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Jamal Simmons, Vice President Kamala Harris’s new communications director, had to apologize for a tweet he posted in 2010 in which he questioned why the Immigration and Customs Control office (ICE) had not deported two illegal immigrants that he saw on television.
“I just saw 2 illegal immigrants on MSNBC. A law student and a protester. Can someone explain to me why ICE is not arresting them? ”Simmons wrote on November 29, 2010.
After the questions, that same day he said that it was not that he was asking ICE to detain the immigrants, but that it seemed “strange” that this did not happen.
Now Simmons, who was a television commentator and writer, tried to justify his words in a new post on Twitter.
“As a commentator I published and spoke a lot. At times I have been sarcastic, unclear, or just missed the point. I apologize for offending those I care so much about to make America the best, most multi-ethnic, and diverse democracy. I will represent the Biden-Harris Administration with humility, sincerity and respect, ”he stated.
Hours later, faced with the repercussions of the original 2010 tweet, Simmons was again forced to defend his policies with another message on his Twitter account.
“For the record, I have never advocated or believed that Dreamers (young undocumented migrants) should be the target of ICE,” Simmons said. “Frankly, it’s depressing that because of a bad tweet, people can forget everything I’ve said in public about this.”
Erika Andiola, head of Counseling for the RAICES organization in Texas, acknowledged that it was she that Simmons was referring to, but defended him, stating that the official called her to apologize and commit to the immigrant struggle.
“Jamal is committed to being an ally in his role. He acknowledged that the tweet was hurtful in the way it was written and explained that his intention was not to call ICE to detain us, but to understand the legality of how undocumented people were on television without possible legal consequences, ”Andiola said.
Simmons’ appointment is part of a Harris staff restructuring, following months of criticism of the vice president’s work.
Harris has been in charge of developing a plan for Central America, in order to help reduce irregular immigration.
With information from EFE
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.