Nationwide raids to deport thousands of undocumented immigrants are set to begin on July 14, three weeks after President Donald Trump delayed planned raids in 10 cities.
Officials said that the raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be conducted over several days and will include “collateral” deportations, The New York Times reported. “Collateral” deportations occur when immigration officials detain undocumented immigrants that are at the scene of a raid, even if they are not the initial targets of that raid.
Family members who are detained together will be held in family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania. However, some may stay in hotels due to space limitations until travel documents are set up.
ICE will target at least 2,000 undocumented immigrants who have been ordered to be deported and remained in the country.
The Trump Administration expedited the immigration proceedings of those families targeted in the fall and then in February informed many of them that they would be deported, homeland security officials revealed to The New York Times.
The operation is expected to take place in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, and San Francisco. ICE agents initially planned to raid immigrant communities in those 10 cities on June 23.
ICE confirmed that “immigration enforcement will be temporarily suspended through the weekend” in parts of Louisiana and Mississippi due to the tropical storm Barry, the city of New Orleans announced.
The @CityOfNOLA has confirmed with @ICEgov in #NOLA that immigration enforcement will be temporarily suspended through the weekend in the #Barry impacted areas of Louisiana & Mississippi. Make all storm preparations to stay safe regardless of your immigration status. #NOLAReady
— NOLA Ready (@nolaready) July 11, 2019
ICE spokesman Matthew Bourke did not comment on operational details citing the need to ensure the safety and security of agents. “ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety, and border security,” Bourke said in a statement to CNN.
Acting US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) director Ken Cuccinelli confirmed on July 10 that the raids are “absolutely going to happen” after Trump temporarily delayed them at the request of Democratic lawmakers.
“They’re absolutely going to happen. There’s approximately a million people in this country with removal orders,” Cuccinelli told reporters at the White House. “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.”
Acting ICE Director Mark Morgan blamed the release of operational details for the delay in the original raids. “It’s just egregious, and it puts the lives of the officers and agents at risk,” Morgan claimed on Fox News. “The men and women I’ve served with are true American heroes. And so what the President did — he recognized that, and so he postponed… to protect them.”
After news spread of the initial planned raids in June, activists made sure to spread information about how to avoid arrest. Undocumented immigrants have a right to refuse to open the door when an ICE agent approaches their home. Agents also cannot legally enter a home without a valid search warrant.
“A valid legal warrant has to be signed by a judge and that’s typically not what they have,” Bridget Cambria, a Berks County immigration attorney told PennLive. “The door should not be open unless a valid signed judicial form is presented.”
Cambria warns that ICE agents will typically present an administrative order, a form signed by a deportation officer and printed by ICE, instead of a court order. “They will use very manipulative tactics,” Cambria said. “We’ve had children questioned at the bus stop and asked, ‘Do you have keys to your home,’ to get kids to open the door. We’ve seen babysitters accosted. They play on the idea that people don’t understand and that most people want to cooperate always with law enforcement.”
According to The New York Times, immigration defense lawyers will likely file motions to reopen immigration cases of those detained during the raids. Those legal motions will significantly delay if not completely stop their deportations from the US.
Trump has pushed Congress to act on immigration as migrants flood the US-Mexico border. June saw a decline in migrant arrests at the border from 144,278 in May to 104,344 last month, according to the latest US Customs and Border Protection statistics. More than 7,000 unaccompanied minors were detained in June.
About the Author
Nicole Rojas is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has published in various venues, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Asia and Australia.