May 15, 2016
Surge In Deportations Heats Up U.S. Presidential Campaign

The surge in deportations of Central American immigrants is heading for a confrontation in the United States. The drive to deport mostly Central American women and children triggered protests from immigration activists and criticism from some Democrats, including presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton.

Reportedly, the U.S. immigration officials under Obama's watch are planning a series of raids in May and June to deport illegal Central American immigrants.

The surge in deportations first reported by Reuters, marks the first series of mass deportations since the Obama administration carried out a related two-day deportation drive in January. The drive in January strikes a departure for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), from sporadic deportations to high-profile raids aimed to deter migrants from entering the United States.

According to Reuters, "The operation would likely be the largest deportation sweep targeting immigrant families by the Obama administration this year after a similar drive over two days in January that focused on Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina."

Reportedly, immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally after Jan. 1, 2014 are targeted for removal and they mostly include women and children fleeing violence in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. They are feeling deadly gang-related violence, especially in El Salvador and Honduras, where criminal establishments control city ghettos and are spreading their reach into rural areas.

Democratic presidential aspirant, Bernie Sanders, raised his objection against surge in deportations under Obama's watch with a new petition. The Hill mentioned an email from Sanders reading "Sending women and children back into harm's way after they already fled horrendous violence in Central America is painful and inhumane, and must be stopped."

Reuters mentioned that Obama has prioritized the deportation of criminal immigrants and others who have recently entered the United States. Reportedly, he continually faces criticism from Republicans over the issue of more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the country.

Hispanic-Americans tend to vote for Democrats who are empathetic to the humanitarian challenge that the Central Americans face. The surge in deportations could further stain President Obama's mixed legacy on immigration and intensify the presidential campaign.

As mentioned by The Washington Post, immigrant advocacy groups warned that the surge in deportation drives "could send panic through Latino communities, unfairly target victims of violence and poverty, and turn Latino voters against likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton."

Hillary Clinton has raised her objection to the surge in deportation raids that hurt families. According to the New York Times, Hillary sought full opportunity to seek relief for the families from Central America.

Surge in Deportation Heats Presidential Campaign
U.S. deports illegal Mexican immigrants [Photo by Damian Dovarganes / AP Images]Following a wave of rhetoric by many of the leading Republican candidates for president, the issue of immigration to the US has become increasingly sensitive emotive issue. Meanwhile the likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has sworn to build an impenetrable wall along the Mexican border to make it harder for Central Americans to enter the United States illegally.

While Donald Trump and Barack Obama have profoundly different immigration policies, but the recent surge in deportations could suggest that the Democrats are ambivalent and are trending toward the policies of Republicans.

According to the Atlantic City Lab, the surge in deportations highlights "Obama's double-talk on immigration and the administration's system for protecting asylum-seekers and other immigrants has major flaws, ones that have led to deaths following deportations."

Seemingly, reports suggest that for all the hullabaloo from Republicans on the immigration issue, it is Obama administration that plans to deport more immigrants than any previous political party. The surge in deportations has put the Democrats in a difficult spot in a presidential election year they want to see a fellow Democrat elected as Obama's successor.

[Photo by Ross D. Franklin/AP Images]