PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - President Donald Trump is making good on his promise to step up immigration enforcement.
The president confirmed Friday morning that nationwide Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids will begin this weekend.
"We will be removing large numbers of people," said President Trump.
CNN is reporting a senior official has confirmed about 2,000 people are targeted.
The immigration plan was initially set to take place last month, but President Trump postponed the raids; At the time, he said he was giving both parties time to come up with a solution. But it appears that time is up.
“It starts on Sunday,” President Trump told a group of reporters Friday morning. “[ICE agents] are going to take people out and they're going to bring them back to their countries, or they're going to take criminals out [and] put them in prison.”
He went on to add that some would be returned to their country of origin and would be imprisoned there.
CNN is reporting the ICE raids will take place in 10 major U.S. cities. Portland was not on that list, but when FOX 12 asked an ICE spokesperson to confirm, we received the following statement:
“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 enforcement operations.”
Although Portland is a sanctuary city, according to Mat Dos Santos, Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, “Having a status as a sanctuary city doesn’t guarantee ICE will respect that status.”
Dos Santos says Portland could see an increase in ICE activity, with more non-citizens being sent to detainment facilities.
“I can almost certainly guarantee the additional increase of enforcement activity would lead to new reports of inhumane conditions as overcrowding continues,” Dos Santos said.
In its statement to FOX 12, ICE said it will prioritize the arrest and removal of those who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security.
Data posted on the ICE website shows 66% of those arrested by the agency in 2018 were convicted criminals; Meanwhile, 21% had pending charges, while 3% were listed as ICE fugitives or illegally reentered the country after being removed. Only 10% fit none of those categories.
Pres. Trump confirmed this a.m. there will be nationwide ICE raids beginning this Sunday. @fox12oregon asked ICE officials if any would happen in Portland. They would not say, citing safety concerns for ICE personnel.— Marja Martinez (@MarjaKPTV) July 12, 2019
“I think we can expect to see a number of people who’ve never had criminal justice involvement get swept up in these raids,” said Dos Santos.
Although many, including the ACLU, are denouncing President Trump’s plan for increased immigration enforcement, ICE records show more people were deported during the Obama administration.
According to the ICE website, 256,086 people were deported in the 2018 fiscal year, while 409,849 were deported in the 2012 fiscal year.
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