A nationwide raid will reportedly take place Sunday to arrest thousands of undocumented families in 10 cities across the country. The sweep could potentially see parents separated from their children, even more families detained in squalor, and, on top of that, a slew of complicated legal challenges.
The ICE operation was first revealed by Trump on Twitter last month and the news prompted advocates and legal experts to to encourage migrant communities to study up on their legal rights. The nonprofit organization American Immigration Council has even taken measures ahead of the raids, releasing this statement: “No one arrested in the immigration raids should be deported without a fair day in court. We are recruiting and training immigration attorneys from around the country to ensure this happens.”
Here’s everything you need to know about the raids reportedly occuring this weekend.
When and where will they occur?
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services acting director Ken Cuccinelli didn’t say when the raids would begin, according to USA Today, but assured that they were, in fact, coming. The New York Times reports the sweep will begin Sunday and last for several days in at least 10 major U.S. cities.
“They’re absolutely going to happen,” Cuccinelli said outside the White House on Wednesday. He added that there are “approximately a million people in this country with removal orders. Of course that isn’t what ICE would go after in this. But that’s the pool of people who’ve been all the way through the due process chain.”
In a statement to USA Today, ICE spokesman Matthew Bourke said that, “Ninety percent of aliens arrested by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations component in FY2018 had either a criminal conviction, pending criminal charge, were an ICE fugitive or illegally reentered the country after previously being removed.”
Who will be arrested?
Undocumented migrant families. According to The New York Times, there will also be “collateral” deportations. This means that even if an undocumented immigrant is not the target of a raid, they can still be deported if they’re on the scene during a sweep.
ICE has reportedly targeted some 2,000 immigrants who’ve been ordered to be deported.
Will families be kept together?
At this point, it’s hard to know exactly what will happen. The New York Times is reporting that, “when possible, family members who are arrested together will be held in family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania. But because of space limitations, some might end up staying in hotel rooms until their travel documents can be prepared. ICE’s goal is to deport the families as quickly as possible.”
This, in particular, is a big concern for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who on Thursday decried the planned raids, which she believes will “terrorize children and tear families apart.”
Has a raid like this happened before?
In short, yes—but rarely. In January 2017, an executive order signed by Trump gave immigration agents the ability to deport any “removable” undocumented immigrant posing a risk to public safety or national security.
What should immigrants do if they’re targeted?
UnidosUS, a Latino civil rights and advocacy organization, released a list of dos and don’ts, with detailed information on what families and educators need to know about ICE raids. That can be found, here.
The ACLU has also encouraged undocumented immigrants to review their legal rights, which can be found here.
During a press conference at the Capitol, Nancy Pelosi reiterated that a deportation order is not the same as a search warrant, saying, “If ICE agents do not have a warrant signed by a judge, a person may refuse to open the door and let them in.”
What can you do to help?
ELLE.com has compiled a comprehensive list on how to help migrant children and families right now.