2019-07-11 15:55:371 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Farm workers picked up by border patrol (Image source:The U.S. National Archives @ Flickr Commons via Wikimedia Commons)
We've been hearing warnings about this for weeks, only hearing that it would begin soon. We have now learned that day is coming up quickly. Mass deportation of immigrant families is scheduled to start on this coming Sunday, July 14.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will be conducting the raids over several days, according to unnamed sources that includes two current and one former homeland security officials.
The Trump administration has been promising this and seemingly looking forward to it for some time. Reportedly, it's the reason for Trump cleaning out Homeland Security, specifically former secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. She was against this mass deportation and got the boot, as did others.
The officials told the New York Times that the ICE agents will be targeting at least 2,000 immigrants who were ordered to be deported but who are still here in the United States. This number falls far short of the "millions" that were attached to a prior statement that it would be happening soon.
Trump said as late as July 5 that the deportations would begin "fairly soon." Migrant advocates have said the migrant communities will be "ready" when the ICE agents arrive.
The president postponed this plan in June after the start date was leaked. However, last week he mentioned it would start sometime after the holiday.
"They'll be starting fairly soon, but I don't call them raids — we're removing people, all of these people, who have come in over the years illegally," he said on Friday.
ICE officials explained last month that this organized effort will be targeting undocumented migrants who recently arrived in the U.S., with the hopes of discouraging further Central American families from making the trek north.
Earlier, ICE said its focus was arresting people with criminal histories, yet any immigrant found in violation of U.S. laws would be subject to arrest. Immigrant communities have grown very concerned after the repeated threats.
Democratic lawmakers have been making the rounds to Border Patrol facilities to witness the conditions migrants are being held in. One woman claimed she was told to drink from a toilet, but officials have disputed that story.
One good bit of news for those who are concerned they may be picked up in the raids: immigrant families will be held together, when possible, if they are arrested together.
They'll be held in family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania, according to the officials. Some may luck out and be allowed to stay in hotel rooms until travel is arranged if space becomes limited.
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