WASHINGTON – Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will reportedly begin a mass roundup on Sunday of families facing deportation in several major U.S. cities.
Three U.S. officials told the Washington Post the operation will likely begin with predawn raids in as many as 10 cities, including Houston, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, among other cities where there are large immigrant populations.
Across the United States, leaders have been issuing statements of opposition to the impending raids, with the Chicago mayor going as far to say the city will not cooperate with federal agents.
She issued a statement Friday, saying she directed Chicago PD to terminate ICE’s access to CPD databases related to immigration enforcement activities, Chicago media outlets reported. In Los Angeles, LAPD said they are aware of the upcoming ICE actions, and they were not “participating or assisting in any of these enforcement actions.” LAPD said ICE has 140 targets in that area, according to Los Angeles media outlets, who have been issued final deportation orders.
In Washington D.C., Metro PD officials said they do not inquire people about immigration status – victims or suspects – and do not enforce civil immigration policy.
The D.C. Police Department tweeted Friday night the following statement:
MPD will not enforce civil immigration laws, which only create a strong divide between the police & community members. MPD officers are prohibited from asking about residency/immigration status. DC’s immigrant community is a vital part of our city, which we continue to serve.
In a statement, Mayor Muriel Bowser restated that D.C. is a sanctuary city and said she is “committed to protecting the rights of all our immigrant families in the face of these disturbing threats.”
“The president should understand that not only are these threats cruel and antithetical to our American values, they are actually making our communities less safe by sending more residents into hiding, cut off from resources, support, and opportunity,” she said in a statement.
Montgomery County officials, County Executive Marc Elrich and Council President Nancy Navarro, issued a joint statement on the issue as well, saying the “punitive action” is causing fear and disruption.
“Montgomery County values its diverse community that is made up of people from a variety of backgrounds, cultures and nations. We want to assure our residents that the County will continue to be a welcoming community for all,” they wrote. “The president’s statements are counter to our vision and seek to erode all the work we have done, and are doing, to build trust in immigrant communities and to make our diverse County the most inclusive jurisdiction in the country. We cannot, and we will not, let this trust be destroyed.”