Sen. Kamala Harris said immigrants perceive Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) like the Ku Klux Klan during a Senate hearing in 2018, video shows.
The California Democrat questioned then-Director of ICE nominee Ronald Vitello about his previous statement that the Democratic Party was “neo-Klanist” before asking Vitello if he saw any parallels between ICE and the KKK.
“Are you aware of the perception of many about what, how the power and the discretion at ICE is being used to enforce the laws. Do you see any parallels?” Harris asked.
Vitello said, “I do not see a parallel between what is constitutionally mandated as it relates to enforcing the law … I see no perception that puts ICE in the same category as the KKK. Is that what you’re asking me?”
Harris responded that she was “very specific” about her question and wanted to know if Vitello was aware of a perception among Mexican and Central American immigrants that ICE causes “fear and intimidation.”
“There is a lot of perceptions in the media and in the public that are incorrect about the agency,” Vitello said.
Vitello said his past remarks about the Democratic Party were wrong and that the KKK would be labeled as a domestic terrorist group today “because they tried to use fear and force to change [the] political environment.”
Harris, who presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden announced as his running mate Tuesday, did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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