LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Fear and dread loom over some immigrant communities Thursday evening after President Trump renewed his threat to begin mass ICE raids this weekend.
CBS2/KCAL9’s Tom Wait reported from a church in Maywood that is offering a safe haven to those who ask for it.
“There is a lot of fear,” says Pastor Ada Valiente of the First Baptist Church.
She says many in the immigrant community are on edge — a nationwide ICE operation targeting thousands of undocumented migrant families will reportedly begin on Sunday.
Pastor Valiente says her church is open to those who fear deportation.
“We’re preparing ourselves to shelter them to provide a safe haven for them to be here,” says the pastor.
The prospect of new raids comes a month after President Trump postponed a similar operation.
According to CBS News. ICE is reportedly targeting about 2,000 migrants who either have criminal histories or are here illegally and were ordered deported.
Acting Border and Protections Commissioner Mark Morgan last month said the operation was not about handcuffing mothers and their kids.
“No,” said Morgan, “But if you’re a criminal alien, and you’ve been convicted of murder, sexual assault, etc., are you going to be handcuffed, you betcha, you’re going to be handcuffed.”
“We don’t take this lightly,” says immigrant advocate Juan Gutierrez.
He says the continued threat of raids fuels a sense of constant dread.
“I cannot begin to describe how frightened, how terrified – our immigrants in immigrant communities are right now,” says Gutierrez.
“One of the things that we are telling our community is not to open the doors – to make sure not to let anyone inside their property, and they would have to have a warrant,” Gutierrez says.
Mayor Eric Garcetti and LA County Sheriff Alex Villanueva made statements that they were against the raids.