Booker responds to Trump's mass deportation threat: 'This is not who we are'

Booker responds to Trump's mass deportation threat: 'This is not who we are'
© Greg Nash

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSunday shows - Guns dominate after Democratic debate Booker defends middle-ground health care approach: 'We're going to fight to get there' Sunday shows preview: Democratic candidates make the rounds after debate MORE (D-N.J.) said Tuesday President Trump's threat to deport millions of undocumented Americans is the president's latest attempt to use fear for "his own political gain." 

"Terrorizing immigrant communities doesn't make us safe, separating families doesn't make us safe, demonizing refugees does not make us safe," the Democratic presidential candidate said in a statement.

"This is not who we are and this is not who we aspire to be," Booker added. 

Trump tweeted Monday night that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will begin deporting millions of undocumented immigrants next week. 

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It follows the president's continued push for stronger borders and claim that there is a crisis at the border. 

A White House spokesperson told The Hill in a statement that  there are "more than 1 million illegal aliens who have been issued final deportation orders by federal judges yet remain at large in the country." 

"Regardless of whether or not Trump acts on this threat, damage has been done," Booker said. 

"This type of fear-mongering is the cornerstone of Trump's agenda and the latest addition to the long list of reasons why he is unfit for the office he holds," he said. 

The Hill reached out to the Trump campaign for comment. 

Trump is launching his reelection campaign Tuesday night in Orlando. 

Pushing for radical immigration reform was Trump's key issue in his 2016 campaign, and he's kept the issue central in his 2 1/2 years in office.

Booker is one of 23 Democrats seeking the nomination to challenge Trump in 2020.