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As Nationwide Raids Loom, Things Are About To Get ICE-y For Some Illegal Immigrants

AP Photo/Gregory Bull

In June, the president alluded to mass immigration raids were in the works. It’s the plan that gave former Department Of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pause. This hesitancy reportedly led to her firing, as she feared the political ramification of such a large-scale nationwide raid. Yet, something else happened, The Washington Post obtained key details about the raids, including the ten cities was were on the target list. A very small group of individuals knew these details, and DHS officials who spoke to The Washington Examiner’s Anna Giaritelli pointed to acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan as the leaker. Regardless of the palace intrigue, the raids are reportedly still on the books. President Trump said he delayed executing the raids, giving time for congressional Democrats and Republicans to find another solution to the asylum loophole and the larger crisis on the southern border. Yeah, to no one’s surprise, that’s never going to happen with Democrats in charge. The good news is that these raids are still a go, though some immigration officials are trying to temper expectations (via WaPo):


The Justice Department fast-tracked the cases of thousands of families, many of whom claimed fear of harm if sent back. Homeland Security officials say 90 percent of those ordered deported did not show up for their court hearings.

ICE developed a target list this spring with thousands of names in at least 10 cities, including Houston, Los Angeles, New York and other major immigrant destinations. Senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller and other White House officials urged the arrests and deportations to be carried out in a highly visible fashion for the sake of maximum publicity.

The “family op” stalled, though, as Homeland Security officials worried it would trigger a wave of outrage similar to the fury over last year’s “zero tolerance” family separations.


White House officials said they have also been concerned the administration lacks a fully cooked communications strategy to explain the goals of the mass arrests and minimize the potential fallout from images of families being taken into custody.

The plan is to carry out the arrests in a more piecemeal fashion, without announcing dates or times in advance, the senior official said, cautioning there is “always a chance POTUS blurts them out.”


ICE officials expect they may be able to detain only 10 to 20 percent of their targets in each city, so they are trying to calibrate the president’s expectations, particularly after he pledged to sweep up millions of deportation-eligible foreigners.

Officials at ICE concede that few of the families on their list are likely to be encountered at the addresses provided to the courts. The agency is expecting to find some of those individuals and make “collateral” arrests of others they encounter who lack legal status or have outstanding deportation orders.


Ken Cuccinelli II, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, told Fox Business Network on Friday that ICE’s mission is “going to go forward.”


It’s time for this to happen. We have to enforce the law. You just can’t come here. No one had the right to enter any country illegally—ever. The protection of the borders is a key state function and a national security priority. Nicaraguan police recently arrested ISIS operatives last week. I doubt these terrorists were there on vacation. We need more funding to deal with the horde of illegals as they processing in our detention centers, we need more immigration judges, we need a wall, we need to reform the asylum laws, and we need to deport illegal aliens. Period.   

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