WASHINGTON - Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are set to arrest and deport families with court-ordered removals in 10 cities across the country starting on Sunday, according to reports.
The raids are expected to start in the early morning hours of Sunday, multiple news outlets reported, citing high-level officials familiar with the matter. ICE plans to use hotels as temporary staging areas to detain the families, according to The Washington Post.
ICE considered options to arrest and deport families who have gone through court proceedings for some time, according to CNN, but pushed the operation forward after President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday about the possible deportation of “millions” of immigrants.
Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in. Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people.......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 18, 2019
The operation is expected to target about 2,000 families in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, New Orleans and San Francisco, CNN reported.
A source within the agency told CNN that field agents at local offices received briefings and training.
When families are arrested, they will likely be taken to an ICE detention center. Parents who have children who are U.S. citizens may get an ankle bracelet to give them time to get their affairs in order.
California Governor Gavin Newsom responded to reports of the possible raids.
"The President's proposed raids are cruel, misdirected and are creating unnecessary fear and anxiety. I want Californians to know they have legal rights and protections, regardless of their immigration status. California is a place of refuge that includes our schools, our courts and our hospitals and clinics. We hold certain institutions sacred and people should continue to access programs and services they need."
San Francisco Mayor London Breed issued the following statement Friday:
“It is unconscionable that the Federal administration is targeting innocent immigrant families with secret raids that are designed to inflict as much fear and pain as possible. Here in San Francisco, we will always demonstrate our values of diversity and inclusiveness by being a sanctuary city that stands up for all our residents and neighbors.
We will continue to remain vigilant and offer services for all immigrants through the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs. We want our entire community to be prepared. Residents should call the SF Rapid Response Hotline at 415-200-1548 to report raids or get deportation legal assistance. For information about immigration legal help in San Francisco, go to immigrants.sfgov.org.”