ICE is getting ready to arrest and deport thousands on Sunday. That includes targeted undocumented immigrants as well as "collaterals."
The Department of Homeland Security is set to begin arresting and deporting immigrants across the nation, starting this Sunday, The New York Times reported. The raids, which President Trump announced weeks ago and which had been subsequently postponed, will reportedly include "collateral" deportations—meaning that authorities might detain immigrants who just so happened to be in the scene, regardless of whether they were targets officially.
What is going to happen?
The idea at the moment is that family members, if arrested together, will be held in detention centers in Pennsylvania and Texas. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents are specifically targeting least 2,000 immigrants, most of whom have been given a final notice and failed to appear in court. The "collateral" clause, however, might bump this number up considerably, and many people who have not even received prior notice or warning might end up suffering unnecessarily.
It's not clear how successful the raids will be, though, as word has spread about how to legally avoid arrest in many situations, how to deal in general with the situation if you're an immigrant, and how to protect yourself against unfair treatment. More specifically, many people simply need to not open the door when ICE arrives, since their officers are not legally allowed to enter a home without permission. Also, defense lawyers can always file motions to reopen individual cases, and this alone would considerably delay their deportation, if not completely prevent it.
Many are weary about the legal and moral implications
Discontent and uneasiness about the operation from within the Department of Homeland Security had partly postponed the raids until now. According to the The New York Times, agents had expressed concerns about arresting children and babies and about separating families. In June, Kevin K. McAleenan, acting secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, expressed doubts about the raids and told ICE director Mark Morgan to call them off.
His concern was that such an operation would inevitably separate families, as ICE cannot deport children with American citizenship. Other challenges pointed out by McAleenan include the logistics of housing families until deportation is even possible, as it would be ICE's responsibility to remain with children whose parents are sent away until a family member can claim them—if that ever happens.
McAleenan is certainly not the only one worried about the moral and legal implications of the operations. Other than officials within the Department of Homeland Security, many public figures and politicians have expressed similar misgivings. Speaker Nancy Pelosi specifically called Trump after his controversial tweets to ask him to call the "heartless" operation off.
Though the president initially conceded, he threatened to resume deportations unless Democrats actively “work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border.” Just weeks later, after intense lobbying asking for the raids to take place, they were given the green light, bringing us to the current situation and setting the stage for what could be one of the most controversial political operations in recent memory.
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