New York, NY — Following President Trump's recent tweet threatening mass raids and deportations of immigrant families, the acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency said that he would follow through with plans to send armed agents into communities to round up and deport undocumented families with prior deportation orders. As of now, there is no clear nor concrete information on the scale or location of these planned raids.
Steve Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, issued the following statement:
“This is a new low. In the wake of his official campaign launch, the Trump administration this week has tried to ratchet up its racist anti-immigrant rhetoric and threats of his terrorizing deportation force. This cheap political ploy, played at the expense of vulnerable immigrant families, comes at a time when the Administration has already stretched the capacities of our immigration system to its limits, filling detention spaces beyond capacity and going significantly over budget. Threatening to targeting families and children just to score political points is cruel, inhumane and downright stupid — and if this threat actually does comes to New York, we will once again rise up and fight back. For now, we remind our immigrant neighbors to know their rights and contact an attorney as soon as possible after any interaction with immigration enforcement.”
Given the chaos surrounding the processing of asylum claims in the last few years, advocates and lawyers have raised serious concerns about the validity of any deportation order that was entered against individuals who lacked the resources to assert their rights under existing law. Families and unaccompanied children, especially, have been subjected to dramatically changing policies, imprisonment, separation, and fast-tracking of their court cases, without always having access to lawyers or community representatives who could explain the process. We urge anyone who is impacted by a raid of fears being arrested as a result of these operations to connect with an attorney as soon as possible.
Attorneys and community groups are already organizing to be ready to help any New Yorker affected by the raids, and to help communities and families create safety plans should the worst case scenario play out.