The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will carry out raids on July 14th to detain undocumented migrants in ten large cities, an operation which is expected to be focused mainly on those having final deportation orders.
These raids were expected to begin in late June; however, President Donald Trump postponed them while Congress was working to approve a US$ 4.6 billon financial support bill for the survaillance operations at the Mexican border.
Human rights activists are broadcasting emergency numbers so that migrants affected by the ICE raids can contact lawyers. Furthermore, they are implementing campaigns to train migrants on their rights.
One of these initiatives is carried out by the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), an organization which has circulated “Know Your Rights” materials in migrant communities and on social media.
In Chicago, Lincoln United Methodist pastor Walter Coleman said his church is advising migrants not to open their doors to agents without a warrant and not to sign any documents without a lawyer present.
The detained immigrant families will remain together, whenever possible, in family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania, officials told the New York Times.
With respect to the emergency situation prompted by the Central American migrant flows, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that the Trump Administration is determined to end “the crisis once and for all.”
“The President and this administration are determined and will not rest until we secure our Southern border and end the crisis on our southern border once and for all,” he said, adding that it is a moral duty “not only to secure the border but to create a migration system that protects our citizens’ lives and jobs.”
According to Vice President Pence, the “migration crisis” is due to transnational drug cartels and criminal organizations which get involved in the trafficking of migrant families. “That is why the President declared a national emergency and we have already begun to build a wall on the Southern border,” he added.
In Mexico, the Foreign Relations Secretary (SRE) announced that the 52 Mexican consulates in the U.S. are on alert to assist migrants who could be affected by the ICE raids that will begin on Sunday.
For their part, the U.S. governors and mayors opposed to Trump’s plan announced that they will implement measures to help the migrants families.