Communities across the United States are bracing for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids this Sunday, July 14. According to CNN and NPR, the roundups are expected to target approximately 2,000 undocumented immigrants in the cities of Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco. Sweeps in New Orleans and Houston are reportedly postponed due to Hurricane Barry making landfall over the weekend.
ICE says they will be targeting immigrants who have been issued removal orders or who failed to appear in court to address their immigration status. “Collateral immigrants,” or those individuals present at a raid but not on ICE’s list, may also be detained.
“As always, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety, and border security,” ICE spokesman Matthew Bourke said Thursday. “However, all of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and — if found removable by final order — removal from the United States.”
“It’s going to start on Sunday, and they’re going to take people out, and they’re going to bring them back to their countries, or they’re going to take criminals out, put them in prisons put them in prison in the countries they came from,” President Donald Trump said.
Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming ICE raids across the United States.
1. The Raids Are Expected to Last Multiple Days
According to government officials like Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, the raids will take place over multiple days. In Denver, Hancock anticipates the raids will end on July 18. Many communities are responding by providing information and assistance to their immigrant communities.
“The most important thing that we can do is make sure that the groups that are on the ground that are educating people about their rights have the resources that they need to be successful,” Lightfoot said. “We want to make sure that businesses, community organizations are supporting people,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
Mayor London Breed confirmed that San Francisco “is and will always be” a Sanctuary City for immigrants. “We will continue to offer services for all immigrants,” she said.
2. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi & Immigration Advocates Offered Immigrants Advice
On July 11, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave advice to immigrants who may be caught up in the sweep. “An ICE deportation warrant is not the same as a search warrant. If that is the only document ICE brings to a home raid, agents do not have the legal right to enter a home. 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.
The nonprofit immigrant rights organization UNIDOS US has produced a list of what immigrants should do if ICE agents come to the home. Their advice includes not opening the door, not answering questions or signing documents and verbally telling any agent that they do not have permission to enter or search the home.
UNIDOS US also tweeted samples showing the difference between a judicial warrant and an ICE administrative warrant. According to the organization, administrative warrants are not a legal basis for entering a home.
3. The ACLU Filed a Lawsuit to Stop the Raids
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and immigration advocacy groups sued the Trump Administration on July 11 to try and block the scheduled raids. The lawsuit contends that the U.S. government did not provide proper notice of court dates to thousands of immigrants. Some were given wrong dates and times to appear for court hearings while others received no notice at all.
Thousands of immigrants who did not attend hearings due to incorrect scheduling have been classified as “in absentia” deportations. Many of these individuals are children who had no ability to correct scheduling errors.
“By definition, a person can’t have had their day in court if they never knew they had a day in court in the first place,” Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, a policy analyst at the American Immigration Council, told CBS News.
4. ICE Raids Reportedly Started Early in New York & Florida
There are reports of ICE raids occurring earlier than expected and in locations outside of the 10 cities that were expecting sweeps. Mayor Bill DeBlasio tweeted that raids had started late Saturday night in parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan.
“Receiving reports of attempted but reportedly unsuccessful ICE enforcement actions in Sunset Park and Harlem,” the mayor said. “@NYCImmigrants and advocates are connecting with residents and distributing resources door to door.”
ICE agents were reportedly spotted in Immokalee, Florida on Friday, creating fears among the city’s immigrant population. Immokalee is a predominantly agricultural community and is one of the major tomato growing centers in the United States. The city has a population of approximately 24,000, with a large migrant worker community. ICE would not confirm if they were in Immokalee on Friday or if they were planning raids in the area.
5. Some Citizens Are Carrying Their Passports as Proof of Citizenship
Some citizens, both born in the United States and naturalized, have begun carrying their passports out of fear they may be detained. NBC News is reporting that a number of citizens are concerned they will also be targeted, especially if they are of Latino heritage or have an accent.
“I was born in Seattle, Washington. I now carry my passport and official birth certificate with me at all times. Do you? Are you terrified? Perhaps you should be. Lord knows who is next,” Sandra Hinjosa posted on Twitter.
“It’s tragic that because of the color of their skin, people feel they have to carry a passport,” UnidosUS Deputy Vice-President of Policy Clarissa Martinez said.