The severe changes brought on by president Trump's directives on immigration has prompted lawmakers to question the policy put into place. To vocalize their concerns about current deportation efforts, members of Congress called for a meeting with director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Thomas Homan.

The meeting set up by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) was originally scheduled for Tuesday, February 14, but ICE cancelled it on account of the CHC "expanding the number of attendees."

Instead, ICE officials opted for a bipartisan briefing on Thursday, February 16, but some representatives were not allowed in, and others were kicked out.

Although Congress members who were not allowed in the meeting were taken aback, what was more shocking was what the people inside of the closed-door meeting heard.

The chair of the CHC, Lujan Grisham, noted that Homan explained to the group that the agency had understood The White House's instructions as authorization for ICE to target and remove every single one of the 11 million undocumented immigrants at any given time.

Homan addressed the recent broadening of the deportation criteria and increase of priority of undocumented immigrants.

thomas homan ICE director
photo: Reuters

Grisham said, "[Homan] confirmed that, given the shift, given the discretion allowed in the executive order... it could include everyone. They didn't say they were going to do it. He said they could do it — everyone's at risk." 

"I was alarmed and deeply troubled by his explanation of how the president’s executive orders would impact the immigrant community."

California congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard released an official statement regarding the meeting with Homan:

"In effect, every undocumented person in America is now vulnerable to arrest and removal as a result of the president’s orders. These orders are creating fear and terror in our immigrant communities, and that is completely unacceptable," she wrote.

"It was hard to not leave that meeting and believe that the Trump administration is going to target as many immigrants as possible."

Texas congressman, Joaquín Castro, was in disbelief after the meeting came to a close. "The only hesitation they seemed to have was whether they would go after DACA recipients," he said