Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez of Illinois on Thursday issued a statement after he, fellow members of the Hispanic Caucus and other members of Congress were excluded from a meeting with Acting Director Thomas Homan of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the request of Congressman Goodlatte and Speaker Ryan:
In 20-plus years, I have never heard of the Republicans controlling what meetings Democrats can have with officials of the Executive Branch and never had a staffer ask me to leave a meeting to which I am entitled to attend. My constituents have questions about who is being targeted by ICE, which DREAMers with DACA they are targeting for deportation, which victims of domestic violence ICE is deporting, which immigrants at church shelters are being targeted. We know the statements by Trump about targeting criminals is a lie, but we were hoping someone could give us the truth or any information at all.
The new mass deportation executive orders are unprecedented, but so are the lengths to which the Speaker and Chairman Goodlatte are going to control the information being disseminated to Members of Congress. I expect such dictatorial shenanigans from the Trump Administration, but not from competent, compassionate legislators like Speaker Ryan or from legislators like Bob Goodlatte. Do they have ear pieces feeding them orders from President Bannon or the others making decisions in the White House?
Speaker Ryan is not an emperor and does not control who I meet with. My colleagues and I asked for this meeting and we still have not been given details by ICE about who they are deporting, why, and how. We simply have hit a stone wall and now Republicans in the House are cooperating in limiting the information that we can provide to our constituents.