ICE Set To Begin Immigration Raids In 10 Cities
By Kelsey Marie
According to a senior immigration official, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is going to start arresting and deporting families using court-ordered removals in 10 cities.
This plan was scheduled to start on Sunday but has now been postponed by President Trump on Saturday, 12 hours before the raids were supposed to begin.
ICE has been considering ways of arresting and deporting families who have gone through their legal proceedings. They are not informing the public on the timeframe of their operation which can possibly lead to families being separated, causing retaliation by the public towards ICE.
President Trump tweeted last Monday night that ICE will deport “millions” of illegal immigrants, which is surprising because publicly announcing this decision isn’t usually done.
The acting head of ICE, Mark Morgan, told reporters: “If you’re here illegally, then you should be removed. And in this case, that includes families” on Wednesday via a call after Trumps tweet.
“Certainly, the President’s tweet helped prioritize things for people,” a senior administration official tells CNN. They also said there had been discussions internally about when they would execute this plan. Trump’s tweet made the operation an immediate priority.
“There has been an effort to communicate what is likely to happen, without saying specifically when and where,” adds the official.
According to a senior immigration official, field agents are now being briefed and trained for the raids.
There are also plans being put in place for families with mixed-immigration status (example: an undocumented parent and U.S. citizen child).
Morgan tells CNN, “our goal is not to separate families.” Instead, the purpose is to discourage migrants from coming to the U.S.-Mexico border.
In February, ICE sent out an estimated 2,000 letters to families who had received final orders of removal by judges in absentia which requested them to self-report to their local ICE offices by March.
The ICE operation will now target about 2,000 people.
Once arrested, the families will most likely be sent to ICE family residential detention centers while the agency obtains their travel documents from consulates.
The official also stated that parents with U.S. citizen children will be allowed to stay with their child to get things in order but they will be required to wear an ankle bracelet. The rest of the undocumented family members will have to remain in custody.
ICE’s operation will encompass worksite enforcement, families who have court-ordered removals and individuals who have been given final orders to be removed.
Last year it was requested by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that the Justice Department put together a “rocket docket” which is an accelerated family court docket.
A former administration official explains to CNN, “The goal was to get to consequence quicker. People would get their hearings, they would get ordered removal, and then a significant number of people would be put back into ICE custody and removed from the U.S.”
According to data by ICE, there has been a 13% increase of deportations between fiscal year 2017 and fiscal year 2018.
The amount of people the U.S. can arrest and deport is dependent on staffing limitations and budget constraints.
Deporting millions of illegal immigrants would exceed the Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
In May, almost 133,000 people were arrested for crossing the border illegally which includes more than 11,000 unaccompanied children — this information was recorded by Customs and Border Protection.
Many of the migrants ended up turning themselves in to Border Patrol.
Currently the White House wants $4.5 billion more from Congress for managing the southern border of the United States. This includes $33.7 million to fund ICE transportation and removal and $340 million to get thousands of beds added in immigration detention facilities.
It is likely that this request will receive pushback from the House Democrats who are against the Trump administration’s immigration tactics.
The 10 cities being raided will include Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angelos, Miami, New Orleans, New York, and San Francisco.
Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @kelseydashmarie