‘There’s no question that the issue of the caravans was an issue that was inflated for political purposes, to influence the midterm elections…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a 2020 presidential hopeful, compared Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to the Ku Klux Klan during a hearing on Capitol Hill.
While grilling Ronald Vitiello, President Donald Trump’s nominee to head ICE, Harris asked him whether he believed ICE was responsible for spreading fear and distrust in immigrant communities the same way that the KKK did among African-Americans.
“Are you aware of the perception of many about how the power and the discretion at ICE is being used to enforce the laws and do you see any parallels with the KKK?” she asked.
Specifically, Harris went after a 2015 tweet in which Vitiello said the Democratic Party was comparable to a “liberal-cratic” or “neo-Klanist” organization.
“What is the history that would then make those words wrong?” Harris asked, referring to the KKK.
Vitiello said that the KKK is considered a domestic terror group and that it was racially motivated. When Harris asked if he saw parallels between the KKK and ICE, Vitiello responded: “That puts ICE in the same category as the KKK. Is that what you’re asking me?”
“No, I’m very specific in what I’m asking you,” Harris said. “Are you aware of a perception that the way that they…”
“I see none,” Vitiello responded.
Harris continued: “Are you aware that there is a perception that ICE is administering its power in a way that is causing fear and intimidation, particularly among immigrants and specifically among immigrants coming from Mexico and Central America?”
Harris’s comments immediately sparked backlash. Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said: “Kamala Harris is trying to launch her 2020 campaign off of comparing ICE officers to the KKK, and it’s absolutely disgusting.”
Harris also accused the GOP of politicizing the migrant caravan at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“There’s no question that the issue of the caravans was an issue that was inflated for political purposes, to influence the midterm elections,” she said, according to The Hill.