Protests were underway Thursday ahead of ICE raids expected to begin this weekend.
The White House said immigration officials are preparing to launch a nationwide operation against undocumented migrants this weekend. They’re expected to begin Sunday in 10 major cities across the country, targeting undocumented immigrants with deportation orders.
A crowd of protesters gathered in front of ICE Headquarters in San Francisco Thursday, demanding an end to the raids. Attorneys tell KRON4 raids already started in the Bay Area.
“They’re absolutely going to happen,” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli said. “There’s approximately a million people in this country with removal orders.”
Former U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger says the move is not surprising.
“The answer is… That you’ve got to have a system, if you’re going to use asylum the way we are doing it, where there are enough judges to timely hear and decide these cases.” Judge Wanger said. “We also have a million people who have been essentially ordered to return… and they’re here.”
Also Thursday, President Trump announced an executive order to obtain citizenship information. A citizenship question will not appear on the 2020 Census. Instead, federal organizations must provide the number of non-citizens and citizens to the Department of Commerce, as compiled from databases.
“Today is a win,” California Director of Mi Familia Vota Samuel Molina said.
“There’s a lot of federal programs that are funded as a result of the census.” Molina said. “So we need funding for our schools, public safety, public health. and we don’t need to be under-counted.”
“To put politics aside, we need to know how many people are in this nation, and quite frankly, for the purpose of counting… for Congress.” Judge Wanger said.
ICE released a statement about the raids, “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.”