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Last Update: 10 Hour and 17 Minute ago
News code: 27873
Published Date: Monday 15 July 2019 - 11:30:51
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US authorities launch raids aimed at undocumented immigrants

US authorities launch raids aimed at undocumented immigrants
World  - Authorities in the United States launched small-scale operations to arrest undocumented families over the weekend in a start to President Donald Trump's plan to deport thousands of immigrants.

The multi-day operation was expected to target hundreds of recently arrived families in about 10 cities who have been ordered deported by an immigration judge.

The removal operations are meant to deter a surge in Central American families fleeing poverty and gang violence in their home countries, with many seeking asylum in the US.

Immigrants and their advocates were on standby for mass arrests, but by Sunday night there were only reports of low-profile operations in a few cities.

"We are doing targeted enforcement actions against specific individuals who have had their day in immigration court and have been ordered removed by an immigration judge," Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Matt Albence told Fox News when asked for an update.

Mary Bauer at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said there were no confirmed operations in large southern cities such as Atlanta.

There were no reports of arrests from the American Immigration Council, which has lawyers on standby to give legal advice at the country's largest family migrant detention centre in Dilley, Texas.

"Immigrants and immigrant communities all over the country are in hiding and people are living in these terrified, terrorised ways, because that is the point of this whole action, whether enforcement actions take place or not," said Bauer, the SPLC's deputy legal director.

Al Jazeera's Gabriel Elizondo, reporting from Washington, DC, said: "There is no evidence of any widespread ICE raids in the immigrant communities in the US".

"It seems it's not happening in a widespread manner like President Trump said it was going to happen," Elizondo said.

"Still it has a chilling effect throughout immigrant communities in the US. Many migrant families are staying away from their houses or staying in their houses.

"We have heard for example from New York where a suburban park which is generally crowded at the weekends was deserted."

 

News Code: 27873
Published Date: Monday 15 July 2019 - 11:30:51
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