The threat was real, but the reality was not seen. President Trump’s threatened raid focused on undocumented immigrant families showed few signs of materializing on Sunday. This is the second time rumors of a large-scale immigration enforcement operation did not actually happen.
In the cities where rumors of mass raids sent family family’s into hiding, many immigrants stayed inside their homes and vibrant migrant markets were strangely quiet.
Immigrant advocates across the country took to the streets to demonstrate in protest of the promised roundup.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement would not confirm any arrests, nor would immigrant rights activists.
“The ACLU has not heard reports of any raids today,” Ruthie Epstein, the American Civil Liberties Union’s deputy director for immigration policy, told NPR.
In Miami, for instance, a hush consumed a market usually buzzing with activity among immigrant merchants and shoppers.
“People are clearly hiding. If you look around, it’s the people who are working are basically the only people here. But the majority of our clients are immigrants. Some with papers, others with no papers, but they are all scared,” Yohanna Gomez, a Honduran immigrant who runs a Central American stall at the market, told WLRN.
A very similar scene happened in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood, typically very busy with immigrants from Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Saturday that ICE had already attempted to make arrests in the city, but they were not successful.
In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot addressed the residents on the north side of Chicago before the raids were supposed to start.
“This is a community that has a diversity of people coming from all over the world,” she said. “There’s been a lot of rumors,” Lightfoot said. “Dangling this sword over peoples’ head is causing great harm and trauma to entire households, entire communities.”