ICE raid

John Moore/Getty Images

Immigration Raids Largely Don't Materialize In NYC, Other Cities

July 14, 2019 - 11:14 am

NEW YORK (AP) — The Trump administration's nationwide crackdown targeting migrant families in cities across the country began in New York Saturday and was underway in multiple cities on Sunday, but it wasn't as large as had been anticipated.

There were reports of some raids over the weekend but the fears of undocumented immigrants and their advocates didn't appear to materialize in the mass arrests promised by President Trump. Only three unsuccessful raids were reported in New York.

Related: ICE Agents Turned Away By Families Amid Opposition In NYC

The sweeps were expected to start Sunday, but New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Saturday that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency had already taken action in the city.

Raids continued early Sunday morning in "a number of jurisdictions," a senior administration official told Fox News. "At this point, we have no choice but to go out and execute those lawfully-issued removal orders from an immigration judge."

ICE spokesman Matthew Bourke told CNN that the raids are primarily focusing on immigrants it considers dangerous.

"ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security," Bourke said.

Immigrant communities have been on edge since President Donald Trump's administration announced plans for the operation, inflaming the political debate over immigration. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a pre-emptive lawsuit Thursday that aims to protect asylum seekers. Activists held demonstrations and advocates coached immigrants on their rights.

Administration officials have said that the coordinated action will target about 2,000 people with final deportation orders in major cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Miami. New Orleans was also among the cities, but raids there are postponed because of tropical storm Barry.