President Donald Trump has instructed Immigration and Customs Enforcement to begin its raids this weekend in the following cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Denver, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Baltimore, Chicago and Atlanta.
From ABC: President Donald Trump confirmed on Friday that Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents would conduct weekend raids to deport immigrants with outstanding orders to leave the country.
Trump said the raids will target criminals, but immigration advocates say the agency is increasingly targeting families who have recently entered the country. The president did not not give a specific time for when the ICE operations would take place on Sunday.
“There’s nothing to be secret about. Can I tell you what? There’s nothing to be secret about. ICE is law enforcement, they’re great patriots. They have a tough job. Nothing to be secret about,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday.
“If the word gets out, it gets out. Hundreds of people know about it. It’s a major operation. So if the word gets out, it gets out. It starts 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 prison, or put them in prison in the countries they came from. We’re focused on criminals as much as we can before we do anything else,” Trump said.
ICE has declined, however, to comment on the timing of any raids. The New York Times had reported they would take place Sunday morning.
Major cities across the U.S. on Thursday were bracing for sweeping deportation raids this weekend, the second time in less than a month that Trump administration insiders have signaled roundups were imminent.
Trump also brushed off criticism from mayors who are against the action, saying the criticism is only from sanctuary cities.
“The mayors in sanctuary cities, a mayor like de Blasio who’s probably the worst mayor in the country. I don’t know what his attitude is, nobody does, because he doesn’t work very hard. Nobody knows what he does. But a guy like de Blasio probably wouldn’t want the raid. Many mayors do. Most do. You know why? They don’t want to have crime in their cities or states,” he said.
When raids were reportedly planned last month, mayors of cities like Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Chicago pushed back, saying the city and local law enforcement would not cooperate with ICE. Mayor Lori Lightfoot in Chicago specifically directed the Chicago Police Department not to help ICE or allow them to access the department’s databases.
Mayor LaToya Cantrell and DHS confirmed there will be no immigration enforcement this weekend in New Orleans, where the city is bracing for dangerous flooding from tropical storm Barry.
The raids were intended as a massive show of force against undocumented immigrants by President Donald Trump, who last month tipped his hand when he vowed on Twitter that “millions” would be deported.
While administration officials have called that estimate an exaggeration, they confirmed there are 2,000 people in as many as 10 cities who have been identified as a top priority for deportation — many of them families.