LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are expected to begin conducting raids Sunday to locate and arrest illegal immigrants in major cities across the nation, according to a report.
The New York Times reported Thursday that ICE will conduct raids on 10 cities and target at least 2,000 immigrants. It’s likely Los Angeles is one of those cities.
Officials told the Times that the goal of the raids is to deport the families as soon as possible.
ICE had originally planned to conduct the operation last month, but President Donald Trump issued a delay in order to allow Congress to reach a solution regarding the immigration issue. At that time, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and L.A. Police Department said they would not be participating or assisting ICE in the raids.
“They’re (the raids) absolutely going to happen,” Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of the Citizenship and Immigration Services agency, said Wednesday. “There’s approximately a million people in this country with removal orders.”
Cuccinelli declined, however, to provide a date for the raids.
In anticipation of the raids, the ACLU Thursday filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of several nonprofit immigrant advocacy groups asking the courts to protect those arrested in the raids.
“Constitutional due process requires the government to bring these families and children before an immigration judge so they can have a fair day in court before they face deportation,” the groups wrote in a statement.
In February, the L.A. City Council unanimously passed a resolution giving L.A. sanctuary status for immigrants, joining other sanctuary cities in the region including San Bernardino, Santa Ana and Malibu.
In October 2017, then Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 54, the sanctuary state legislation that extends protections for immigrants living in the United States illegally. Under it, police are barred from asking people about their immigration status or participating in immigration enforcement activities. Jail officials are only allowed to transfer inmates to federal immigration authorities if they have been convicted of certain crimes.
CBS2 reached out to ICE for a comment on the raids and received the following statement:
“Due to law-enforcement sensitivities and the safety and security of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel, the agency will not offer specific details related to enforcement operations. As always, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. In fact, 90 percent of aliens arrested by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations component in FY2018 had either a criminal conviction(s), pending criminal charge(s), were an ICE fugitive, or illegally reentered the country after previously being removed. 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.”
Meanwhile, President Trump Thursday announced an executive order that deals with the collection of citizenship information, but the order will not involve the 2020 census.