ICE agents have detained hundreds of undocumented migrants as they enforce President Trump’s executive order. Raids took place this week in Los Angeles, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, and both North Carolina and South Carolina. “Our operations are targeted and lead driven, prioritizing individuals who pose a risk to our communities. Examples would include known street gang members, child sex offenders, and deportable foreign nationals with significant drug trafficking convictions,” an ICE spokesperson stated. “To that end, ICE’s routine immigration enforcement actions are ongoing and we make arrests every day.”
Many immigrant rights groups are claiming that law-abiding citizens are also being targeted and that this number of high arrest is not usual. “We know the daily patterns of people being picked up and taken,” Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, or CHIRLA, told The Washington Post. “There’s a natural flow of enforcement that happens every day. But this was not normal.”
ICE has stated, however, that the agency has been operating as normal and did not detain more than 100 immigrants.
The Obama administration had also prioritized deporting immigrants with violent criminal records that were perceived as threats. However, under Trump’s new executive order, many more migrants are in danger of being deported as it includes unauthorized immigrants who have been convicted of minor and nonviolent offenses.
Fear has been running high among communities with immigrants since President Donald Trump’s signed off on this executive order with many feeling that their fears of being deported will become a reality with the recent publicized and heart wrenching deportation of an Arizona mother of two after a routine visit with immigration officials. It was Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos eighth check-in visit since her 2008 arrest and conviction for using a fake Social Security number that she used in order to apply for work to take care of her family. After each meeting, the married mother of two was released and went back to her family.
This time Guadalupe’s routine check-in was different and she was detained Wednesday and deported to Mexico in only a mere 24 hours. While many in Guadalupe’s community feel that they rushed her out of the country, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials claim there was nothing special about her case; she committed a crime, was placed under a deportation order, and her time had come to be deported.
California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) released a statement in regards to these new raids.“It is now clear the Trump Administration is not concerned with public safety, they are only focused on ripping hard-working men, women, and children from their families and communities,” he said. “Mass deportations will not make us safer, instead they will simply undermine our state’s economy.”