuesday that he would not be attending the meeting, according to CHC aides.

CHC Chairwoman Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.) and Homan had a phone call at 2 p.m. to discuss the cancellation. The CHC is expected to hold a press conference later Tuesday.

An ICE representative speaking on background said the CHC added attendants to the meeting last minute, forcing the agency to reschedule to comply with House rules.

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CHC staff said a larger, bipartisan meeting was not a reasonable replacement for the canceled sit-down because it would shield Homan from directly facing members who represent the constituency most affected by ICE raids.

"It's more of the same from the Trump administration," said an aide.

Hundreds of immigrants have been arrested in ICE raids in at least six states over the past week, in what the administration has called an effort to deport dangerous criminal aliens.

But Hispanic leaders have argued that large-scale raids are not targeted enforcement and unnecessarily round-up undocumented immigrants who are not dangerous criminals.

Reps. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) had planned to attend the meeting.