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|September 17, 2019|
Thousands to be targeted in immigration raids set for Sunday
WASHINGTON--Nationwide immigration raids that were postponed three weeks ago are now scheduled to begin Sunday, two senior Department of Homeland Security officials told NBC News.
The mass raids, to be conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, are set to target roughly 2,000 families in major cities across the United States, the same 10 cities that were revealed under the previous plans, the officials said. The previously named cities were: Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York and San Francisco, but a source said that two of those cities may change.
The new timeline of the operation was first reported by The New York Times.
President Donald Trump tweeted last month that ICE would soon deport "millions" of undocumented immigrants living in the country. He then announced that the operation would be delayed "at the request of the Democrats."
Trump claimed on Twitter that he approved the delay so that Democrats and Republicans in Congress could work out a compromise on immigration policy, a deal that has so far eluded the president and his allies. Trump said the deal would have to solve “the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border.” Officials said the delay was due in part because details of the plan had leaked to the media.
'Know your rights': Immigration advocates, attorneys ramp up efforts ahead of planned mass ICE raids
Immigration advocates and lawyers have ramped up efforts to combat widespread raids threatened by the Trump administration by sharing information with immigrant communities about their rights.
Many advocacy groups and some Democratic lawmakers have responded by sharing information, both in person and on social media, to immigrants in multiple languages, informing them of their rights and what to expect should the raids be carried about.
“People should understand that they have rights regardless of their immigration status,” Lee Gelernt, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, said.
The material includes videos and social media toolkits covering what to do if an ICE agent shows up at their homes.
“They do not need do let an ICE agent into their home unless there’s a judicial warrant and rarely does ICE have a judicial warrant,” Gelernt said, adding that ICE usually has its own administrative warrants.
“We’re very concerned about how the raids will be carried out,” he said, adding the ACLU was talking to other groups and private law firms about monitoring the raids “to make sure excessive force is not being used or they’re not being conducted unconstitutionally. Families could be separated.”
“The Trump administration’s threats against immigrants run roughshod over basic fairness and due process,” Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said in the statement. “For the many families who came here as refugees fleeing violence, deportation is a death threat. We will fight to ensure no one faces this kind of peril without having their case considered in court.”
New York City Mayor and 2020 Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio said on MSNBC Thursday that he wanted “to get the truth out to people” regarding the potential raids. He said New Yorkers could call 311 to find out information about their rights.
“We tell people their rights, we protect them,” he said, adding that the city also provides legal assistance to families who may be impacted by the raids.
“First it starts with trying to take away the fear and say we have your back, we’re going to give you real information,” he said. “Don’t believe the rumors, call a specific hotline, find out what’s really going on.”
Melissa Chua, associate director of immigrant protection at the New York Legal Assistance Group, said the group was handing out informational flyers and will be targeting families with outstanding orders of removal, which will reportedly be targeted in the raids.
“We’re reaching out to any families in the area that we know may be at risk,” she said.
Domingo Garcia, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, which is hosting a town hall with Democratic presidential candidates in Milwaukee said Thursday the 90-year-old Latino civil rights group will have legal teams in place in various locations to help people who may be arrested in the raids.
Meanwhile, other groups shared resources for lawyers looking to help immigrants who might be affected by the raids and lists of local raid response hotlines for the cities that may be targeted.
Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said on Fox Business News Thursday “the men and women of ICE are committed to doing their job” and that it was “really unfortunate that we’ve reached the point where them going about their business” is “somehow news.”
An ICE spokesperson said in a statement that "due to law enforcement sensitivities and the safety and security" of its personnel, it would not offer specific details on enforcement operations.
Meanwhile, prominent Democrats such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., have lambasted the planned raids and shared information from advocacy organizations about immigrant rights.
Pelosi read from a “know your rights” flyer at her weekly press conference Thursday and said she was going to ask religious leaders to appeal to Trump to stop the raids.
“Every person in America has rights,” she said. “These families are hardworking members of our communities in our country, this brutal action will terrorize children and tear families apart.” (Source: NBC News)
Story Date: July 12, 2019