Reports of immigration raids and roundups have rocketed across social media and are rattling the whole community.
By Anna Kim
President Donald Trump has pledged to deport up to 3 million unauthorized immigrants with criminal records. His cabinet has announced a series of anti-immigration executive orders, all signed by Mr. Trump soon after taking office. Should the first large-scale enforcement of the immigration raids and roundups, operated by ICE in at least a half-dozen states last week, be solely routine arrests operations on a daily basis? Not to crack down on the estimated 11 million of the undocumented living here?
According to ICE’s Southern region, there were about 30 people arrested in Metro Atlanta last week and approximately 200 people total in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. ICE officials said most of the approximate 200 arrested were convicted criminals wanted on charges including murder, robbery, assault, and domestic violence.
However, the possibility that unauthorized immigrants with no criminal records were arrested and could potentially be deported has been rattling the immigrant communities nationwide raising concerns that the U.S. government could start going after law-abiding people.
“This is clearly the first wave of attacks under the Trump administration, and we know this isn’t going to be the only one,” said Cristina Jimenez, executive director of United We Dream, an immigrant youth organization, during a conference call with immigration advocates.
Moreover, it is alleged on a certain local media that immigration officials acknowledged that authorities had cast a wider net than they would have last year, as the result of Trump’s executive order.
As far as the wider net of raids and arrests is concerned, there was no exception in Atlanta, Georgia, last week. Some good sources on social media stated that raids had happened on Buford Highway near Northeast Plaza, along with other reports of raids in Brookhaven, Augusta, Martinez, and Grovetown. One credible source alleged that she received a call from a certain Elementary School near Northeast Plaza warning the community leaders and parents about the police detaining undocumented people on Buford Hwy. Apparently they were going door by door at an apartment complex, asking people to present their papers, which was estimated on Feb. 8th, late night through the next early morning, and the Mexican Consulate went to speak with residents in the area.
On top of her allegation, a local government employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity said to local media that there were four arrests in Brookhaven on Feb. 9 by ICE. All four individuals had criminal warrants against them and they were arrested at Park Towne North Apartments, which is located across from Northeast Plaza. Many of the assertions on social media specifically claimed there were numerous raids at the apartment complexes and stated that ICE agents were also arresting people at gas stations on Buford Highway, as part of a crackdown following President Donald Trump’s Jan. 25 executive order.
ICE is aware that there is certainly a heightened interest when people see an ICE team in the field, given the current national environment.
“But this is just a continuation of operations,” said a spokesman for ICE’s Southern region. “The allegation that ICE agents were making random arrests is categorically false and not accurate.”
For whatever reason, these raids and arrests have been precipitating the nation into a jolt of dismay.
“I know ICE is looking for those with felony charges, but people are panicking and really, really scared,” said Carl Amos, resident of Doraville. “We need to mobilize the community to brace for these raids. We need reasonable reform, not this mass confusion causing raids.”
Latinos, immigrants, and supporters gathered to protest and march against President Donald Trump's anti-immigration policies.
Green card holders are applying for U.S. citizenshp.
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