The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly preparing for immigration raids in early 2016 to deport hundreds of families fleeing violence in Central America.
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, who has made immigration a central issue in his campaign, took credit for the idea the day after The Washington Post broke the news.
“Wow, because of the pressure put on by me, ICE TO LAUNCH LARGE SCALE DEPORTATION RAIDS. It's about time!,” Trump tweeted on Dec. 24, referring to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The next day, Trump tweeted: “Does everyone see that the Democrats and President Obama are now, because of me, starting to deport people who are here illegally. Politics!”
Though Trump has no official say in immigration policy or enforcement, immigrant-rights group America’s Voice believes his rhetoric was a factor.
“The plan raises the ugly specter of the very mass roundups and deportation advocated by several candidates running for the GOP presidential nomination -- most notably Donald Trump,” the group said in a statement, according to The Washington Times.