Federal Authorities Round Up Hundreds of Undocumented Immigrants Nationwide


Photo illustration by Diego Crespo/ El Paisano

Immigration Customs Enforcement agents conducted immigration raids over the weekend arresting 160 local undocumented residents of the Los Angeles area.

Jake Laurell, Tutor

United States Immigration Authorities have conducted series of raids across 11 states targeting undocumented immigrants throughout the country last week. This law enforcement comes from President Trump’s recently signed executive order January 25, cracking down on the millions of illegal immigrants living in the country.

The raids were meant to target undocumented immigrants that have criminal records and immigrants that been charged with an offense (even if there was no conviction). The executive order also forces action against any undocumented immigrant that commits “fraud or willful misrepresentation in connection with any official matter or application before a governmental agency” which includes any undocumented immigrant that used a false social security number on a job application, and gives an immigration officer the “judgement” to determine on whether that specific immigrant is a danger to public order and national security.

Atlanta, Chicago, New York, North Carolina, and South Carolina all have had raids conducted throughout the week. Further raids have also been reported in Virginia, Florida, Kansas, and Texas. The raids ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) conducted have accumulated over 150 arrests in the Los Angeles area alone, with hundreds throughout the country reported by ICE itself.

David Marin, ICE’s field director in the LA area, reported in a conference call with reporters on Friday that of the 160 people detained in the operation this week 120 had felony convictions. The rest had misdemeanors or were in the US illegally. Officials said 37 detainees in Los Angeles had been deported to Mexico.

“We’re talking about people who are threats to public safety or a threat to the integrity of the immigration system,” Gillian Christensen a spokeswoman of the Department of Homeland Security said about the raids.

Christensen stated that the raids are “targeted enforcement actions” and are routine immigration enforcement actions.

While the federal government maintains that these raids are routine for ICE, opposition believe that it is the start of Trump’s promise to crackdown on undocumented immigrants.

“And these are constituents of mine who have no criminal records — nothing. But they’re being targeted and are really concerned,” Austin City Councilman Greg Casar has said in an interview with Los Angeles Times.

Casar said that in light of these events since the signing of the executive order, his town’s residents which has a high demographic of immigrants are now hanging dark sheets on windows and refusing to open their doors, even to immigrant rights outreachers.

President Trump has continued his campaign against undocumented immigrants, signing executives orders ordering the construction of the wall along with thousands of new immigration officers, and the punishment of any “sanctuary cities” that do not cooperate with federal government by withholding federal funds. With much concern being placed over DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and which side the administration will adhere to, possibly 2.1 million eligible students education come now into question.