Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents will begin huge raids on Sunday targeting undocumented immigrants scheduled for deportation. This is according to the The New York Times
The ICE effort had been planned to take place in 10 major cities and target up to 2,000 immigrants, according to multiple reports.
According to the Times, officials will attempt to hold detained family members at centers in both Texas and Pennsylvania. ICE intends to deport families as quickly as possible.
“Due to law-enforcement sensitivities,” a spokesperson for ICE declined to comment on the Times’s report. He did note however that anyone in violation of immigration laws may be removed from the U.S. “if found removable by final order.”
Trump said in late June that he was temporarily delaying the raids so that Congress would have time to pass new restrictions on asylum laws, which Democrats who control the House oppose.
Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, told reporters on Wednesday that the raids were “going to happen” but did not provide details.
This move is the latest hard-line approach taken by the administration to deter migrants from making the journey from Central America to the U.S.
Trump in March threatened to close the southern border unless the flow of migrants was slowed down, eventually striking a deal with Mexico. The Department of Homeland Security has said this has lowered crossings.
Apprehensions dropped 28.5 percent between May and June, suggesting the deal had a major effect on Central American immigration.
Critics say the measures have done little to deter migrants and that the fall in apprehensions is mostly due to the rising heat in the summer months, when migrants are usually less likely to cross into the U.S.
In 2018, the overall apprehensions fell by 17 percent in June, a less significant drop.