Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), considered a rising star in the Democratic Party, left Americans stunned on Thursday when she compared ICE agents to the Ku Klux Klan during a Senate hearing.
Harris was questioning Ronald Vitiello, a nominee for assistant Homeland Security Secretary for ICE, when she drew out the ridiculous comparison.
However, Vitiello was having none of it.
“I do not see a parallel between what is constitutional mandated as it relates to enforcing the law [and the KKK],” Vitiello said.
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Not satisfied, Harris asked, “Are you aware that there is a perception?”
“I see no perception that puts ICE in the same category as the KKK,” Vitiello shot back. “Is that what you’re asking me?”
But Harris continued her line of questioning, sticking to the word “perception” to compare ICE to the racist group.
“Are you aware of a perception that the way that the discretion—“ Harris began.
“I see none,” the nominee interjected.
“I’m not finished,” Harris shot back. “Are you aware that there is a perception that ICE is administering its power in a way that is causing fear and intimidation, particularly among immigrants, and specifically among immigrants coming from Mexico and Central America?”
Once again, Vitiello refused to take the bait.
“I do not see a parallel between the power and the authority that ICE has to do its job and the agents and officers who do it professionally and excellently with lots of compassion,” he said.