Reps. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.) and Norma Torres (D-Calif.) of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus were asked to leave the room at a meeting between Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Tom Homan and other lawmakers.
The meeting had been requested by the CHC in response to the 680 undocumented immigrants who were arrested by ICE officials in the past week.
“These raids have struck fear in the hearts of the immigrant community as many fear that President Trump’s promised ‘deportation force’ is now in full-swing,” they wrote.
— Luis V. Gutierrez (@RepGutierrez) February 16, 2017
— Rep. Norma Torres (@NormaJTorres) February 16, 2017
Other members of the CHC had requested to be present, but were not allowed access.
“I was expecting to get let in, we’re the ones who were asking for this meeting, now we’ve been barred from the meeting,” said Juan Vargas (D-Calif.). “I want to know what they’re doing, and now we’ve been barred from this meeting that we called for.”
Paul Ryan’s staff claimed that there were not enough seats to accommodate everyone. Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.) could be heard exclaiming “Oh my God! That room is big enough. They have not filled it to capacity.”
Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWOW