Trump ap­pears to de­lay ICE raids

Im­mi­gra­tion ar­rests had been ex­pected to be­gin in Bal­ti­more, other cities

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NEWS - By Jes­sica An­der­son

Bal­ti­more was among 10 cities where Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment agents were ex­pected to be­gin mak­ing ar­rests soon, ac­cord­ing to mul­ti­ple news re­ports, but Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, with a Satur­day af­ter­noon tweet, ap­peared to pause any im­me­di­ate ac­tion.

Trump said that he would de­lay the im­mi­gra­tion en­force­ment for two weeks “to see if the Democrats and Repub­li­cans can get to­gether and work out a so­lu­tion to the Asy­lum and Loop­hole prob­lems at the South­ern Border. If not, De­por­ta­tions start!”

Trump had said in a tweet ear­lier this week that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment would de­port “mil­lions” of un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants. Sim­i­lar op­er­a­tions have been done reg­u­larly since 2003, of­ten re­sult­ing in hun­dreds of ar­rests.

The Wash­ing­ton Post, Mi­ami Her­ald and New York Times all re­ported that Bal­ti­more is among 10 cities ex­pected to be tar­geted with raids. The other cities are At­lanta, Chicago, Den­ver, Hous­ton, Los An­ge­les, Mi­ami, New Or­leans, New York and San Fran­cisco.

Tar­gets of the en­force­ment oper­a­tion could in­clude peo­ple in “fam­ily units” who al­ready had received fi­nal or­ders to leave the coun­try, ac­cord­ing to na­tional re­ports. ICE of­fi­cials sent let­ters to about 2,000 such peo­ple in Fe­bru­ary.

In Bal­ti­more, ad­vo­cates were work­ing to no­tify res­i­dents about their rights.

Catholic Char­i­ties and the Esper­anza Cen­ter, which pro­vides re­sources to im­mi­grants, plan to hold a Know Your Rights pre­sen­ta­tion at 1:30 p.m. Sun­day at the Sa­cred Heart of Je­sus Church in South­east Bal­ti­more, the largest His­panic Catholic par­ish in the Arch­dio­cese.

Ad­vo­cates will ex­plain how to re­spond if ap­proached by im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties. The Esper­anza Cen­ter is also pro­vid­ing le­gal ser­vices for those con­cerned about their im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus by call­ing 667-600-2922.

“While it is unlikely that the gov­ern­ment has the ca­pac­ity to carry out large scale de­por­ta­tions, even one fam­ily torn apart by de­por­ta­tion is too many,” Esper­anza Cen­ter of­fi­cials said in a state­ment. “The stress and anx­i­ety that this kind of an­nounce­ment cre­ates for com­mu­ni­ties in our state is enor­mous.”

Also on Sun­day, Arch­bishop Wil­liam E. Lori is sched­uled to ap­pear at Sa­cred Heart of Je­sus to pro­vide “sup­port­ive re­marks” in Span­ish be­fore the 12:30 p.m. mass, said Sean Caine, an arch­dio­cese spokesman.

Caine said Satur­day af­ter­noon that the plans were “un­changed, given the pos­si­bil­ity of the raids at a later date.”

CASA, an im­mi­grant ad­vo­cacy group, also planned to hold a sim­i­lar pre­sen­ta­tion on rights at 6 p.m. Mon­day at the Enoch Pratt Free Li­brary’s South­east An­chor Li­brary on Eastern Av­enue. CASA also was plan­ning to of­fer a by­stander train­ing session for 6 p.m. Tues­day at CASA’s head­quar­ters at 2224 E. Fayette St. A CASA spokes­woman did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment late Satur­day af­ter­noon.

At Cen­tro de los Dere­chos del Mi­grante Inc., an­other im­mi­grant rights group, ad­vo­cates say they are re­spond­ing to in­di­vid­ual ques­tions from res­i­dents.

ICE of­fi­cials pre­vi­ously told The Bal­ti­more Sun that it could not pro­vide “spe­cific details re­lated to on­go­ing en­force­ment op­er­a­tions be­fore the con­clu­sion of those ac­tions” due to se­cu­rity con­cerns. The agency did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment Satur­day.

A Bal­ti­more Po­lice Depart­ment spokesman said Satur­day he was not aware of any ICE oper­a­tion this week­end. Of­fi­cials at some lo­cal jails that have agree­ments to hold ICE de­tainees have said they have not received any no­ti­fi­ca­tion that they could expect an in­flux of de­tainees in com­ing days.

How­ever, Rep. Eli­jah Cum­mings, a Bal­ti­more Demo­crat, tweeted late Fri­day about re­ports that Bal­ti­more would be tar­geted.

“I am deeply con­cerned about re­ports that the Trump Ad­min­is­tra­tion plans to target mi­grant families for de­por­ta­tion — in­clud­ing families in Bal­ti­more,” Cum­mings wrote. “Families will be sep­a­rated, which is un­ac­cept­able and im­moral..”

Bal­ti­more’s political lead­ers in re­cent days have sought to reaf­firm to im­mi­grant families that they’re welcome in the city.

State Del. Brooke Lier­man, who rep­re­sents a part of the city with a large im­mi­grant pop­u­la­tion, said it’s “ap­palling” that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment would waste lim­ited re­sources on de­port­ing families, when chil­dren at the Mex­i­can border are go­ing with­out ba­sic san­i­tary items.

“The fed­eral gov­ern­ment should be ashamed of itself,” she said. “It is will­ing to waste re­sources round­ing up families who are try­ing to do the right thing in their new home coun­try rather than spend­ing money tak­ing care of kids at the border.”

Even af­ter Trump’s tweet say­ing he would post­pone the raids, Lier­man said there’s a pal­pa­ble fear among her con­stituents. Prin­ci­pals are con­cerned about their stu­dents and par­ents. Neigh­bors are wor­ried about the peo­ple in their com­mu­ni­ties.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion’s plans — and the ap­par­ent walk­ing back of those plans — have cre­ated chaos, said state Sen. Bill Ferguson, who rep­re­sents Bal­ti­more.

“It’s cre­ated un­be­liev­able fear and un­cer­tainty and desta­bi­lized com­mu­ni­ties,” he said.

The As­so­ci­ated Press and Bal­ti­more Sun reporters Jeff Barker, Thalia Juarez and Talia Rich­man con­trib­uted to this story. jkan­der­[email protected]­sun.com twit­ter.com/jan­ders5

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.