- Aguilar accuses Democrats of spreading fear over immigration
- He says the majority of people detained have criminal records
Speaking to CNN's John Berman and Poppy Harlow, Alfonso Aguilar defended the recent ICE raids
and immigration-related arrests, claiming they are the "same type of raids ... conducted under the Obama administration."
"The evidence we have so far is that the majority of the people detained were people with serious criminal records," he added.
Aguilar said he was "baffled by the left ... trying to say that this is the beginning of some sort of massive deportation." He said Democrats were politicizing the issue.
"I think the fear is being exacerbated by the left and Democrats who are using this issue for political gain, basically spreading false rumor that there are checkpoints, that they're going house to house. That's all a lie."
Fear and uncertainty have spread across immigrant communities after a series of raids and arrests took place across the United States. On Thursday, protests sprang up over the deportation of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos
, an undocumented Arizona mother of two. Garcia de Rayos was arrested after a routine visit with immigration officials the day before. She had regularly checked in with ICE since 2008 after being convicted of using a fake social security number.
The timing of the increased enforcement actions -- coming as President Trump's controversial travel ban plays out in the courts -- has raised concern among immigrant rights activists and Democrats.
Trump claimed credit for the raids Sunday, tweeting: "the crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!"
Aguilar was a prominent Latino surrogate for the Trump campaign until September when he officially withdrew his support for the Republican presidential nominee
after Trump resumed his hard-line immigration position during a major policy speech in Arizona.