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NY Attorney General Vows To Protect Undocumented Immigrants During Planned ICE Raids

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Photo Credit: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

New York is among as many as 10 cities nationwide that are going to be the target of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids targeting illegal immigrants, which are expected to begin this weekend and the state's attorney general is vowing to protect those undocumented immigrants.

The raids come weeks after President Donald Trump tweeted ICE’s plans to conduct them, forcing the commander-in-chief to postpone the operation due to the leaked information and public outcry. They have now been re-scheduled to begin on Sunday, July 14, though few details have been released.

The raids, which will be conducted by ICE, will include “collateral” deportations, according to the New York Times. In those deportations, law enforcement agents may detain immigrants who happened to be on the scene, even if they were not targets of the raids.

The other cities expected to see ICE raids include Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, and San Fransisco.

The planned raids have drawn the ire of elected officials and civil rights groups in those cities. Some mayors already announced that city police agencies will not assist ICE and others are planning marches and rallies to protest them.

New York Attorney General Letitia James is promising to protect those involved in the raids.

“The Trump Administration’s insistence on using migrant families as a political bargaining chip with Congressional leaders is as deplorable as it is un-American," she said in a statement. "As New York’s chief law enforcement officer, I will do everything in my power to ensure these families’ rights are protected. I will stand up against any threatened incursions on our state’s civil rights because, in America, we value our immigrants.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the planned raids were a “politically motivated directive (that is) despicable and inhuman, and New York will fight it.

“There are multiple reports that the Trump Administration will launch its previously announced blitz of ICE raids across the country this Sunday, including here in New York,” he said. “This shameful assault on families across the country will no doubt lead to further separations of children from their parents and ‘collateral arrests’ by ICE, where individuals with no orders of deportation will be detained.” 

Families that are arrested together will be held in family detentions in Texas and Pennsylvania, though some may wind up in hotels until travel documents can be confirmed and finalized due to overcrowding.

Officials said that as many as 2,000 immigrants who have been ordered to be deported - many of whom were arrested and later failed to appear in court - but still remain in the country, are being targeted.

In a statement issued this week, ICE spokesman Matthew Bourke said the agency would not comment on specific details related to enforcement operations, to ensure the safety and security of agency personnel.

"We know our neighbors are worried. Please know your city is here for you," New York Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Bill de Blasio tweeted in June. "Resources are here for those who have received an order from immigration courts or have concerns about their status."

Undocumented immigrants who want to check whether a removal order has been issued against them can call the Immigration Court Information System’s automated number at 1-800-898-7180.

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