ICE to Begin Raids Targeting Migrants on Sunday

John Moore  Getty Images FILE
A man is detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents Oct. 14 2015 in Los Angeles Calif

"These are people that are supposed to go back to their home country", Trump wrote. After thousands of children, some as young as four months old, were taken from their parents at the US-Mexico border, the White House has struggled to reunify them with their parents, despite court orders to do so.

The operation is expected to target up to 2,000 families facing deportation orders in as many as 10 U.S. cities, including Houston, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles, according to the Post.

ICE sent around 2,000 letters to families in February who had already received final orders of removal by judges in absentia, asking them to self-report to local ICE offices by March to comply with orders, acting head of ICE Mark Morgan said.

Mrs. Pelosi, in her statement Saturday, suggested there is no cause to deport any illegal immigrant who hasn't amassed a serious criminal record. These included New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC. Similar operations have been done regularly since 2003, often resulting in hundreds of arrests. They may ask family members, neighbors, co-workers, or managers about the whereabouts of the person they want to arrest.

Trump had tweeted on Monday that the raids would begin "next week" and that millions of people "will be removed as fast as they come in". Preparations also are being made for mixed-immigration-status families: for example, if a parent is undocumented but has a United States citizen child.

Earlier in the day, Trump defended the raids, arguing that targeted families have been running from the law. In one case in Houston past year, a young father of five was arrested in the parking lot of his apartment building after ICE agents asked him about people who lived nearby, then demanded his identification and eventually detained him.

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Still, city mayors have spoken out against the expected raids.

In New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, tweeted his opposition to the enforcement action, calling it 'a sick plot to tear families apart and force immigrants into the shadows'.

Meanwhile conservative media and politicians often talk about incidents when illegal immigrants committed crimes and returned to the USA after being deported.

Chicago's Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she had terminated ICE's access to Chicago Police Department (CPD) databases related to federal immigration enforcement activities in response to the threat of raids.

On Saturday, ICE spokeswoman Carol Danko criticized the leaks in context of their potential impact on ICE personnel, saying in a statement that "any leaks telegraphing sensitive law enforcement operations is egregious and puts our officers' safety in danger". "This may be a way for law enforcement to catch them off guard".

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