People take part in the "March to Abolish ICE" protest in New York, the United States, June 29, 2018. Hundreds of people took part in the march on Friday, calling for the complete abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and an end to mass incarceration to illegal immigrants. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)
WASHINGTON, June 21 (Xinhua) -- The Trump administration is expected to launch raids on up to 2,000 migrant families facing deportation orders in up to 10 U.S. cities including Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and Miami, local media reported Friday.
U.S. President Donald Trump has directed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to kick off predawn raids on Sunday, said a Washington Post report, citing immigration officials.
The president announced earlier this week that ICE was preparing to deport "millions" of undocumented immigrants.
"Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in." Trump tweeted on Monday.
In February, ICE sent some 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, local media reported. The upcoming operation is expected to target them.
However, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan has reportedly been urging ICE to take a more limited approach to detain a group of about 150 families who had attorneys but dropped out of the legal process and absconded, warning that the widespread operation could risk separating children from their parents.
"Due to law-enforcement sensitivities and the safety and security of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel, the agency will not offer specific details related to ongoing enforcement operations before the conclusion of those actions," ICE said in a statement Friday.
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, said local media reports.