LOS ANGELES (CN) – This weekend, immigration agents will fan out into 10 cities across the United States in a coordinated effort to arrest and deport undocumented immigrants with court-ordered removals.
Earlier this week, acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement director Mark Morgan announced plans to deport undocumented families throughout the nation. On Friday, multiple news organizations reported the raids would begin Sunday and target 2,000 immigrants in 10 cities.
The development follows President Donald Trump’s tweet earlier in the week promising the “removal of millions” through raids carried out by ICE. The plan has been blasted as inhumane, cruel and a waste of resources.
Immigration officials claim the raid has been planned for months.
“This is horrific & a waste of resources,” U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland, D-New Mexico, tweeted Friday. “Instead of targeting families, the Trump administration needs to get a handle on the humanitarian crisis they created with their racist policies. We need more judges & caseworkers to process asylum seekers.”
In a statement, the American Immigration Lawyers Association said their “16,000 members will stand with these vulnerable families to ensure they are treated fairly and in keeping with the Constitution and laws of this nation – something we can no longer count on under current policies.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom called the proposed raids “cruel and misdirected” and said the Trump administration is creating unnecessary anxiety.
“I want Californians to know they have legal rights and protections, regardless of their immigration status,” Newsom said in a statement. “California is a place of refuge – that includes our schools, our courts and our hospitals and clinics.”
California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye said the Trump administration’s actions could have “profound effect on access to justice in our state.”
“For more than two years I have requested that courthouses be designated ‘sensitive locations,’ along with schools, churches, and hospitals. I am repeating this request once again, so that victims or witnesses to crimes can safely come to our courts to seek justice,” said Cantil-Sakauye in a statement.
Meanwhile, California has its own “sanctuary state” law on the books that blocks local law enforcement from assisting immigration agents to make arrests of an undocumented person with a criminal misdemeanor conviction.
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore told the Los Angeles Times that 140 people in Los Angeles will be targeted Sunday. In a statement, the LAPD said its officers are not participating in the raids, noting the violations for a court-ordered removal involve federal law and will be handled by ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The nongovernmental advocacy group National Immigrant Justice Center based in Chicago, Illinois, advises immigrants to memorize their emergency contacts and make arrangements with their children’s school or day care.
Advocacy groups and even Sen. Bernie Sanders are sharing “know your rights” lists for undocumented communities, advising people not to open the door for an immigration agent and to ask for an attorney during the removal process.
The federal government’s plans are “a terrorizing act on the part of a man whose whole presidency is based on fearmongering and attacks on immigrants,” said Los Angeles-based advocacy group Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights spokesperson Jorge-Mario Cabrera.
“Our community will not be intimidated,” said Cabrera. “We will educate our families about their rights, fight this heartless and cruel actions in court and call on every American of good conscience to reject this policy.
Trump’s tweet set off fear and anxiety for communities across the nation. Customs and Border Protection tallied 132,887 border arrests in May, up 32% from 51,862 in 2018. Also that month, over 11,000 unaccompanied minors were detained at the border.
In addition to Los Angeles, the feds will carry out raids in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, New York and San Francisco.