The Trump administration’s planned mass arrests of undocumented immigrants are now scheduled to begin this Sunday, multiple sources told the New York Times. The arrests were postponed last month after resistance from both inside and outside the administration.
From the Times:
The raids, which will be conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement over multiple days, will include “collateral” deportations, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the preliminary stage of the operation. In those deportations, the authorities might detain immigrants who happened to be on the scene, even though they were not targets of the raids.
When possible, family members who are arrested together will be held in family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania. But because of space limitations, some might end up staying in hotel rooms until their travel documents can be prepared. ICE’s goal is to deport the families as quickly as possible.
Times sources say that ICE is targeting 2,000 immigrants who have deportation orders—not nearly the “millions” that Trump originally threatened. However, if the operation goes forward, it is still expected to be wide-ranging, including arrests in at least 10 major cities.
Those targeted in the raids are families who immigrated recently and were given expedited deportation orders. Many of them were given orders to report to an ICE facility in February, a Homeland Security official told the Times.
ICE would not comment on the story to the Times, citing the safety of their officers.
Earlier on Wednesday, USCIS director Ken Cuccinelli told CNN that the raids were “absolutely going to happen,” though he didn’t give a date.
Perhaps the most disturbing part of this new report is the specific mention of arresting children. “Agents have expressed apprehensions about arresting babies and young children,” the Times writes.
Acting DHS secretary Kevin McAleenan had reportedly opposed the original raids in part due to concerns that parents would be separated from their children who are U.S. citizens.
It’s also not clear how the advanced report of the raids—as well as knowledge within immigrant communities that ICE cannot force entry into peoples’ homes—will affect them.
Any raids will likely spark legal challenges, and some cities with large immigrant populations, such as Los Angeles and Chicago, have also said their local police will not cooperate with the federal government.
“Our president has failed to build a wall, so instead he’s going to go back to his old playbook of trying to rip families apart,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said earlier this month. “Here in Los Angeles we will not participate in that.”