By Kevin Deutsch
President Donald Trump on Saturday said he was delaying a series of planned ICE raids expected to target illegal immigrant families—enforcement operations that sparked fear in Latinx communities nationwide, including the Bronx.
“At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks,” Trump tweeted, stating that the delay would serve as a way “to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border. If not, Deportations start!”
While few details have been made public about the expected raids, ICE and Department of Homeland Security officials preciously said the “family op” would target as many as 2,000 families with pending deportation orders in up to 10 cities, including major urban centers like New York City. Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami, The Washington Post reported.
Before Trump’s announcement Saturday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on the president to scrap the operation.
“Families belong together,” Pelosi said. “These families are hard-working members of our communities and our country.”
While it remained unclear Saturday whether the Bronx would be among the areas targeted by government agents, the borough is New York City’s only majority Latinx county, and has been the target of previous immigration enforcement operations.
New York state Attorney General Letitia James has said the state will not cooperate with the raids.
Local immigrants rights groups and advocates, including the Bronx Immigration Partnership, were making preparations for enforcement sweeps they expected would seriously impact Bronx families.
Free legal and social services are available to Bronx -based immigrants here illegally who hope to remain in the country.