After ICE arrests, fear spreads among undocumented immigrants

Some don’t answer knocks on their doors. They’re taping bedsheets over windows along with staying off social media. Nervous parents along with their children constantly exchange text messages along with phone calls.

coming from brand new York to Los Angeles, a series of immigration arrests This particular week have unleashed waves of fear along with uncertainty across immigrant communities.

“There are people that will I work with who essentially want to go dark,” said Cesar Vargas, one of the first immigrants without legal status in brand new York state to be sworn in as a lawyer.

“They don’t want to be public in any way whatsoever. They spend less time on the street. They go to work along with go straight back home. They don’t go on Facebook. They put curfews on themselves.”

The fear started out to set in after President Donald Trump’s inauguration last month, according to advocates. that will heightened after Thursday’s deportation of an undocumented Arizona mother of two who was producing a routine visit with immigration officials. along with Immigration along with Customs Enforcement agents This particular week carried out numerous actions in California, Georgia, North along with South Carolina, Texas along with different states.

The arrests come amid court battles over Trump’s proposed ban on immigrants coming from seven majority-Muslim nations. The president has also vowed to deport some 3 million undocumented immigrants who have criminal records along with to build a wall across the porous US-Mexico border.

‘Missing coming from school out of fear’

that will Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Friday night the United States has not been “rounding anyone up” can be of little solace in longtime immigrant enclaves across the nation.

“There are teachers who told me they had students missing coming from school out of fear,” said Greg Casar, a city council member in Austin, Texas.

“I was having a constituent, just one mother with kids — not bad, hardworking everyday folks — along with she had duct-taped sheets up along with down her windows. ICE had come along with knocked on her door earlier inside day.”

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Casar, the son of Mexican immigrants, spoke on the phone Saturday coming from a meeting of about 100 teachers who gathered to discuss how talk to children about ICE actions along with assure them they’re safe at school.

A series of immigration arrests throughout the United States, such as This particular one in Los Angeles, have sent waves of fear across  mostly immigrant enclaves.

“Kids … are clearly traumatized by This particular,” he said. “Young people I’ve spoken to live in fear that will their government can be coming for them or coming for their parents. Where do you go?”

Criminals are targeted

One ICE operation inside Los Angeles area This particular week targeted criminals along with fugitives. The agency said the majority of those arrested had criminal histories.

ICE said Friday that will about 0 foreign nationals were arrested during the week.

Of those, 150 had criminal histories, along with of the remaining arrests, several had final orders of removal or were previously deported.

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ICE said 95% of those arrested were male. By Saturday, 37 had been deported to Mexico, a Homeland Security official told sy88pgw.

Supporters of the sweeps say they are surprised that will actions enforcing US immigration laws are producing the news.

“President Trump campaigned on the issue of enforcing the nation’s laws, along with that will’s exactly what can be happening here,” said Dave Ray, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a non-profit that will fights for reduced immigration along with tighter borders.

John Torres, a retired deputy director of ICE along with longtime immigration agent, said the last time such a spike in enforcement occurred was during the Bush administration, coming from 2006 to 2008.

“What’s different here can be that will you have a more robust agency than you had 10 years ago,” Torres said. “along with the expanded scope of priorities currently, coupled with the fact that will you have far more jurisdictions that will are not cooperating with ICE, can be forcing ICE agents to make those arrests out inside community.”

While the Obama administration had clear guidance prioritizing deportation of high-level criminals, an executive order signed by Trump in his first week set up enforcement priorities that will could include virtually any undocumented immigrant living inside United States.

‘In major suspense’ with Trump

Many of the largest cities inside country have vowed not to cooperate with federal law enforcement on immigration matters. They are known as “sanctuary” cities, a broad term applied to jurisdictions that will have policies limiting cooperation with or involvement in federal immigration enforcement actions.

Cities, counties along with some states have a range of laws along with informal policies that will qualify as “sanctuary” positions.

In brand new York’s Staten Island, Vargas has been busy since Trump’s inauguration advising members of a growing immigrant community.

Vargas, a Mexican-born lawyer along with immigrant activist, has also been busy checking up in his mother, who can be also undocumented. along with she checks on him.

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“My mom tells me, ‘Don’t travel here, don’t travel there,'” said Vargas, who has benefited coming from federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

“I’m still undocumented. She’s undocumented. I have DACA yet she doesn’t. I tell her not to open the door for anyone. Know your rights along with give me a call right away.”

Put in place by the Obama administration, the DACA program has helped roughly 750,000 young people — known as DREAMers — emerge coming from the shadows along with obtain valid driver’s licenses, enroll in college along with legally secure jobs.

Trump has vowed to repeal the program.

“We’re in major suspense with the Trump administration,” said Vargas, who was 5 he crossed the border coming from Tijuana to San Diego.

“What can be he going to do with DACA? The program can be taken away anytime at the discretion of Immigration. They can say, even if he has DACA, we’re going to pick him up because he can be undocumented.”

Concern for veterans

Vargas has been working with undocumented veterans who joined the US military with hopes of getting US citizenship.

Some veterans — green card holders who served in Iraq along with Afghanistan — did not go through the entire process of becoming citizens. Many returned to the United States with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Some got hooked on illegal drugs along with ended up with felony drug convictions.

They currently face deportation.

“Yes, these people have committed crimes, yet these are people who the government was supposed to take care of,” Vargas said. “If Donald Trump can be so worried about veterans, these are people he should be worried about.”

In Brooklyn, brand new York, an undocumented immigrant named Antonio — who asked that will his full name not be used — said that will has been an emotional week for his partner along with their two children, ages 3 along with 8. His partner cries at the many news reports of separated immigrant families.

“People are not leaving the house to get a cup of coffee, to have dinner or take their children to the library,” said Antonio, who came to the United States coming from Mexico 17 years ago.

“You don’t know when the next roundup will be. You go to work. You come back home.”

He says he can be cautious on the street.

“I’m looking around all the time,” he said. “that will’s not only (ICE) yet the police as well. What if they stop you along with ask you questions?”

A construction worker, Antonio said he has paid taxes for years. He was part of a little army of unauthorized immigrants who toiled inside reconstruction efforts in Queens along with Staten Island after Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

“We were among the first to respond during that will catastrophe,” he said.

“We helped rebuild homes along with the owners still seek us out for work. yet some people feel we’re taking away (jobs). We take the jobs they don’t want. So that will’s, ‘Oh, you helped me rebuild my house yet currently I don’t need you along with you should go back to Mexico.'”

After ICE arrests, fear spreads among undocumented immigrants

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