Washington D.C., Jul 11, 2019 / 02:00 pm (CNA).- Planned raids to detain and deport thousands of undocumented immigrants will go ahead after a postponement of several weeks, the Trump administration has announced.
Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli told reporters on Wednesday that immigration raids are “absolutely going to happen.”
According to a report in the New York Times, the raids could take place on Sunday of this weekend. Immigrants eligible for deportation include those with a final order of removal from an immigration judge.
On June 22, President Trump postponed a widespread campaign of immigration enforcement that was planned for that weekend, stating at the same time that Congress needed to update asylum laws.
The American Civil Liberties Union announced 11 July that it would file a lawsuit, along with other immigration advocacy groups, against the administration in anticipation of the raids.
The ACLU said that the administration’s targeting of immigrants who failed to appear in immigration court was “illegal and immoral,” noting that immigrants could have failed to show up for a variety of reasons including bureaucratic notification errors.
“The families and children whom Plaintiffs serve fled their countries within the last five years,” the lawsuit stated. “But none of them every had their claims for asylum and related relief heard by an immigration judge. Instead, the government ordered them removed in absentia because they failed to appear in court.”
On the same day as the raids were first announced, the U.S. bishops’ conference stated its opposition to the move, saying that “broad enforcement actions instigate panic in our communities and will not serve as an effective deterrent to irregular migration.”
“Instead, we should focus on the root causes in Central America that have compelled so many to leave their homes in search of safety and reform our immigration system with a view toward justice and the common good,” Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin, chair of the bishops’ migration committee, stated.