Massive Immigration Raids 'Send a Message' Under Trump

Hundreds have been arrested this week in raids across at least 6 states
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2017 9:55 AM CST
Major Raids Across US Have Immigrants 'Panicking'
Hundreds of undocumented immigrants were arrested this week as part of major ICE raids in at least six states.   (Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP)

"People are panicking." That's the message from one immigration lawyer after hundreds of undocumented immigrants were rounded up this week by ICE agents in raids in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and the Carolinas, the Washington Post reports. According to NPR, the raids were the first since President Trump signed a Jan. 26 executive order on undocumented immigrants. That order redefined "criminal alien," expanding the definition beyond the couple million "bad hombres" the president mentioned during the campaign to include undocumented immigrants who are only suspected of a crime or those who've committed low-level offenses, such as using a fake Social Security number to get a job, the Hill reports.

All last week, homes and businesses were raided in broad daylight—a change in tactic from the Obama administration that one government aide says is possibly meant to "send a message" under Trump. Immigrant advocates are also reporting that ICE agents are stopping immigrants at random or going door to door in minority-heavy neighborhoods to ask for IDs, though ICE denies these tactics. There have also reportedly been major raids in Kansas, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. Many advocates see this week as punishment for sanctuary cities and an attempt to "instill fear" in immigrants. And while officials maintain they're targeting undocumented immigrants with serious criminal records, advocates say it doesn't help their case that the first deportation under Trump was a "working mom with two US kids." (Read more undocumented immigrant stories.)

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