Democrats, Activists Concerned About ICE Raids
(photo by: CNN/Newsource)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Immigrant rights activists and Democrats are raising concerns this weekend about recent immigration enforcement actions -- though immigration officials maintain that only routine actions targeting criminals were underway.
Fear is running high among immigrant communities since President Donald Trump's inauguration -- and after the recent publicized deportation of an undocumented Arizona mother of two after a routine visit with immigration officials, reports have been spreading of Immigration and Customs Enforcement stepping up its actions in the Southwest.
The actions are the first concerted effort by ICE under the Trump administration to arrest targeted undocumented immigrants for deportation proceedings.
It's unclear at this point in the nascent administration whether it was a sign of things to come, or whether the actions were conducted under any different procedures than could have been in place under the Obama administration.
Trump claimed credit for the raids Sunday, tweeting: "The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!"
It was the uncertainty, the publicity of the raids and the high tensions raised by public comments on immigration by Trump administration officials that had Democrats asking for more information.
California Rep. Lou Correa sent a letter to immigration officials, outlining the unanswered questions related to the latest immigration enforcement actions.
"These activities have caused fear and uncertainty for many of constituents," Correa wrote, and listed 10 questions for ICE, among them "What are the agency's priorities for removal? and "How far in advance were these enforcement activities planned?"
David Marin, Los Angeles field office director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said planning for the immigration operation carried out this week began during the Obama administration.