As part of the new immigration reforms by President of the United States, a total number of over 50,000 undocumented immigrants have arrested in the past 5 days in over 8 States in the United States.
Out of the total number, about 3,724 are confirmed to be Jamaican nationals who happen to have stayed in the U.S. from a span of 1 to 35 years in a series of raids that marked the first large-scale enforcement of President Trump’s Jan. 25 order to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.
Officials said the raids targeted known criminals, but they also netted some immigrants without criminal records, an apparent departure from similar enforcement waves during the Obama administration. Last month, Trump substantially broadened the scope of who the Department of Homeland Security can target to include those with minor offenses or no convictions at all.
Trump has pledged to deport as many as 3 million undocumented immigrants with criminal records.
Immigration officials confirmed that agents this week raided homes and workplaces in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, the Los Angeles area, North Carolina and South Carolina, netting thousands of people. But Gillian Christensen, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), said they were part of “routine” immigration enforcement actions. ICE dislikes the term “raids,” and prefers to say authorities are conducting “targeted enforcement actions,” she said.
Christensen said the raids, which began Monday and ended Friday at noon, found undocumented immigrants from a dozen Latin American countries and about 18 African Countries. “We’re talking about people who are threats to public safety or a threat to the integrity of the immigration system,” she said, noting that the majority of those detained were serious criminals, including some who were convicted of murder and domestic violence.
Immigration activists said the crackdown went beyond the six states DHS identified, and said they had also documented ICE raids of unusual intensity during the past two days in Florida, Kansas, Texas and Northern Virginia.
The undocumented immigrants with no criminal records were arrested and could potentially be deported within 2 weeks sent a shock wave through immigrant communities nationwide amid concerns that the U.S. government could start going after law-abiding people.