U.S. authorities launched small-scale immigration raids as families hide

Vastavam web: U.S. authorities launched small-scale operations to arrest undocumented families over the weekend in a start to President Donald Trump’s plan to deport thousands of immigrants. The multi-day operation was expected to target hundreds of recently-arrived families in about 10 cities who have been ordered deported by an immigration judge.

The removal operations are meant to deter a surge in Central American families fleeing poverty and gang violence in their home countries, with many seeking asylum in the United States. Immigrants and their advocates were on standby for mass arrests, but by Sunday night there were only reports of low-profile operations in a few cities.

Mary Bauer at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said there were no confirmed operations in large southern cities such as Atlanta. There were no reports of arrests from the American Immigration Council, which has lawyers on standby to give legal advice at the country’s largest family migrant detention center in Dilley, Texas.

“Immigrants and immigrant communities all over the country are in hiding and people are living in these terrified, terrorized ways, because that is the point of this whole action, whether enforcement actions take place or not,” said Bauer, the SPLC’s deputy legal director.