DNC rips reported crackdown on passports: ‘This is a disgrace to our democracy’

Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE hit back late Wednesday against reports that the Trump administration has denied or revoked passports from individuals who were born in the U.S. near the southern border.

“Americans are being targeted, detained, and denied their rights because of the color of their skin. This is a disgrace to our democracy and a vicious assault on our community," Perez said in a statement.

“From the beginning of his campaign and throughout his presidency, Donald Trump has stoked the flames of fear, racism, and xenophobia," he continued. "Democrats know that America is better than this.

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"We know that diversity is our nation’s greatest strength," Perez said. "And we will continue to fight this administration’s attacks on Hispanic communities, immigrant families, and all Americans seeking opportunity.”

Perez's comments came hours after The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration has accused hundreds of Hispanic citizens of using fraudulent birth certificates and denied them passports.

The Post reported that some individuals are jailed in immigration detention centers and threatened with deportation. Others have had their passports revoked when they try to re-enter the country.

A State Department official told The Hill in a statement that the agency “has not changed policy or practice regarding the adjudication of passport applications.”

The official said that "the U.S.-Mexico border region happens to be an area of the country where there has been a significant incidence of citizenship fraud."

The Trump administration has made cracking down on immigration a priority, particularly along the southern border. President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE has vowed to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and earlier this week revived his campaign promise that Mexico would pay for it. Mexican officials have insisted they will not fund the structure.