The claim that an overwhelming majority of immigrants targeted in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids last week were convicted criminals is correct and backed by hard numbers, despite skepticism from House Democrats.
The raids stretched from California to New York, where more than 680 unauthorized immigrants “who pose a threat to public safety, border security or the integrity of our nation’s immigration system” were apprehended for deportation and jail, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in a statement.
Kelly added that of the nearly 700 immigrants arrested, “approximately 75 percent were criminal aliens, convicted of crimes including, but not limited to, homicide, aggravated sexual abuse, sexual assault of a minor, lewd and lascivious acts with a child, indecent liberties with a minor, drug trafficking, battery, assault, DUI and weapons charges.”
But Democrats were not initially convinced of Kelly's claim. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters Thursday that there is a cloud of doubt around the 75 percent figure, on which ICE should further elaborate:
“I haven’t seen any statistics that support that claim. I have a great deal of respect for [Secretary Kelly], but by observation that is hard to support.”
After Democrats levied concerns, ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan gave a handful of House members, which included Republicans, a briefing Thursday to discuss the recent raids.
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