Vice President Kamala Harris‘ new communications director is apologizing after tweets on “undocumented folks” resurfaced last week.
Three tweets Jamal Simmons wrote in late 2010 have received new attention since Harris tapped the Morehouse and Harvard graduate as her communications director.
According to CNN, Simmons tweeted “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?”
Several minutes later Simmons responded to a user that he was “not mixing anything or suggesting ICE should pick them up. Just seems odd u can go on TV & admit breaking law & not be arrested.”
Simmons attempted to clarify his point in a third tweet saying, “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.”
In a statement obtained by CNN, Simmons offered an apology.
“As a pundit for much of my career I have tweeted a lot and spoken out on public issues. Sometimes I have been sarcastic, unclear, or just plainly missed the mark. I sincerely apologize for offending those who care as much as I do about making America the best, multi-ethnic, diverse democracy it can be. I know the role I am taking on is to represent the Biden-Harris administration, and I will do so with humility, sincerity and respect,” Simmons wrote.
In a tweet published last Friday, Simmons wrote “For the record, I’ve never advocated for, nor believed that Dreamers should be targeted by ICE agents. I’ve been for DACA + comprehensive immigration reform for years. Frankly, it’s depressing ppl can forget about every other thing I’ve said in public on this bc of bad tweets.”
For the record, I’ve never advocated for, nor believed that Dreamers should be targeted by ICE agents. I’ve been for DACA + comprehensive immigration reform for years. Frankly, it’s depressing ppl can forget about every other thing I’ve said in public on this bc of bad tweets.
— Jamal Simmons (@JamalSimmons) January 7, 2022
Harris has taken heat from both sides of the political spectrum since President Joe Biden put her in charge of slowing Immigration from the southern border. Democrats and progressives say the Biden administration hasn’t done enough to reverse former President Donald Trump‘s anti-immigration policies. Meanwhile, Republicans continue to point the finger at the Biden administration for the scores of people still walking hundreds of miles to the southern border.
Harris tapped Simmons to replace Ashley Etienne, who announced she was leaving her post last month. Simmons has worked in politics for more than two decades and previously assisted on Bill Clinton and Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns.