Hundreds of immigrants arrested in U.S. this week
- Author: Leroy Wright Feb 12, 2017,
Feb 12, 2017, 8:34
Photos from an operation in Atlanta show agents arresting alleged immigration fugitives and criminals. ICE officials said that 150 of the approximately 160 arrestees had previous criminal records, and that "many" (the actual numeric breakdown was not given) of those criminal records were for "serious or violent offenses, such as child sex crimes, weapons charges, and assault".
The New York community organization Make the Road New York confirmed that ICE raids were taking place in the city in a February 11 statement. Police in Pomona, Calif., alerted the public against rumors that the agency was participating in immigration checkpoints - rumors the department said were "fake news", according to the Los Angeles Times.
The situation also left police, politicians and immigration advocates trying to calibrate the right response.
United States immigration authorities conducted raids in at least six states this week that resulted in the arrests of hundreds of undocumented immigrants.
For hours into the night on Wednesday, protesters blocked ICE agents as they transported Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, a Phoenix mother who had reportedly spent 22 years illegally in the us, in a van en route to Nogales, Mexico. "They took my family away".
David Marin, Immigration and Customs Enforcement's field office director for enforcement and removal operations in greater Los Angeles, said the agency carries out these operations two or three times a year in his region.
"The rash of these recent reports about ICE checkpoints and random sweeps, that's all false and that's unsafe and irresponsible", he said.
Immigration officials put out their own statement that says "ICE regularly conducts targeted enforcement operations during which additional resources and personnel are dedicated to apprehending deportable foreign nationals".
The number of those arrested around the country in unclear.
Activists and some elected officials, however, expressed fear that the recent actions represented a stepped-up enforcement effort by immigration authorities. "We have confirmed ICE raids that have swept up five immigrant Staten Island residents over the past several days".
Garcia de Rayos was caught up in Trump's executive order that prioritized deportations of unauthorized immigrants with a criminal background. Dianne Feinstein. "If the reports are accurate, these raids only add to the anxiety about what's to come from this administration".
Cox said most of the individuals are convicted criminals. "Trump and his allies will do everything they can to divide Americans, invoke fear in vulnerable neighborhoods, and demonize an entire community of people". "As this process moves forward, I will also ensure my constituents know what the next steps are, where applicable".