Immigration advocates are not fans of Joe Biden’s decision to add former Obama administration official Cecilia Muñoz to his transition team, The Hill reports.
Muñoz served as head of Obama’s White House Domestic Policy Council and worked on that administration’s immigration policy. The Biden campaign added her and seven other advisers to its transition team on Friday.
Her addition to the team was blasted by several immigration reform advocates.
“Huge mistake. Huge. Huge mistake. Worst part? We have no other option. I guess we gotta pick our opponent. That’s what it has come down to,” Erika Andiola, an immigrant rights activist and advocacy director for The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services wrote on Twitter.
Former DNC spokesman Pablo Manríquez said if Biden is elected, “no one from the Obama administration should be allowed to touch the immigration policy portfolio.”
“Cecilia Muñoz is the one person besides [Trump White House aide] Steven Miller who has spent years of her public service dedicated to the smooth execution of mass deportation policy at the West Wing level,” he said.
According to The Hill, immigration advocates argue that Muñoz did not advocate enough for immigration rights during internal discussions in the Obama White House. Rather, they said she would defend policies, which resulted in the deportation of over 2 million people.
“She was the person in the White House who shielded Obama from all the flak,” said Amy Maldonado, an immigration lawyer. “The whole reason she was in that room was to give a perspective they weren’t hearing, and instead she covered for them.”
But Maldonado, who has minors in detention centers as clients, told The Hill she would still back Biden over Trump even if Obama’s immigration policies were put back in place.
“Between Trump and Biden there is no choice. Children literally die in detention under this administration,” she said.
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