With Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids being conducted in at least 10 major USA cities starting Sunday, immigration supporters gathered on Friday to rally and bring awareness to issues facing immigrants at Washington Square Park in Kansas City, Missouri.
"There are approximately a million people in this country with removal orders".
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 USA border in unprecedented numbers.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement is scheduled to move forward with an operation targeting migrant families with court-ordered removals that had previously been called off by President Donald Trump, according to a United States official.
President Trump confirmed Friday that nationwide ICE immigration raids will start Sunday.More news: S&P 500, Dow hit new highs on rate cut optimism
More news: Steve Bruce Departing With Newcastle Squad For China In Balance
More news: Wimbledon: Centre of attention for rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer
The ICE raids are expected to take place in 10 major cities, pursuing people for whom courts have already issued removal orders, according to media reports. The other cities said to be targeted are New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Baltimore, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans and San Francisco.
In a statement, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said, "In Illinois, we welcome and protect them, despite threats from President Trump".
Trump, who has made cracking down on illegal immigration a centerpiece of his administration, is trying to deal with a surge of mostly Central American families crossing the U.S. -Mexico border.
But President Trump has been threatening raids since last month.
Prior reporting indicated the administration intends to target around 2,000 people, which could result in about 200 arrests. "What I hope is that the people that they're focused on are people that are very risky, because those people obviously shouldn't be in our community to begin with". News reports on Friday said ICE agents were meeting in the Collier County portion of Diaz-Balart's district to prepare for the weekend raids.
The lawsuit argues that constitutional due process requires the government to bring arrested families and children before an immigration judge so they can have a day in court before facing deportation. Many families are approaching border officials to seek asylum. "This brutal action will terrorize children and tear families apart", she told reporters. "What you see is a lot of them not attending or going out for work, play, the grocery store, or church". Activists at the Foley Square protest and around the US have been ramping up efforts to prepare by bolstering know-your-rights pocket guides, circulating information about hotlines and planning public demonstrations.