Saturday, February 11, 2017

"First They Came for . . .": Despite Denials, Trump's Nationwide Immigration Raids Begin

U.S. immigration authorities arrested hundreds of undocumented immigrants in at least a half-dozen states this week in a series of raids that marked the first large-scale enforcement of President Trump's Jan. 26 order to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living here illegally. . . . 
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 hundreds 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."

Roque Planas for Huffington Post

ICE officials initially said that this week’s actions were "routine" and nothing outside the ordinary. But in a conference call with reporters Friday evening, an ICE official appeared to contradict that statement, saying that the agencies targeted several cities in an "enforcement surge."

As Rachel Maddow reports for MSNBC, the Trump administration lied officially denied that these ICE raids were taking place as they were taking place:

Novelist George Saunders shares what he heard about immigrants from Trump supporters as he attended Trump rallies last year:

One of the things I noticed about the Trump supporters was a lot of projected fear. I can't tell you how many times a conversation went like this: "We've got to stop these immigrants, because it's terrible." I'd say, "Okay, what personally have you observed about this?" And there would be basically nothing in that box. And I'd say, "Where'd you get your information?" thinking they were going to say Fox. But they would always say, "Well, I get my information from all kinds of sources."

Jeff Marchini and others in the Central Valley here bet their farms on the election of Donald J. Trump. His message of reducing regulations and taxes appealed to this Republican stronghold, one of Mr. Trump’s strongest bases of support in the state. 
As for his promises about cracking down on illegal immigrants, many assumed Mr. Trump’s pledges were mostly just talk. But two weeks into his administration, Mr. Trump has signed executive orders that have upended the country’s immigration laws. Now farmers here are deeply alarmed about what the new policies could mean for their workers, most of whom are unauthorized, and the businesses that depend on them. . . . 
Many here feel vindicated by the election, and signs declaring "Vote to make America great again" still dot the highways. But in conversations with nearly a dozen farmers, most of whom voted for Mr. Trump, each acknowledged that they relied on workers who provided false documents. And if the administration were to weed out illegal workers, farmers say their businesses would be crippled. Even Republican lawmakers from the region have supported plans that would give farmworkers a path to citizenship.

No comments: