New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says he's getting reports that a nationwide crackdown on immigrants facing deportation is already underway in his city.
The sweeps were expected to start Sunday, but de Blasio tweeted on Saturday that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency had already taken action in New York.
The mayor says ICE agents did not succeed in rounding up any residents of Brooklyn's Sunset Park neighborhood and Harlem.
Immigrants who've been given orders to leave the country are government targets in at least 10 cities.
Advocates are coaching them on their rights, including instructions not to respond if agents knock on the door unless shown a warrant signed by a judge.
The Democratic mayor has said his city would not cooperate with ICE.
Several thousand protesters marched through downtown Chicago to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies, including the planned sweeps in several American cities, including Chicago, over the weekend.
The protesters at Saturday’s march belted chants critical of President Donald Trump and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Many of them carried placards with messages including “No kids in cages” and “Abolish ICE.”
The head of ICE said efforts to deport families with orders to leave the country will continue after an upcoming national sweep that President Donald Trump said would start Sunday.
Matthew Albence, the agency’s acting director, said targets were on an “accelerated docket” of immigration court cases for predominantly Central Americans who recently arrived at the U.S. border in unprecedented numbers. Similar operations occurred in 2016 under President Barack Obama and in 2017 under Trump.
“This family operation is nothing new,” Albence told The Associated Press. “It’s part of our day-to-day operations. We’re trying to surge some additional resources to deal with this glut of cases that came out of the accelerated docket, but after this operation is over, these cases are still going to be viable cases that we’ll be out there investigating and pursuing.”
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