The White House's virulent defense against Sen. Jeff Merkley's attempt to visit immigrant kids separated from their families included blaming two violent crimes in the Democrat's home state of Oregon on his "reckless" border policies.
Merkley was blocked from visiting a detention center in Texas on Sunday, had the cops called on him to get him to leave, and then suffered the wrath of the White House on Monday.
"Sen. Merkley is irresponsibly spreading blatant lies about routine immigration enforcement while smearing hard-working, dedicated law enforcement officials at ICE and CBP," a statement from deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley read.
"No one is taking a public safety lecture from Sen. Merkley, whose own policies endanger children, empower human smugglers and drug cartels, and allow violent criminal aliens to flood into American communities," read the statement.
To wit, according to the White House:
"The victims of Sen. Merkley's reckless open borders policies include his own constituents: a 65-year-old Oregon woman who was sexually assaulted by an illegal alien that had been previously deported 20 times prior, and a young Oregon girl who was allegedly raped several times by a twice-deported illegal alien," read the statement, intended only to be background — not attributed to the White House — but was reported by CNS News.
The Washington Post reports that the first reference is to Sergio Jose Martinez, arrested last July, and the second offender is Anastacio Eugenio Lopez-Fabian, arrested this year.
"As is their custom, the White House is trying to change the subject by smearing Senator Merkley," Merkley's communications director, Ray Zaccaro, told the Post in a statement.
Zaccaro said Merkley and his staff "saw children in cages (Sunday) at the DHS processing center. We still have no idea what's happening in the detention center where reportedly up to a thousand children are being held, since they refused the senator's request to go inside."
Oregon was home to roughly 130,000 illegal immigrants in 2014.
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