Hispanic Caucus lawmaker snubs meeting with Harris aide who tweeted on deporting illegal migrants

"The deep concern to me is this may show his true disposition when it comes to immigration," the congressman said.

Updated: January 17, 2022 - 4:51pm

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Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.), a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), declined a meeting with Hispanic Democrat lawmakers and Vice President Kamala Harris's communications director Jamal Simmons in protest of the new staffer's more than decade-old tweets.

The virtual meeting is scheduled for Thursday with the goal of mending relations between the CHC and the VP's communications director. A series of Simmon's tweets from 2010 about illegal immigrants recently resurfaced, angering many Hispanic Democrats.

Correa told The Hill: "The deep concern to me is this may show his true disposition when it comes to immigration. That's what my concern is. A meeting is not going to change my mind or give me peace of mind one way or the other."

Simmons tweeted on Nov. 29, 2010: "Just saw 2 undocumented folks talking on MSNBC. One Law student the other a protester. Can someone explain why ICE is not picking them up?"

He then followed up ten minutes later. "I'll try this again: Just saw 2 undocumented folks talking on MSNBC and have serious legal question. Why wouldn't ICE pick them up?" Simmons tweeted.

Less than an hour after the first tweet, Simmons posted: "We shld harden borders & ease visas/find ways to bring undocumented into legal status/punish employers. My? was common sense one."

Simmons apologized over Twitter earlier this month. "As a pundit I tweeted+spoke A LOT. At times I've been sarcastic, unclear or plainly missed the mark. I apologize for offending ppl who care as much as I do about making America the best, multiethnic, diverse democracy+I'll rep the Biden-Harris admin w/humility, sincerity+respect," he wrote.

Simmons has reportedly had conversations with members of the CHC in which he said that he was attempting to convey the jeopardy illegal immigrant activists were putting themselves in by being so public about their status.

Correa said he is still unsure about Simmons' views. "​​Everybody changes. I think Mr. Simmons, like I, we all change our predisposition, our perspective on issues and you know what, I think actions speak louder than words," the congressman said.