El Paso

Local advocate says undocumented community concerned over recent ICE raids across US

Local advocate says migrant community...

EL PASO, Texas - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested more than 680 undocumented immigrants last week, marking the first major ICE raids of Donald Trump's presidency. 

There were raids in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Atlanta and San Antonio.

Ruben Garcia is the director Annunciation House in El Paso. It's a volunteer-based shelter that takes in refugees. Garcia said undocumented families are more afraid under President Trump, than they were when Obama was in office.

"The first word that jumps for me is fear," Garcia said. "The real tragedy about all of this, is that there's going to be many people for whom there isn't going to be a legal option."

Garcia said that Trump's anti-immigration rhetoric during his campaign has people worried. Many of them are asking him for advice.

"Anyone who is physically living in El Paso, I'm encouraging them to make an effort to access legal expertise," Garcia said. "We don't want to create an environment where my neighbors are afraid to live. I'm hoping that that's the response that people will ultimately provide."

Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly released a statement about the recent raids. In it, he points out that the administration is focused on cracking down on those who have criminal records:

"...President Trump has been clear in affirming the critical mission of DHS in protecting the nation and directed our Department to focus on removing illegal aliens who have violated our immigration laws, with a specific focus on those who pose a threat to public safety, have been charged with criminal offenses, have committed immigration violations or have been deported and re-entered the country illegally."

Garcia said that a lot of the times the families affected have members who are citizens, and members who are not. 

"You have a real threat to the integrity of families, people are just very afraid," Garcia said. "[I advise them] to have powers of attorney already in place so they can function on behalf of (their) children."

 


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