In recent days more than 100 undocumented immigrants have reportedly been detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents. Texas Observer reports that as many as five immigrants were detained on Feb. 9. According to the Los Angeles Times, immigration activists claim that about 100 people have been taken into custody by ICE this week, resulting in a protest in downtown Los Angeles.
The seeming uptick in raids also comes on the heels of the arrest and deportation of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos — a mother who was previously convicted for using false papers to gain employment and afterward obeyed an order to report to ICE every six months — have circulated through social media and news outlets.
Like California, protests against the recent ICE arrests have also occurred in Texas and Arizona. However, ICE has stated that their recent raids are routine and aren’t due to pressure placed upon them by President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration.
“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation officers conduct enforcement actions every day around the country as part of the agency’s ongoing efforts to uphold public safety and border security ... ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law and agency policy. ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids that target aliens indiscriminately.”
U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) and California State Sen. Kevin de León have announced that they are seeking details from ICE about their recent raids and whether each detained person has been given access to an attorney.
The Los Angeles Police Department has decided not to assist ICE in detaining and deporting undocumented immigrants, and councilmembers in Austin have voiced concern that the crackdown is a result of the city's "sanctuary" status.
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