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Senate Dems introduce legislation to roll back Trump's immigration actions

By
Andrew V. Pestano
Immigration supporters protest the President Donald Trump's recent travel ban and actions related to illegal immigration outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Senate Democrats on Thursday introduced legislation seeking to roll back Trump's actions related to deportation and so-called sanctuary cities. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
Immigration supporters protest the President Donald Trump's recent travel ban and actions related to illegal immigration outside the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Senate Democrats on Thursday introduced legislation seeking to roll back Trump's actions related to deportation and so-called "sanctuary cities." Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 16 (UPI) -- Democrats in the Senate on Thursday introduced legislation to rescind President Donald Trump's executive order prioritizing deportation of "criminal" undocumented immigrants.

Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hironio introduced the legislation. The Senators said the bill is designed to keep immigrant families together and they urged Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

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During a press conference, Cortez Masto said Trump's administration has created an "unprecedented deportation machine" following high-profile immigration raids.

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The Democratic-led legislation would also roll back Trump's order targeting so-called "sanctuary cities"-- cities that do not deport undocumented immigrants despite federal law. Trump threatened such cities would lose federal funding.

"The president's executive order sends a clear message to our immigrant families: You are a target for deportation," Cortez Masto said.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Friday defended the actions of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers following reports of immigration raids.

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"The people who ICE apprehended are people who are here illegally -- and then some," Kelly said.

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