President Trump on Friday said that his administration would begin rounding up illegal immigrants for mass deportation "fairly soon," after the operation was postponed last month due to someone leaking the date.
"I don’t call them raids. I say they came in illegally and we’re bringing them out legally. They’ll be starting fairly soon. We’re removing people that have come in, all of these people over the years that have come in illegally, we are removing them and bringing them back to their country," Trump told reporters at the White House.
President Trump: "Well, I don't call them raids. I say they came in illegally and we're bringing them out legally. These are people where we have the papers, we've gone through the court system. They'll be starting fairly soon." pic.twitter.com/cJ6A2d3EAL— The Hill (@thehill) July 6, 2019
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) last month said operations would target recently-arrived undocumented migrants in a bid to discourage a surge of Central American families at the southwest border.
ICE said in a statement its focus was arresting people with criminal histories but any immigrant found in violation of U.S. laws was subject to arrest. -Reuters
The new sweep comes after migrant apprehensions on the southwest border hit a 13-year high in May, only to dramatically drop in June after Mexico deployed their National Guard stem the flow of mostly Central American migrants into the United States.
According to documents published this week by migrant rights groups, ICE has previously made more so-called "collateral" arrests of non-criminal migrants (aside from residency) than the criminals they were targeting. The rights groups say that the US government's 'generalized threat' against illegals is harmful to the US economy, as it forces adults to miss work and children to skip school if they feel they may be at risk of arrest.
"We have to be ready, not just when Trump announces it, because there are arrests every day," said New Mexico migrant rights organizer Elsa Lopez, who works for Somos Un Pueblo Unido. The organization helps migrants enter the United States; advising them on their civil rights, and connecting them to a phone network that will send alerts if ICE agents are in their neighborhood.
A rising number of migrants are coming from outside Central America, including India, Cuba and African countries. The Del Rio, Texas, Border Patrol sector on Friday reported the arrest of over 1,000 Haitians since June 10. -Reuters