After a two-week delay, ICE detentions for those who’ve been ordered deportation began over the weekend in multiple cities across the country. The initial leaked plan included approximately 2,000 detentions in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York City, San Francisco.
Here's ICE’s statement when we reached for comment in advance of the raids: Due to law-enforcement sensitivities and the safety and security of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel, the agency will not offer specific details related to enforcement operations. As always, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety, and border security. In fact, 90 percent of aliens arrested by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations component in FY 2018 had either a criminal conviction(s), pending criminal charge(s), were an ICE fugitive, or illegally reentered the country after previously being removed. However, all of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and – if found removable by final order – removal from the United States.
So, what happened this weekend? At first glance, much less than the initial reporting would have suggested. Matthew Albence, ICE acting director, suggested targeted efforts to remove specific individuals ordered for deportation were underway. While reports of ICE officials on the ground took place over the weekend, there were no large-scale operations noted anywhere. In Miami, there are no known detentions that took place. In fact, by Sunday evening the same appeared to be the case in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, and New York.
Raids were to be conducted in nine of the ten previously outlined cities, including Miami. New Orleans was excluded due to Tropical Storm Barry. Local officials weren’t briefed in advance as a means of protecting the integrity of the raids in addition to the safety of ICE officials conducting them. We’ve learned that the 2,000 theoretically targeted, were contacted in February and warned that they would be deported if they didn’t cooperate with immigration officials. That I’m aware, no one cooperated with officials. Anyone ordered for deportation who’s remained in the country will be provided 30 days to attend to their affairs prior to being deported if they come forward. Anyone who doesn’t come forward but is detained will immediately be processed for deportation.
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