(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), now among the leading contenders for the Democrat presidential nomination, says President Trump's immigration raids are "a crime against humanity."
She made the comment Thursday night during an interview with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.
Harris argued that President Trump is ordering the immigration raids to distract from his presidential failures:
So the guy has now got to start distracting people from the fact that he made all these promises that I believe he had no intention of fulfilling. And he has failed to perform on every level by which we should measure a president of the United States. Not to mention failed as a commander in chief.
And so he's going to create, as he often does, this distraction....and do these raids, which is a crime against humanity, I believe, in the way he is coming about this and the way he has been handling the issue, when you have babies in cages...
Harris said Trump believes "we are not a nation that should embrace immigrants."
Trump repeatedly has said he has no problem with immigration if it's done legally.
The immigration raids planned for this weekend in ten major cities are aimed at people who are here illegally and have deportation orders against them.
In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced this week that she will "never tolerate I.C.E. tearing our families apart."
Lightfoot said the threat of raids has forced illegal immigrants to hide in fear. She said the Chicago Police Department "will not cooperate with I.C.E." in detaining residents, nor will I.C.E. have access to any Chicago Police databases.
Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has advised illegal immigrants that they do not have to open their doors to immigration authorities with lawful deportation orders.
Harris said she supports efforts to shield illegal immigrants from deportation.
"I assumed that what Mayor Lightfoot is doing in Chicago similar to what Mayor Breed will do in San Francisco, what Mayor Garcetti will do in Los Angeles, which is say we don't want the limited resources of local law enforcement to go into the job that the federal government has got to do, and we want our local law enforcement to be trusted by our community and not be feared by our community," Harris said.
"Because again, as a prosecutor, as a former prosecutor, but I saw it as a prosecutor, I don't want a victim of crime to be afraid to wave down that patrol car when she has been hurt for fear that if she stops that police officer she is going to be deported.
"Because I'm going to tell you something. If she is a mother, if he is a father, they will endure any kind of abuse they have personally experienced to make sure they can go home at night and take care of their babies. Which means they will not report bad things that have happened to them and therefore to their community, meaning our community. Because, by the way, a crime against any one of us is a crime against all of us," Harris continued.
"And so I applaud that mayor saying we're not going to put local resources into that. And when we put local resources into something like that, like we have done in the past, we're going to go prosecute transnational criminal organizations. What are you doing picking up people who by I.C.E.'s own definition have not committed a crime? It's a misuse of resources."