Hispanic lawmakers make third ask to administration for immigration meeting

Story highlights

  • The group last month requested a meeting with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement
  • The CHC members also said they found recent DHS guidance "dangerous and troubling."

Washington (CNN)The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is trying for a third time to get answers from the administration on its immigration policies, sending a letter Friday asking Customs and Border Protection for a meeting.

In the letter, the lawmakers say they have serious concerns about implementation of President Donald Trump's immigration policies that they are seeking to discuss.
The letter Friday follows two previous attempts to meet with the Department of Homeland Security and its agencies.
    The group of Democratic Hispanic lawmakers last month requested a meeting with Immigration and Customs Enforcement following the first series of targeted enforcement actions under the Trump administration. After scheduling a meeting, ICE abruptly backed out, instead asking House Speaker Paul Ryan to facilitate a bipartisan session.
    Ryan's office obliged, but while CHC Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham and Vice Chairman Joaquin Castro were allowed in the meeting, several Congressional Hispanic Caucus members who attempted to attend were rejected for not being on the approved guest list.
    CHC said it was awaiting ICE acting Director Thomas Homan's availability for a meeting after a follow-up request.
    The group also counted a letter sent by roughly 140 House Democrats, signed by Lujan Grisham, that requested a meeting between the Democratic caucus and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
    Friday's letter to acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan asks for a briefing on how Customs and Border Protection is implementing the President's immigration executive orders, which have ordered a beefing up of border security measures, including a wall and hiring surge, as well as expanded the discretion and deportation power of immigration officials.
    "We have received troubling reports from all over the country that the implementation of these two executive orders has resulted in significant changes in how U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents operate at the U.S.-Mexico border, in border communities, and at ports of entry, specifically airports," the lawmakers wrote.
    The CHC members also said they found recent guidance on implementation for the orders from Kelly "to be dangerous and troubling."
    The Trump administration has said that although its immigration policies are strict and more expansive than the Obama administration's, it is merely enforcing the laws on the books. The CHC, Democrats and immigration advocates have said that the expanded priorities of the administration are causing undue fear in immigrant communities as noncriminal, nonthreatening undocumented immigrants are at risk of deportation along side serious criminals.
    The CBP confirmed that it received the letter and said it would respond directly to CHC.