ICE Plans To Launch Nationwide Raids And Arrest Thousands This Weekend, NYT Reports

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials plan to launch nationwide raids and arrest thousands of undocumented immigrants as soon as this weekend, The New York Times reported early Thursday.

Citing two current and one former official at the Department of Homeland Security, The Times said around 2,000 immigrants who have been ordered deported by the federal government will be targeted.

Agents will also reportedly arrest people who happen to be on the scene, even if they weren’t the target of the raids. These so-called “collateral” deportations could include entire families. Officials said they will be held in detention centers together, where possible.

HuffPost has reached out to ICE for comment.

President Donald Trump delayed the raids that were scheduled to take place last month in 10 major cities, including Miami, Los Angeles and Chicago. He said he had hoped to work with Democrats to craft a “solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border”:

Congress passed a $4.6 billion humanitarian aid bill just days after that tweet, despite complaints from some Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that the legislation didn’t do enough to protect migrant children.

The Trump administration has faced heavy criticism for its immigration and refugee detention procedures in the past. In the past two years, thousands of children were separated from their parents under the president’s controversial “zero tolerance” immigration policy. Just this week, the UN’s Human Rights chief decried the “alarming” conditions at U.S. migrant detention centers along the border, saying she was “deeply shocked” by a lack of beds, filthy conditions and the spread of disease.

Immigrant enclaves have been rattled for weeks at the prospect of government officials knocking on their doors. In preparation of the expected raids, civil rights groups have been encouraging immigrant communities to study up on their legal rights. The ACLU reminded undocumented immigrants that they were not legally required to grant ICE agents access to their homes without certain kinds of warrants. And upon arrest, everyone was entitled to the right to remain silent and access to a government-appointed lawyer.

Since January, the Trump administration has been operating under the president’s hardline “Remain in Mexico” policy, which forces many of those seeking refuge to remain in Mexico until their applications are processed rather than wait in the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security said this week that the number of arrests along the border had dropped by 28 percent in June, the first time this year the number has declined. But more than 100,000 people were still arrested at the border, the fourth month in a row with that many detentions.

Agency officials claim border facilities have been overwhelmed for months, and DHS Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Tuesday that the numbers reflected a “humanitarian crisis.”

“We are past the breaking point and in a full-blown emergency,” McAleenan said in a statement. “This situation should not be acceptable to any of us.”

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