Pelosi urges il­le­gals to re­sist Trump de­por­ta­tion

Op­er­a­tion to tar­get bor­der surge fam­i­lies

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY STEPHEN DINAN

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged il­le­gal im­mi­grants to re­sist de­por­ta­tion Thurs­day, say­ing they have the right to refuse to open their doors to ICE of­fi­cers who may try to ar­rest them in a na­tional sweep re­port­edly be­gin­ning this week­end.

Mrs. Pelosi was in the van­guard of Democrats and im­mi­grant rights ac­tivists who stepped for­ward to try to thwart Pres­i­dent Trump’s plans to step up de­por­ta­tions of il­le­gal im­mi­grant fam­i­lies. She de­scribed it as a ma­jor test of whether Mr. Trump’s get­tough poli­cies or their own more wel­com­ing ap­proach to il­le­gal immigratio­n will pre­vail.

“These fam­i­lies are hard­work­ing mem­bers of our com­mu­ni­ties and our coun­try. This bru­tal ac­tion will ter­ror­ize chil­dren and tear fam­i­lies apart,” Mrs. Pelosi said.

The de­por­ta­tion sweep, which of­fi­cials have been teas­ing for weeks, will be­gin Sun­day, The New York Times re­ported, and will tar­get 2,000 mi­grants across 10 ma­jor metropolit­an ar­eas.

The op­er­a­tion is meant to tar­get mem­bers of il­le­gal im­mi­grant fam­i­lies who have ar­rived in the bor­der surge. They have gone through their court hear­ings and been or­dered de­ported, have been con­tacted by U.S. Immigratio­n and Cus­toms En­force­ment about

sched­ul­ing an or­derly re­moval, and have ig­nored all those en­treaties.

But ICE of­fi­cials have said any other il­le­gal im­mi­grants en­coun­tered at the same time are also vi­able tar­gets for ar­rest and de­por­ta­tion.

The threat of sweeps en­er­gized the en­tire ex­panse of left-wing ac­tivism.

“No mat­ter who you are or what your sta­tus is, this is the United States of Amer­ica — where ALL peo­ple have rights. Know yours,” tweeted Rep. Alexan­dria Oca­sio-Cortez, New York Demo­crat.

Mrs. Pelosi, at her weekly press con­fer­ence, told il­le­gal im­mi­grants not to open doors to ICE. She said the ad­min­is­tra­tive war­rants that de­por­ta­tion of­fi­cers carry do not give them the right to en­ter homes with­out permission.

“If ICE agents don’t have a war­rant signed by a judge, a per­son may refuse to open the door and let them in,” she said.

One coali­tion of lawyers rushed to a fed­eral court in New York to ask a judge to head off the de­por­ta­tions. The lawyers ar­gued that any­one who was or­dered re­moved in absentia and with­out an at­tor­ney should be granted an au­to­matic new hear­ing.

They said some of the court no­tices were sent to the wrong ad­dresses or didn’t prop­erly list the dates and times of the hear­ings. Other times, the no­tices were sent too late or asked the mi­grants to travel a dis­tance, the lawyers said.

“We will not stand by and let the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion ar­rest and de­port thou­sands of Cen­tral Amer­i­can fam­i­lies and chil­dren with­out giv­ing them a fair day in court,” said Judy Lon­don, a lawyer at Pub­lic Coun­sel, one of the activist groups.

Se­nate Mi­nor­ity Leader Charles E. Schumer, New York Demo­crat, pre­dicted that Mr. Trump will have to can­cel the de­por­ta­tions once pic­tures of il­le­gal im­mi­grant chil­dren be­ing ar­rested go vi­ral.

“I warn Pres­i­dent Trump, the pic­tures of these raids aren’t going to be pretty,” Mr. Schumer said on the Se­nate floor. “You’re going to have to back off from this cruel pol­icy be­cause the Amer­i­can peo­ple are a lot bet­ter than you.”

Mr. Trump’s cam­paign team fired back by ac­cus­ing Democrats of “sab­o­tag­ing” the de­por­ta­tions and say­ing they were em­brac­ing an “open-borders” pol­icy.

“If peo­ple who ig­nore court or­ders & stay in the U.S. il­le­gally are not de­ported, we do not have rule of law,” the Trump cam­paign war room said in a mes­sage on Twit­ter. “Democrats have be­come the party that puts il­le­gal im­mi­grants first!”

The sweep was sched­uled to be­gin last month, but Mr. Trump said he would de­lay it in or­der to give Congress a chance to make progress on leg­is­la­tion aimed at cur­tail­ing the surge of fam­i­lies jump­ing the bor­der.

Democrats did not accept the of­fer, and Mr. Trump said the de­por­ta­tions would be re­in­stated.

But some of­fi­cials within the Home­land Se­cu­rity Depart­ment have been re­sis­tant to the de­por­ta­tions. They fear images of ar­rests of fam­i­lies, in­clud­ing young chil­dren, will fur­ther poi­son the immigratio­n de­bate.

In­deed, me­dia cov­er­age is al­ready skew­ing de­cid­edly neg­a­tive by play­ing down the unau­tho­rized pres­ence of the fam­i­lies and the fact that the mi­grants are de­fy­ing de­por­ta­tion or­ders.

The de­bate over de­port­ing this pool of mi­grants has raged in­side the ad­min­is­tra­tion for months and was part of the rea­son Mr. Trump shook up the Home­land Se­cu­rity Depart­ment ear­lier this year.

Of­fi­cials have been strug­gling with how to con­tain the record num­ber of fam­i­lies jump­ing the bor­der.

Of the fam­i­lies that ar­rived in 2017, 95% are still in the U.S., said ICE, point­ing to that as an in­cen­tive for more peo­ple to mi­grate il­le­gally this year.

Hop­ing to stem that num­ber, Home­land Se­cu­rity and the Jus­tice Depart­ment last year cre­ated a pi­lot pro­gram to speed up the sched­ule of hear­ings for some fam­i­lies. The think­ing was that if fam­i­lies were sent home quickly, then it might dis­cour­age oth­ers from com­ing. A sim­i­lar ap­proach worked for the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion in 2015 when it de­tained and de­ported the fam­i­lies.

Yet thanks to court rul­ings in 2015 and 2016, the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion is now re­quired to re­lease fam­i­lies from detention quickly. Once free, 90% of the fam­i­lies ig­nored their hear­ings and were or­dered de­ported in absentia.

ICE said it sent no­tices to thou­sands of the fam­i­lies in Fe­bru­ary and March ask­ing them to check in and sched­ule an or­der of su­per­vi­sion so they could be­gin the de­por­ta­tion process. Most ig­nored that, too.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

ON ONE SIDE: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says planned de­por­ta­tions will pit Pres­i­dent Trump’s get-tough poli­cies against the Democrats’ more wel­com­ing ap­proach.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thurs­day read from a pa­per ti­tled “Know Your Rights” re­gard­ing at­tempts by U.S. Immigratio­n and Cus­toms En­force­ment agents at­tempt­ing to round up and de­port il­le­gal im­mi­grants.

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