Nikki Haley Slams Democrats for Silence Over Protesters Removing US Flag at ICE facility

July 15, 2019 Updated: July 15, 2019

Former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley has slammed prominent Democrats for their silence on leftist protesters who pulled down the American flag that hung over an Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility and replaced it with a Mexican flag along with a defaced “Blue Lives Matter” flag.

The protest at the ICE detention center near Denver, Colorado, on July 12 was organized by a collection of local socialist, Marxist, and communist organizations, along with other groups opposed to current U.S. border policy, or even to borders themselves.

“There are no words for why the Democrats are staying silent on this,” Haley wrote on Twitter on July 14. “If this is your way to winning an election, fire your strategist. This is disgusting. Love your country. And if you don’t like what is happening then tell the members of Congress to get to work and fix it.”

Denver is one of 10 cities nationwide where raids by ICE officials targeting criminals were set to to start on July 14.

During what police described as a peaceful protest, a “Blue Lives Matter” flag was also taken down and spray-painted with the words “Abolish ICE,” then raised again upside-down, according to CBSDenver.

Photographs and videos posted to social media show the flags being changed to the sound of applause and cheers as a crowd of hundreds looked on outside the facility in the city of Aurora, which forms part of the Denver metro area.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said on Twitter that all the Democrats in the 2020 presidential race should be asked a simple question: “Do you agree with the ICE protestors taking down the American flag & replacing it with a Mexican flag?”

Presidential hopeful and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper faced that question in an interview over the weekend, reported Fox.

“I remember when people were burning the flag in protest of the Vietnam War,” he said, after indicating personal respect for the flag. “The amazing thing about this country is we’re really one of the few places on Earth where that level of freedom of speech is still protected. “I might not approve of it, but I think that freedom is something that we as Americans should recognize and say, hey, that’s part of our core freedom.”

Pressed as to whether the protesters’ actions were wrong and divisive, he responded: “I think there are better ways to unite us. There’s no question about that.”

The protest, which was dubbed the “March to Close Concentration Camps,” called for the closure of overflowing detention centers at the U.S.-Mexico border that are trying to process unprecedented numbers of asylum claims from migrants trying to get into the country. The protesters were also calling for all those being held to be immediately granted entry to the United States under the strapline, “Let Them All In.”

President Donald Trump confirmed on July 12 that ICE deportations will begin on July 14 and will focus on removing criminals. When asked why he was giving advance warning about them, he said, “There’s nothing to be secret about.”

“ICE is law enforcement. They’re great patriots. They have a tough job. Nothing to be secret about. If the word gets out, it gets out. Because hundreds of people know about it. It’s a major operation,” Trump told reporters before boarding Marine One on July 12.

“It starts on Sunday, and they’re going to take people out and they’re going to bring them back to their countries. Or they’re going to take criminals out, put them in prison, or put in them in prison in the countries they came from. We’re focused on criminals as much as we can before we do anything else.”

The operation, which will target at least 2,000 illegal immigrants, will affect 10 major cities across the nation, unnamed current and former homeland security officials told The New York Times on July 11.

The plan to enforce the law on illegal immigrants with final orders of removal, including families whose immigration cases had been fast-tracked by a judge, was announced by Trump in late June.

Follow Simon on Twitter: @SPVeazey
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