A campaign to detain and deport thousands of undocumented immigrants with deportation orders that was postponed last month by President Trump is set to begin Sunday, the New York Times reported Thursday. The newspaper cited unidentified current and former homeland security officials, who said the operation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents is supported by the president and would be conducted over several days.
Sources told The Times that family members arrested together would be held together in family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania. Otherwise, detained families would be housed in hotel rooms until their travel documents are ready. ICE’’s goal is to deport the families as quickly as possible, the paper reported.
The operation is targeting at least 2,000 undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. recently and whose deportation proceedings were expedited in the Fall. Many of those targeted were ordered in February to report to ICE agents and self deport, The Times reported. The operation is expected to take place in at least 10 major cities, Los Angeles among them.
An ICE spokesperson said in a released statement that the agency would not comment on specific details of an enforcement operation, to ensure the safety of its agents.
Pro-immigrant advocacy groups braced for the raids Thursday, advising undocumented individuals to become familiar with their rights and prepare for the operation.
“There aren’t enough words to describe the pain and defiance we feel knowing that Trump’s deportation force will target immigrants any day now,” said Greisa Martinez Rosas, Deputy Executive Director of United We Dream, in a statement released Thursday. “Our communities are ready to protect one another and we call on people nationwide to take action to #CloseTheCamps and #AbolishICE.”
Advocates encourage undocumented immigrants to study a “Know Your Rights” guide and to carry a “What to Do” card, and follow reccomendations such as invoking the right to remain silent and to request to speak to a lawyer during an encounter with ICE agents. Advocates also advise people not to open the door to agents without asking to see IDs first and then asking to see a warrant and to verify its legitimacy.
Some resources available:
- The Catholic Legal Immigration Network has published a comprehensive “Know Your Rights” guide in nine languages, including English, Spanish and Korean. It includes information on what to do when encountering immigration agents, an emergency planning kit and what to do if a loved one calls from a police station or detention center. Guides are available in “full” and “quick” versions.
- The National Day Laborer Organizing Network has compiled a number of its “Know Your Rights” resources, including several graphics and videos for organizations to share.
- The American Civil Liberties Union has an extensive Know Your Rights web page, with a section devoted to Immigrants Rights. Assets include a ready-to-print What to Do card.
This story will be updated as it develops.