In a tweet on Monday night, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, revealed that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) alongside other immigration agencies would begin mass arrests of illegal immigrants starting from next week.
Millions of illegal immigrants will once again feel the blow of Trump's aggressive immigration policies as ICE is expected to sweep across major cities in the U.S. in search of migrant parents and children who entered the country illegally. President Trump said they would be removed as soon as they enter.
A plan called "rocket docket" which saw the Justice department expedite the deportation orders of thousands of immigrants led Trump and his senior officials to prod Homeland Security officials to arrest and remove the immigrants.
Both Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and acting ICE director Ronald Vitiello were on the receiving end of the plan as they expressed concerns, including public outrage, about the operations. Former FBI and Border Patrol official Mark Morgan received the nod to replace Vitiello at ICE and has stated commitment to the operations in interviews.
Speaking in early June, Morgan said interior enforcement is the agency's next challenge. He told everyone who has gone through the necessary processes and received deportation orders will be targeted, alongside their families. He, however, said ICE agents will be humane and show compassion towards the people affected.
Usually, ICE keeps large scale operations like this a secret to avoid tipping off targets. In fact, the mayor of Oakland was threatened with criminal prosecution last year for tipping off residents about immigration raids in 2018.
Following Trump's tweet, ICE officials said they were not informed about the public declaration. Also, ICE has been finding it hard to cope with the surge at the southern border, which led to a fall in intra-US arrests. Hence it is unclear whether ICE has what it takes or is ready for such expansive operation at the moment.
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