Originally published on this date in 2017.
Is this really happening? Is the federal government actually enforcing immigration law?
Somebody pinch me and tell me it’s not a dream!
The Washington Post article about it is entitled
Federal agents conduct immigration enforcement raids in at least six states
By Lisa Rein, Abigail Hauslohner and Sandhya Somashekhar, Washington Post, Feb. 11, 2017
U.S. immigration authorities arrested hundreds of undocumented immigrants in at least a half-dozen states this week in a series of raids that marked the first large-scale enforcement of President Trump’s Jan. 25 order to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living here illegally. Officials said the raids targeted known criminals, but they also netted some immigrants without criminal records, an apparent departure from similar enforcement waves during the Obama administration. Last month, Trump substantially broadened the scope of who the Department of Homeland Security can target to include those with minor offenses or no convictions at all.
They’re here illegally, thus subject to deportation. End of story. And this is going on coast to coast.
Immigration officials confirmed that agents this week raided homes and workplaces in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, the Los Angeles area, North Carolina and South Carolina, netting hundreds of people. But Gillian Christensen, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), said they were part of “routine” immigration enforcement actions. ICE dislikes the term “raids,” and prefers to say authorities are conducting “targeted enforcement actions,” she said.
Call it what you want, as long as you do it.
Immigration activists said the crackdown went beyond the six states DHS identified, and said they had also documented ICE raids of unusual intensity during the past two days in Florida, Kansas, Texas and Northern Virginia.
Keep ‘em guessing.
Of course, the article has to say something like this:
That undocumented immigrants with no criminal records were arrested and could potentially be deported sent a shock wave through immigrant communities nationwide amid concerns that the U.S. government could start going after law-abiding people.
Illegal aliens are, by definition NOT “law-abiding people”, regardless of whatever else they might be doing or not doing.
“This is clearly the first wave of attacks under the Trump administration, and we know this isn’t going to be the only one,” Cristina Jimenez, executive director of United We Dream, an immigrant youth organization, said Friday [February 10th] during a conference call with immigration advocates. ICE agents in the Los Angeles area Thursday took a number of individuals into custody over the course of an hour, seizing them from their homes and on their way to work, activists said.
Let’s hope Cristina Jimenez is right, and this isn’t the only wave. For years, illegal alien apologists have been whining about illegals living “in the shadows”. They weren’t, but now they might be.
David Marin, ICE’s field director in the Los Angeles area, said in a conference call with reporters Friday that 75 percent of the approximately 160 people detained in the operation this week had felony convictions; the rest had misdemeanors or were in the United States illegally. Officials said Friday night that 37 of those detained in Los Angeles had been deported to Mexico. “Dangerous criminals who should be deported are being released into our communities,” Marin said.
Of course, there is this going on:
Spanish language radio stations and the local NPR affiliate in Los Angeles have been running public service announcements regarding the hourly “Know Your Rights” seminars the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles scheduled for Friday and Saturday. By the time the 4 p.m. group began Friday, more than 100 others had gathered at the group’s office in the Westlake neighborhood just outside downtown.
A “local NPR affiliate”? Say, is National Public Radio still getting government money?
A video that circulated on social media Friday appeared to show ICE agents in Texas detaining people in an Austin shopping center parking lot. Immigration advocates also reported roadway checkpoints, where ICE appeared to be targeting immigrants for random ID checks, in North Carolina and in Austin. ICE officials denied that authorities used checkpoints during the operations.
“I’m getting lots of reports from my constituents about seeing ICE on the streets. Teachers in my district have contacted me — certain students didn’t come to school today because they’re afraid,” said Greg Casar, an Austin City Council member. “I talked to a constituent, a single mother, who had her door knocked on this morning by ICE.”
Wow, could illegal aliens actually be getting scared?
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Tex.) said he confirmed with ICE’s San Antonio office that the agency “has launched a targeted operation in South and Central Texas as part of Operation Cross Check.” “I am asking ICE to clarify whether these individuals are in fact dangerous, violent threats to our communities, and not people who are here peacefully raising families and contributing to our state,” Castro said in a statement Friday night.
Hiba Ghalib, an immigration lawyer in Atlanta, said the ICE detentions were causing “mass confusion” in the immigrant community. She said she had heard reports of ICE agents going door-to-door in one largely Hispanic neighborhood, asking people to present their papers. “People are panicking,” Ghalib said. “People are really, really scared.”
Looks like finally they may have a reason to be scared.
“We cannot understate the level of panic and terror that is running through many immigrant communities,” said Walter Barrientos of Make the Road New York in New York City, who spoke on a conference call with immigration advocates.
Well, boo hoo.
Immigration officials acknowledged that as a result of Trump’s executive order, authorities had cast a wider net than they would have last year.
The New York Times reported on the same phenomenon and its article begins with this dramatic scene:
In Austin, Tex., undocumented women working in a laundromat cowered in the back of the room, petrified after seeing a video and a photograph of apprehensions outside a local grocery store and burger joint.
By Nicholas Kulish, Caitlin Dickerson and Liz Robbins, New York Times, Feb. 10, 2017
That first anecdote is followed by anecdotes from Staten Island and Savannah, Georgia, and then the Times reports that
As reports of immigration raids and roundups have rocketed across Twitter, Facebook and texts around the country, undocumented immigrants, their lawyers and advocacy groups are bracing for the increased enforcement that President Trump has called for.
Hope they’re right.
Susannah Volpe, a managing attorney at Ayuda [Spanish for “help”], an immigrant legal services group in Washington, said she had noticed what seemed to be roundups of people, like those without criminal records, that the government had not previously paid much attention to.“These are agents going into apartment buildings or agents going to worksites,” said Ms. Volpe, who had a client arrested, along with five others, at a construction site in Washington last week. “This is new.”
School principals in Los Angeles have been sent a checklist of things to do in case immigration agents turn up.
Of course, the Mexican government is keeping up with this.
The Mexican government even warned “the entire Mexican community” in the United States “to take precautions and to keep in touch with their nearest consulate,” after the deportation of a woman who had previously been allowed to remain in the United States. Her case “illustrates the new reality” in the United States, said the message, from the foreign ministry.
“The new reality” – we can hope that’s the case.
In an executive order Jan. 25, Mr. Trump greatly expanded the categories of undocumented immigrants who would now be priorities for deportation, in keeping with his campaign pledge to be tough on illegal immigration. But despite numerous reports of mass roundups, it was still unclear Friday whether the promised surge in enforcement had actually begun. Officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, said the immigration roundups that people were seeing did not represent an increased tempo. The agency has about 100 fugitive teams constantly working to bring in those wanted on a variety of immigration offenses, and these teams have been just as active as they were during the Obama administration, officials said.
Really? Then again, it’s not just the apprehensions, it’s also what you do with the illegals after they’re apprehended.
Officials noted, however, that they did expect the numbers and deportations to increase in line with the president’s order. In Los Angeles, for example, the county sheriff’s department was told by ICE that it planned to issue “detainers” for every illegal immigrant charged with a crime, no matter how serious, according to Capt. Elier Morejon. Jonathan Blazer, the advocacy and policy counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, said the group had been wary of deportation tactics for years. “One challenge here is that every single enforcement action done outside the jail looks like Trump’s deportation force,” he said. “But as we know, under Obama enforcement was very high.”
The perception on the street though is that enforcement is picking up after Trump took office.
“The distinguishing factor under Trump is justifiable fear and anxiety,” he added. “Those are categorically new.”
We can hope.
Is this a dream? I hope not, but to the open border crowd, it’s beginning to resemble a nightmare.