Ahead of scheduled ICE raids, U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell of South Florida said Donald Trump is using his administration to attack and generate fear in immigrant communities.
Mucarsel-Powell made the comment alongside other members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus during a press conference on Friday.
She said Trump has launched "continued attacks" on immigrant communities since he announced his campaign in 2015.
"Since he's taken office, he has used his administration as a tool to instill fear in our communities," Mucarsel-Powell said.
Mucarsel-Powell – who represents Florida's 26th District that includes parts of southern Miami-Dade County and Monroe County – is originally from Ecuador.
The Trump administration stating it ended the "zero-tolerance" policy at the U.S. border with Mexico is a "farce," she added.
"Families continue to be separated at the border. You can see that if you come and visit the Homestead detention facility," Mucarsel-Powell said. "He is using ICE deportation powers, not to keep us safe, but to keep immigrants in the shadows."
The Homestead detention facility housing migrant children is an example of Trump's anti-immigrant campaign, according to Mucarsel-Powell.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus members, which includes chairman U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro and U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala of South Florida, met ahead of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's scheduled raids in 10 U.S. cities, including in the Miami area, targeting undocumented immigrants.
"If Trump has his way, children will be taken by the government at schools, children may come home and find that their parents are no longer there because they have been taken by ICE," Mucarsel-Powell said. "Those of us who have lived through dictatorships understand what it's like to live under constant fear. We understand what it means to be disappeared."
Castro said the Trump administration's planned raids are an attempt to "intimidate immigrant and Latino communities."
"Everybody should take extra time to know your rights if they are approached by ICE or by federal agents," Castro said.