Thursday, 11 July 2019

ICE to raid undocumented migrant families across US starting Sunday

US immigration officials have said immigration raids targeting thousands of undocumented families will take place in major cities across the United States starting on Sunday.

New York Times reports that the raids, which will be conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, over multiple days, will include “collateral” deportations.

 In those deportations, the authorities might detain immigrants who happened to be on the scene, even though they were not targets of the raids.



When possible, family members who are arrested together will be held in family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania. But because of space limitations, some might end up staying in hotel rooms until their travel documents can be prepared. ICE’s goal is to deport the families as quickly as possible.

The report said ICE agents were targeting at least 2,000 immigrants who have been ordered deported — some as a result of their failure to appear in court — but who remain in the US illegally. The operation is expected to take place in at least 10 major cities.

The families being targeted crossed the border recently: The Trump administration expedited their immigration proceedings last fall. In February, many of those immigrants were given notice to report to an ICE office and leave the United States, the homeland security officials said.

The threat of deportation has rattled immigrant communities across the country. The Trump administration’s goal is to use the operation as a show of force to deter families from approaching the southwestern border, the officials said.

The agents have also noted that the operation might have limited success because word has already spread among immigrant communities about how to avoid arrest — namely, by refusing to open the door when an agent approaches one’s home. ICE agents are not legally allowed to forcibly enter a home.

Such coordinated raids have occurred under previous administrations.

Despite Trump administration’s aggressive anti-immigration policies, the level of deportations is still far less compared to under Barack Obama. In the last year, Ice removed 250,000 undocumented migrants, compared with 410,000 removed in 2012 under Obama.

Trump, however, has done away with deportation priorities Obama put in place in his second term, and used anti-migrant rhetoric, which has created fear and instability in migrant communities.




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