In response to the expected Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation raids, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said the administration is using the warnings as a distraction from real issues.
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“He wants us to be talking about this today and he uses these people as political pawns,” Klobuchar told Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl on ABC’s “This Week.”
“He wants chaos and to distract people,” she added later.
Her remarks came after an interview on “This Week” Sunday with acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli.
In the interview, Cuccinelli declined to get specific on when the expected immigration raids would start, and said that “it shows how far we’ve fallen that it’s even news that ICE is doing its job.”
The issue of how to treat unauthorized border crossings has been a hot topic between 2020 democrats since the first debate. Some candidates support decriminalizing them; while others think that’s going too far.
“I support different enforcement policies,” Klobuchar said. “But I don’t support open borders.”
Klobuchar has run her campaign with pragmatism as the centerpiece of her moderately liberal policy positions. She reminds voters at each stop that she’s from the Midwest, is the first woman to represent her state in the U.S. Senate and knows how to work with Republicans.
In 2018, she won her election over the GOP nominee by 24 points, compared to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who won by less than two in Minnesota in the 2016 presidential election.
She has focused on issues with broad bipartisan support, such as mental health and lowering prescription drug prices. She often describes the ideas of her colleagues further to left as aspirational, but she said she’s not an obstacle to liberal policy-making. For example, she’s a co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, while acknowledging it would need an overhaul before passing it.
Her latest proposal focuses on helping seniors facing high health care costs and weakening retirement resources. She is focusing on expanding resources for care givers, funding greater research on chronic conditions, expanding health care and overhauling Social Security. She has said that she’ll pay for it by closing trust fund loopholes that allow the wealthy to avoid paying taxes on inherited wealth.
This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.