MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry on Saturday likened the Obama administration’s deportation of illegal immigrants to “a fugitive slave law” during a discussion about Flint, Michigan’s illegal immigrant community being reluctant to accept clean water aid out of fear of being deported.
“This does feel to me like potentially a black/brown coalition moment,” Harris-Perry said, “because I don’t want the Obama administration’s final year to be marred by a fugitive slave law around the question of this deportation that leads in the context of Flint to actual children being actually poisoned by lead because their parents are too afraid to open the door for clean water.” (RELATED: MSNBC’s Harris-Perry: Confiscate Legal Guns So Men Don’t Shoot Their Wives [VIDEO])
Earlier in the program Harris-Perry blamed Sec. of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and the Obama administration for “deportation sweeps” that have caused Flint’s illegal immigrant community to not accept aid, causing their children to be poisoned. (RELATED: MSNBC Host: When Republicans Say The Phrase ‘Hard Worker’ They’re Being Racist [VIDEO])
“I don’t want to let Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and his deportation sweeps at the behest of the Obama administration, that have struck fear in so many communities off the hook here,” she explained. “Because it is part of my understanding about why at least some groups of children are continuing to be poisoned in that community, because they are too afraid to, in fact, accept the help.”
Panel guest Maria Hinojosa of NPR’s “Latino USA” also compared Flint’s illegal immigrant community to the Underground Railroad.
“Right now, of course, there is this misrepresentation of who is at the door, presenting themselves as police when they’re immigration agents,” Hinojosa said. “When we think about living in the United States of America with this kind of fear, we’re talking about an underground community.”
“I was thinking about my notes, and I was writing — you know, underground. This is what an underground community — and I was like ‘Underground Railroad.’ We have to understand that there is an underground now in this moment in history that is before our eyes.”
Jamilah Lemieux, editor of Ebony Digital, said she’s especially afraid of what would happen if a Republican becomes president. (RELATED: MSNBC Guest: What If Cosby Supported Black Lives Matter?)
“You know what is one of the most terrifying things about this moment for me is the possibility that a Republican could become the next president and that this precedent has been set by a Democrat, that we can come into your house at 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning while you’re asleep, take you and your family away,” she said. “So if a Democrat is doing that, what happens next when we have candidates that have said, ‘I’m not letting Muslims in, and I have no problem putting all of you brown people out.’ That’s terrifying.”