Published: Sun, February 12, 2017
National | By Traci Kelley

What to Know About Recent Immigration Raids in US Cities

What to Know About Recent Immigration Raids in US Cities

The actions are the first concerted effort by ICE under the Trump administration to arrest targeted undocumented immigrants for deportation proceedings.

An official with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, in southern California, David Marin, called the actions routine "surge operations" that target "priority cases", in other words, people in this country illegally who have criminal convictions.

"ICE conducts operations daily nationwide".

Democrats raised concerns Friday about immigration enforcement actions in recent days - though immigration officials say that only routine actions targeting criminals were underway.

A report on Friday said more than 300 undocumented immigrants had been arrested in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta and Chicago in raids this week. "The Administration should take a just, humane, and sensible approach that does not cause pain for people who only want to live their lives and raise their families in the communities they call home". In addition to California and Texas, ICE officials have arrested about 200 people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, FOX 8 News reported. Francisca Porchas, organizing director of the migrant justice group Puente Arizona, described the apparent difference between Trump and Obama's deportation policies (so far), to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! on Friday.

The president signed an executive order last week directing the Department of Homeland Security to prioritize the removal of those with criminal convictions.

Marin said the operations were planned prior to Trump's swearing-in and were comparable to past actions. ICE called the reports of massive round-ups "false, risky and irresponsible", the New York Times reported.

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But state Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, said he had heard reports of additional ICE raids and is seeking more information from federal officials.

There are reports that ICE today executed raids across Southern California.

President Donald Trump has suggested the focus of his immigration policy will be getting "the bad ones" out of the US. "Tearing families apart isn't what this country stands for and I am working closely with local law enforcement, public officials and advocates to make sure that doesn't happen in my state".

He said ICE needs to clarify whether these people "are in fact risky, violent threats to our communities, and not people who are here peacefully raising families and contributing to our state".

Castro said the roundups were part of Operation Cross Check - a series of large-scale raids that began in 2011 under Barack Obama.

Obama absolutely earned his monicker "Deporter in Chief", and in an very bad heartbreaking way, deporting more than two million people during his time in office, despite his claim to have focused his efforts on immigrants deemed a threat to public safety or national security. Los Angeles and Orange counties are home to 1 million immigrants living without proper papers, according to an analysis released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.

It's hard not to attribute this week's raids to the president, considering the executive order he signed in January, which included calls for increased staffing of immigration officers carrying out deportations.

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