United States President Donald Trump announced on Friday that a concerted effort to arrest immigrants previously ordered to leave the country will begin over the current weekend. The president explained that the plan he devised to discourage the current influx of illegal aliens into the country will move forward now after weeks of delay.
The raids will be conducted in ten U.S. cities and will target members of hundreds of immigrant families who have not abided by orders of deportation.
Trump made the unusual move of announcing the deportation plans on Twitter about a month ago. The plan met resistance from Democrats and immigrant rights groups and the president agreed to postpone the operation in hopes a compromise could be reached.
Trump told a group of reporters that the ‘major operation’ would concentrate on deporting criminals from the country. Trump explains the targets entered America illegally and would now be sent home by legal means.
Government data shows that thousands of illegal immigrant arrests are made on a weekly basis by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. For the most part, these arrests are not announced in advance and receive no media publicity.
The president expressed no concern that the advanced notice he has given illegal immigrants will help them to escape being arrested.
A number of mayors in targeted cities have repeated past promises to not aid ICE in their efforts to deport residents. Some cities have even established hotlines immigrant families can call to gain information pertaining to their rights.
Democratic lawmakers have publicly instructed immigrant families to ignore knocks on the door from ICE unless a search warrant is displayed. Immigrants were also told to not answer any questions or sign any documents unless a lawyer is present.
President Trump has made immigration issues a centerpiece for both his administration and his bid to gain reelection in 2020. The Administration has taken a series of measures to address the overflow of Central American natives approaching the United States border in search of asylum.
The arrests planned by the Administration comes after much criticism has been aimed at the President because of the conditions in which current immigration detainees live. Many groups have also been upset by the fact some immigrant children have been separated from their families.
Democrats expressed concern during hearings on Friday that the plan of action desired by the president would result in more children and families being separated.