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 BennetBuild Back Better Act must include funding to restore forests, make communities resilient and create jobs Interior reverses Trump, moves BLM headquarters back to DC Conservation group says it will only endorse Democrats who support .5T spending plan MORE (Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsDems punch back over GOP holdup of Biden SBA nominee Biden threatens more sanctions on Ethiopia, Eritrea over Tigray conflict Senate Democrats to Garland: 'It's time to end the federal death penalty' MORE (Del.), Tammy Duckworth (Ill.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenFranken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour Al Franken on another Senate run: 'I'm keeping my options open' Andrew Cuomo and the death of shame MORE (Minn.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats confront 'Rubik's cube on steroids' Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Emissions heading toward pre-pandemic levels The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - What do Manchin and Sinema want? MORE (Va.), Pat Leahy (Vt.), Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyWarren, Bush offer bill to give HHS power to impose eviction moratorium Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal Six Democrats blast Energy Department's uranium reserve pitch MORE (Mass.), Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezBiden, don't punish India Democrats reject hardball tactics against Senate parliamentarian  Biden threatens more sanctions on Ethiopia, Eritrea over Tigray conflict MORE (N.J.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyDemocrats revive filibuster fight over voting rights bill Senate backers of new voting rights bill push for swift passage Stacey Abrams backs Senate Democrats' voting rights compromise MORE (Ore.), Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayFaith leaders call on Congress to lead the response to a global pandemic Conservation group says it will only endorse Democrats who support .5T spending plan Support the budget resolution to ensure a critical investment in child care MORE (Wash.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenBipartisan senators to hold hearing on 'toxic conservatorships' amid Britney Spears controversy Senate advances Biden consumer bureau pick after panel logjam White House faces increased cries from allies on Haitian migrants MORE (Mass.) and Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenA Democratic plan to wipe out independent contractors Biden pushes back at Democrats on taxes Want a clean energy future? Look to the tax code MORE (Ore.) are also supporting the legislation, along with Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFranken targets senators from both parties in new comedy tour Pelosi says House members would not vote on spending bill top line higher than Senate's Groups push lawmakers to use defense bill to end support for Saudis in Yemen civil war 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.