Harris aide meets Dem Hispanic caucus, expresses 'deep regret' over tweet on illegal immigrants

Amid growing frustrations, another Harris staffer heads for the exit

Correspondent Mike Emanuel reacts to the number of staffers who have exited the vice president’s office on ‘Special Report.’

Vice President Kamala Harris’ new communications director asked on Twitter in 2010 why illegal immigrants he saw on TV were not being deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This week, over a decade later, he again repented for asking that question, this time before top congressional Democrats.

Jamal Simmons, who became the vice president’s communications chief earlier this month, met with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Thursday over the controversy stemming from the reemergence of a tweet in which he said he “just saw 2 undocumented folks talking on MSNBC. One Law student the other a protester.”

“Can someone explain why ICE is not picking them up?” he asked. He subsequently clarified that he was not suggesting ICE arrest them.”Just seems off u can go on TV & admit breaking law & not be arrested.”

“Members expressed their concerns and willingness to move forward,” the official said. “Jamal is grateful for their generosity.”

Axios reported that Simmons was “upbraided” for the remarks, with Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., telling Simmons the tweets were hurtful to some Hispanics, and Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., reportedly claiming that illegal immigrant families live in fear of being deported.

One lawmaker, Rep. Lou Correa, D-Calif., had said before the meeting, however, that he would not attend.

“The deep concern to me is this may show his true disposition when it comes to immigration. That’s what my concern is. A meeting is not going to change my mind or give me peace of mind one way or the other,” Correa told The Hill.

The controversy represents the latest sign of how the Democratic Party has moved increasingly to the left on the question of illegal immigration with even the suggestion of deportation being anathema to some. Last year, Democrats sought to pass a sweeping bill to grant amnesty and an eight-year pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants, but they failed to pick up Republican support for the measure.


Later in the year, Democrats sought to include amnesty provisions in the budget reconciliation bill, which could avoid a filibuster and therefore would not need Republican support. 

However, the Senate parliamentarian shot down a number of proposals, and ultimately Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he would not support the legislation. Some Democrats have since indicated they wish to push on for similar measures in 2022.

Fox News’ Pat Ward contributed to this report.

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