Trump Deportation Raids Picked Up More Than 680 People, Government Says

Protestors against deportation and immigration raids close off a section of Aliso Street in downtown L.A. on Feb. 9 2017

"Last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a series of targeted enforcement operations across the country".

Another man was detained at his work at a Target store in the San Fernando Valley, she said. The first round of Trump-era deportation sweeps had begun.

The news quickly filtered back to immigrant rights activists, who confirmed the detentions and alerted their networks.

Gillian Christensen, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), said the raids were part of "routine" immigration enforcement actions. People with deportation orders don't necessarily have criminal records.

"ICE conducts these kind of targeted enforcement operations regularly and has for many years", he said.

"We're getting them out, and that's what I said I would do", Trump said in a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, referring to "hardened criminals" arrested by ICE.

Local immigration attorneys say they're getting more calls from immigrants anxious about their legal status. It is correct to point out that the majority of illegal aliens can not be arrested given enforcement resources, so they must be encouraged to self-deport, which was a major part of the Operation Wetback strategy. The president's order also said enforcement priorities would include convicted criminals, immigrants who had been arrested for any criminal offense, those who committed fraud, and anyone who may have committed a crime.

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There have been repeated rumors that ICE was planning actions in the area for several days.

"If he posed such a threat, ICE had ample time in the past 30 years to arrest him and place him in deportation proceedings, but they didn't do so", said Nguyen of the Central Law Group, PLLC, based in Charlotte. García de Rayos had been caught using a fake Social Security number during a ICE workplace raid in 2008.

"Trump and his allies will do everything they can to divide Americans, invoke fear in vulnerable neighborhoods, and demonize an entire community of people", Casar wrote on Facebook. Casar said the ICE raids had the goal of trying to "silence us", but, "We will not be silenced". This partly reflected the Obama administration's emphasis on deporting serious criminal offenders. In a statement, the agency said "officers frequently encounter additional suspects who may be in the United States in violation of the federal immigration laws".

Last year, 92 percent of the people ICE deported from within in the United States had criminal convictions.

She said the increase in arrests Thursday through Sunday is not a routine event.

"The Administration should take a just, humane, and sensible approach that does not cause pain for people who only want to live their lives and raise their families in the communities they call home".

CHIRLA is now focusing on educating immigrant communities on civil and constitutional rights. On Friday, the group ran hourly know-your-rights workshops, and it's also holding legal clinics where immigrants can get advice. Similar efforts have been happening nationwide: Earlier this week, for example, public school educators in Austin, Texas, handed out flyers to students in English and Spanish about what to do in an encounter with immigration officials.