U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro addresses the crowd in Lupe, Texas.
U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro addresses the crowd in San Juan, Texas.

Washington – Rep. Rosa DeLauro traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border Monday to slam President Trump on plans to crack down on undocumented immigrants — measures he is expected to move forward on this week through the signing of new executive orders.

DeLauro, D-3rd District, told a gathering at San Juan, Texas, that she and other Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee are committed to pressing for legal aid for immigrants who face deportation or other punishment from new Trump administration policies.

“The most vulnerable will have access to high quality representation in our justice system, ” DeLauro told a room of filled with immigrant advocates and local residents, some of whom identified themselves as undocumented.

DeLauro said “given the Trump administration’s disturbing action on immigration, this trip could not be more timely.”

“A policy that separates families is an inhumane policy,” DeLauro said.

Immigration advocates are concerned about two draft memos signed Friday by Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly that would prosecute the parents of children who enter unaccompanied into this nation, a response to an influx of children from Central American countries that peaked in 2014. Relatives said the children were sent to the United States to shield them from violence back home.

The directive would also make it more difficult to seek asylum in the United States, allowing broader detention of undocumented immigrants and giving more authority to immigration officers.

They would speed up deportation hearings, expanding the use of  “expedited removal” proceedings for unauthorized immigrants, allowing them to be deported more quickly with limited court proceedings.

The memos also press for the hiring of 10,000 new border partrol agents and building President Donald Trump’s promised wall along the U.S. Mexico border – two initiatives that need Congress’ approval and funding.

“The executive orders are not just anti-immigrant, they are anti-American,” DeLauro said.

Reps. Filemon Vela, D-Texas, hosted the event, which was attended by Reps,  Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif. and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro.

The audience at the San Juan, Texas, roundtable discussion.

Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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