House Democrat Condemns Holiday Immigration Raids

PHOTO: Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D) Illinois on This WeekABC News
Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D) Illinois on 'This Week'

One House Democrat is voicing his opposition to the Obama administration taking 121 adults and children into custody over the weekend as part of an operation to deport undocumented immigrants from Central America.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Illinois, a leading immigration reform advocate on Capitol Hill, said in a statement Monday that the raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officials –- primarily conducted in Georgia, North Carolina and Texas -- “must stop.”

“They are a cruel reminder of a discredited policy,” he said in the statement.

The Democrat wants to know why the raids were conducted over the holidays and is seeking a meeting with Homeland Security Sec. Jeh Johnson, according to an aide.

Johnson announced Monday that 121 individuals in the United States illegally were taken into custody over the weekend as part of a new effort to deport families that were apprehended after May 1, 2014 crossing the southern border illegally.

Although Johnson issued these new priorities in Nov. 2014, the ICE recently began operations to remove families who remained in the U.S. despite orders from a judge to return home.

“This should come as no surprise,” Johnson said in a statement. “I have said publicly for months that individuals who constitute enforcement priorities, including families and unaccompanied children, will be removed.”