While the widely publicized deportation raids reportedly planned for Sunday may still be happening in multiple cities this week, legal pushback and the removal of the element of surprise may have caused them to be canceled or delayed once more.
Immigrant communities in San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Miami and elsewhere were lying low Sunday, due to the story floated last week via government sources that ICE was planning early morning raids on some 2,000 undocumented immigrant families in 10 cities. By late in the day Sunday, those large-scale raids had failed to materialize in any city, as NPR reports, with Mayor Bill de Blasio saying that ICE had attempted a few arrests, but all of them were "unsuccessful."
Receiving reports of attempted but reportedly unsuccessful ICE enforcement actions in Sunset Park and Harlem.@NYCImmigrants and advocates are connecting with residents and distributing resources door to door.— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) July 13, 2019
Remember: you have rights. Call 311 and say ActionNYC for help. pic.twitter.com/OZwpxlm30d
The New York Times reports that there were a few isolated arrests on Friday and Saturday in certain cities, with one report of a mother and several daughters being detained in Chicago — though all of them were released "under supervision." A teenager in New Jersey named Liza told the paper about having ICE visit her family's home at 1 a.m. Sunday, and again at 5 a.m., shining flashlights through windows and asking the family to come outside. Having learned their rights from various aid organizations, the teen and her parents refused to open the door and hid upstairs. Eventually the agents left after each visit.
Volunteer "ICE chasers" were out in force in Atlanta Sunday, but they found no raid activity. The Times reports that ICE is still planning isolated raids throughout this week, relying on the element of surprise in order to apprehend those they're targeting. (Because ICE isn't legally allowed to enter homes, all the news coverage last week has impacted the likely effectiveness of the raids — and the Times notes that ICE typically nabs only 20 to 30 percent of its deportation targets.)
KPIX/CBS SF reports that there were no such reports of any ICE visits in the Bay Area over the weekend, and local advocates attribute this in part to the ACLU's pre-emptive lawsuit agains the government. The suit, filed in Northern California on Saturday, was an emergency temporary restraining order against ICE, halting any deportations without giving immigrants a proper hearing before an immigration judge.
The ACLU has found that in many cases, the immigrants being targeted in these raids did not receive the self-deportation orders the government claims they sent, because they went to invalid addresses. And of those who did receive the government's letters requesting appearances in court, the letters didn't contain specific times or dates to appear.
As a result of the raid threat, the Mission was notably quieter on Sunday, and some local business owners claimed they had to come staff their businesses themselves because their workers had called out sick.
President Trump himself had confirmed that the raids were on late last week, and this came after he previously postponed them a month before facing pushback from House Democrats. There is also the looming PR threat of causing a new national outcry if families are forcibly separated in the raids.
Hamid Yazdan Panah with the California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice tells KPIX that "The solidarity expressed within our communities and the work being done by organizers, activists and attorneys, serves as a major deterrent to [these] types of operations" by ICE. However it remains to be seen if the raids may simply be staggered and scattered, and early-morning door-knocks will be coming to local immigrants' homes in the coming days.
Previously: Postponed ICE Raids Happening In SF On Sunday