A nationwide roundup of illegal immigrants could begin within days, according to a published report.
The action by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent will target about 2,000 immigrants who have already been ordered deported, The New York Times reported.
The Times said some immigrants scheduled to be deported failed to attend court hearings that are part of the process by which individuals who enter the country illegally can attempt to legally fight deportation.
At least 10 of what it called “major cities” will be targeted in the roundup. The report was based on information from what The Times said were “two current and one former homeland security officials.”
The Times indicated that the total number of immigrants deported could swell because the raids would detain not only those targeted but also any illegal immigrants on the scene when ICE agents arrest the individuals they are seeking.
Family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania are being prepared to house those arrested in actions that could begin Sunday, The Times reported. It said deportations will take place as quickly as possible.
Matthew Bourke, an ICE spokesman, said in a statement on Wednesday that ICE would not comment on any details of any operations.
Advocates for illegal immigrants used The Times story as a chance to warn those who could be targeted to flee on ways to resist ICE.
ICE will launch raids across 10 major cities this SUNDAY.
Check your neighbors & know your rights.
Remember: no one can enter your home without a *judicial warrant.*
Sometimes ICE will try to show other papers to get in your house. Judicial warrants are from a court. /1 https://t.co/g2yktrX3Bw
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 11, 2019
In June, President Donald Trump had tweeted that massive ICE raids would begin soon, but later said they had been delayed in an attempt to work out immigration policy with Congressional Democrats.
At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border. If not, Deportations start!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2019
On Wednesday, acting Citizenship and Immigration Services director Ken Cuccinelli said the raids were “absolutely going to happen,” CNN reported.
“There’s approximately a million people in this country with removal orders. And of course that isn’t what ICE will go after in this, but that’s the pool of people who have been all the way through the due process chain,” he said.
Trump said last Friday that the arrests of illegal immigrants would take place soon.
“Well, I don’t call them “raids.” I say they came in illegally, and we’re bringing them out legally,” Trump said, according to a White House media pool report.
“These are people where we have the papers, we’ve gone through the court system. They’ll be starting fairly soon,” he said.
“But I don’t call them ‘raids,’” Trump said. “We’re removing people that have come in — all of these people over the years that have come in illegally — we are removing them and bringing them back to their country.”
Acting Customs and Border Protection commissioner Mark Morgan also disputed the term “raid,” CBS News reported.
“If you are a mother with a kid, is that mother going to be handcuffed? No, she doesn’t need to be handcuffed,” Morgan said.
“But if you are a criminal alien and you’ve been convicted of murder, sexual assault, and et cetera, are you going to handcuffed? You bet ya, you are going to be handcuffed.”
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