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Latino Lawmakers With Border Districts Demand More Info from CBP

Twenty of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus' 30 members have districts in border states but say they lack detail Trump's border enforcement.
Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham
Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M., speaks as members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus hold a news conference to speak out against the House Republican budget and its impact on the Latino community on Tuesday, March 24, 2015.Bill Clark / CQ-Roll Call,Inc.

Latino members of Congress whose districts include people and communities living on the U.S.-Mexico border say they need a lot more information from the Department of Homeland Security about how it is enforcing President Donald Trump's new immigration policies.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus said in a statement that Trump's executive orders on immigration enforcement have led to "significant and troubling changes at the U.S.-Mexico border, in border communities and at ports of entry, specifically airports." They have asked for a meeting with Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan.

NBC News reached out to DHS and CBP about the meeting request but did not receive a response.

A spokesman for the caucus said the concern stems from such incidents as CBP officers requiring passengers on a February domestic Delta flight to show their identification documents before they could disembark.

The agency has said the officers were looking for a specific person they believed was on the plane who had been ordered removed by an immigration judge. Officers determined the person was not on the flight that had originated in San Francisco.

The CHC also noted reports that border officials are turning away people seeking asylum and keeping them from pleading their requests to seek asylum in the U.S. with asylum officers. Other issues include the construction of a border wall and other enforcement measures Trump's orders call for.

DHS issued a pair of memos Feb. 20 that act as guidance to CBP, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and other agencies on how to implement Trump's executive orders.

"We find the guidance to be dangerous and troubling," the CHC said in its letter.

Of the 30 CHC members, 20 are represent districts in states along the southern border.

"It is critical that our members receive information on any changes CBP has undertaken or will be conducting in the near future because of the immigration and border wall executive orders and as a result of the recent DHS implementation guidance," the CHC said.

The caucus has been running into obstacles as it has sought meetings with ICE and DHS. An initial meeting with ICE Director Thomas Homan but it was abruptly canceled when ICE insisted it wanted the meeting to be bipartisan. The meeting was rescheduled to include Republicans but some CHC members were ejected from the meeting or refused entry.

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