Nationwide raids targeting thousands of undocumented families will begin Sunday, The New York Times reports, despite President Trump’s own immigration officials warning that children who are citizens may be separated from their parents.
The operation, which was briefly delayed amid resistance in Trump’s own administration, is expected to be conducted by ICE over several days.
Officials told the Times that the raids will include “collateral” deportations, meaning that immigrants who are not targeted may also be detained. Officials said ICE will try to keep families together and that their goal is to deport families as quickly as possible.
The officials said ICE was targeting at least 2,000 immigrants who have been ordered to be deported in 10 major cities.
“The Trump administration’s goal is to use the operation as a show of force to deter families from approaching the southwestern border,” the officials said, according to The Times.
Immigration officials unhappy with raid plan:
The planned raids have caused turmoil within the administration and within immigration agencies. According to officials, ICE agents have “expressed apprehensions about arresting babies and young children” and voiced concern that the planned raids had been publicly reported and word had spread about how to avoid arrest.
According to The Times, acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan ordered then-ICE Director Mark Morgan to call off the raids in June. McAleenan did not support the raids, officials said, “in part out of concern that undocumented parents could be separated from any of their children who are American citizens,” according to The Times.
Morgan then personally lobbied Trump to restart the raids, and has since been named the new commissioner of Customs and Border Protection.