ICE raids are already under way this morning, and big blue cities are standing up to the Trump regime's terror campaign.
Fear and anxiety spread through immigrant communities nationwide over anticipated federal raids aimed at detaining and deporting thousands of people accused of remaining illegally within the United States.
Immigration reform advocates said that communities around Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco were being targeted by raids expected to start Sunday and last through at least Thursday.
“It’s almost like getting ready for a hurricane – it’s that state of alarm that people are feeling,” said Melissa Taveras of the Miami-based Florida Immigrant Coalition. “People are asking, ‘Is it OK for us to go work? Is it OK to take our kids to school?’”
The raids are different from routine Immigration and Customs Enforcement detentions, and advocates for immigrant communities say the raids appear designed to sow terror and discord among the approximately 2,000 families expected to be targeted, especially in light of news reports of some detainees dying in custody.
“It terrorizes the community,” said Milli Atkinson, legal director of the San Francisco Immigrant Legal Defense collaborative in San Francisco. “It’s really going to impact our community to see that happen, because with any detention they’re separating the men and the women and the children.”
The Trump administration argues the nation's immigration laws have long been ignored, and that tougher enforcement is necessary because Congress has failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform. The president on Friday said the raids would primarily target immigrants who have already been convicted of other crimes.
In Denver, Mayor Michael Hancock said city police officers would avoid helping ICE agents but said city human service workers were on alert to assist any minor children left behind if their parents are arrested.
In many cases, immigrants who lack legal permission to remain in the United States have minor children who are U.S. citizens. That puts officials in liberal cities like Denver or San Francisco in the tough position of opposing the ICE raids themselves but still having to manage the consequences.
It's that last part that's the key. Trump is expecting images of misery and fear, to both feed to his base as red meat and to terrify the rest of us. He's also expecting cities to become overloaded with cases of US citizen kids with parents rounded up by Trump's ICE goons, and having to care for them.
The ICE raids are just the beginning. Expect them to get much larger and much more violent, with regular immigration checkpoints around the nation.
And the victims won't be limited to just undocumented, either...