The White House is working frantically to quell political outrage among immigration rights advocates and Latino leaders who say they feel betrayed by deportation raids launched by the administration, mostly against women and children from Central America, the Washington Post reports. While the raids continue, White House aides announced an expanded State Department partnership with the United Nations to resettle Central American refugees in the U.S. and elsewhere, and Vice President Biden traveled to the region last week to meet with the presidents of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
“The goal of this effort is to provide a safe and legal alternative to the dangerous journey many are currently taking in the hands of human smugglers,” said White House spokesman Peter Boogaard. “Expanding resettlement opportunities is a key part of our broader response to the situation” in the three nations. The administration's decision to launch the raids has reopened old wounds between the White House and many Latino communities, and it has compromised the president's efforts to create an election-year contrast with Republicans on immigration. U.S. officials said the raids are aimed at sending a strong message of deterrence to Central American families and avoiding a repeat of the 2014 border crisis, when an influx of tens of thousands of migrants from the region overwhelmed patrol stations on the Mexican border.