President Trump’s promised “ICE raids” began over the weekend. The raids targeting scores of undocumented immigrants nationwide promised by President Trump have begun, a senior administration official told CNN.
The roundup is supposed to target 2,000 immigrants who have been ordered deported in New York, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans and San Francisco.
According to the undisclosed official, the raids actually began late Saturday night.
In an exclusive interview on “FOX & friends,” Acting ICE Director Matt Albence said while he couldn’t speak to anything specifically from an operational perspective, the overarching concern when the agency conducts any sort of enforcement operation is “the safety and security of both our officers that are conducting the operation as well as the public.”
“We are doing targeted enforcement actions against specific individuals who have had their day in immigration court and have been ordered to be removed by an immigration judge,” Albence told Fox News’ Griff Jenkins. “We are merely executing those lawfully issued judge’s orders.”
ICE Objects to Use of Term “Raid”
Albence, then said that he objected to the term “raid,” as it does not really connote the targeted precision of his agencies operation, and only serves to spread fear.
In his Fox interview, Albence, said using the term raid does everyone “a disservice,” adding that the agency is focusing on people who had had the opportunity to make an asylum claim in front of an immigration judge and chose not to do so or didn’t appear for their first hearing. The acting director added that ICE gave those individuals the opportunity back in February to arrange for an orderly process to be removed from the country, but only 3 percent of people responded to letters that were sent out.
“At this point, we have no choice but to go out and execute those lawfully-issued removal orders from an immigration judge,” he told “FOX & friends.”
Reports of Repeat Immigrant Offenders
In addition to beginning the enforcement operation, ICE also released a report over the weekend meant to illustrate the necessity for removing those who have committed crimes.
The first of what will be quarterly “Declined Detainer Reports” details incidents from the second quarter of fiscal year 2018, where law enforcement agencies arrested undocumented immigrants, ignored ICE requests to hold them until federal authorities could pick them up, and then those individuals were arrested on new charges. The report features highlighted cases, including ones where the arrests were for rape, murder, assault, burglary, car theft, drug possession, and DUI.
In one such case, ICE said an illegal immigrant had been arrested and released 10 times by San Francisco police between February 2018 and January 2019, despite ICE issuing detainers. Each of those arrests included charges related to either burglary or a stolen vehicle.
“That individual is a one-man crime spree,” Albence said on “FOX & friends.”
Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, also appearing with Albence, told “FOX & friends” that the raids were about “enforcing and maintaining the integrity of the system.”
“This is about going after individuals here illegally,” he said. “Any city, any law enforcement agency that resists, does not cooperate, they’re actually putting those cities in higher danger.”
Administration officials have said they are targeting about 2,000 people, which would yield about 200 arrests based on previous crackdowns.
Trump has said on Twitter that his agents plan to arrest millions of immigrants who are in the country illegally.