SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced it is moving forward with a plan to remove, arrest, and deport families with court-ordered removals in 10 cities starting on Sunday, June 23, according to a senior immigration official.
This comes after President Donald Trump’s tweet Monday night saying ICE was preparing to deport “millions” of undocumented immigrants.
A senior administration official told CNN the operation had been planned for some time, but said the president’s tweet had put the operation at the forefront.
“Certainly, the President’s tweet helped prioritize things for people,” the official said, adding that there had been internal debate about timing amid negotiations with Congress on additional funding and the upcoming 2020 budget.
Officials said the operation’s goal “is not to separate families,” but rather to “deter migrants from coming to the US-Mexico border.”
The operation is expected to target approximately 2,000 people, including families who are on an expedited court docket.
Last year, the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which oversees the nation’s immigration courts, announced that it had begun tracking family cases filed by the Department of Homeland Security in 10 immigration court locations:
- Los Angeles
- New Orleans
- New York
- San Francisco
The cases are being expedited to try to process the families in under a year.
In February, ICE sent around 2,000 letters to families who already had received final orders of removal by judges in absentia, asking them to self-report to local ICE offices by March to comply with the orders, Morgan said.
Once arrests take place, families will likely be moved to ICE family residential detention centers as the agency works with consulates to obtain travel documents, according to the official.
Some people will likely appeal their cases, but eventually some will be removed.
The official added that when there are US citizen children in the family, the parents will be fitted with an ankle bracelet and allowed to stay with that child to allow time to get affairs in order while other undocumented family members remain in custody, the official added, noting that no one wants a situation where a child is left alone.
According to ICE data, deportations increased about 13% between fiscal year 2017 and fiscal year 2018, when 256,085 people were deported.