457 out of 650 arrested in one raid were “collaterals”
Today, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the results of raids targeting Central American unaccompanied minors and the families that have taken them in. From the ICE press release:
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) deportation officers apprehended 650 individuals during a four-day operation last week, Operation Border Guardian/Border Resolve, which targeted individuals who entered the country as unaccompanied alien children (UACs) and family units.
This operation was the second iteration of Operation Border Guardian/Border Resolve which first took place in January and February 2016 in response to the significant spike in families and UACs from Central America attempting to illegally cross the southern border.
Of the 650 arrested nationwide July 23 to 26, 73 were members of family units and 120 entered the country illegally as UACs. An additional 457 others encountered during this operation were also arrested.
The following is a statement by Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund:
The practice of targeting unaccompanied minors who fled violence in Central America is appalling. The fact that ICE is targeting the family members who took them in makes it even worse. The United States used to be a nation that was a global leader with respect to protecting those fleeing war, violence and persecution. Now we are sending armed agents into neighborhoods to target those who came here seeking refuge. The Statue of Liberty weeps today.
In addition, some 70% of those apprehended in these so-called ‘targeted operations’ were not the intended targets, but people who were “encountered.” In plain English, that means they went into neighborhoods, stopped whoever they wanted and demanded to see papers. Did they ask everyone they encountered? Of course not. The Constitution weeps today.
This kind of enforcement is designed to strike terror in the heart of immigrant communities. Is this who we’ve become? Who we want to be? ICE is a police force that talks tough about “bad hombres” but mostly goes after the most innocent and vulnerable in the community. One day this will be stopped and those who carried out these activities will be judged harshly by history.