Local Politicians, Advocates Standing Up For Immigrants Ahead Of Planned Raids

July 12, 2019 - 1:10 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Vigils are planned across the country Friday to protest conditions at migrant detention centers ahead of expected immigration raids this weekend.

Local politicians who oppose the roundups are standing up for undocumented immigrants.

Anticipated ICE raids in 10 major U.S. cities will target thousands of immigrants who have exhausted their legal options.

Judges rejected their requests for legal status and ordered them deported.

Immigrant advocates argue many of these cases were fast tracked.

People missed court dates because they were not notified or afforded due process.

They also fear people not on the deportation list could be detained during these raids.

The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut all pledge their support for immigrant communities. They are highlighting pro-bono legal services that can help fight a deportation order.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance also said his office is a "safe place to report crime and be connected with vital services, regardless of your immigration status or language." He called the raids "unconscionable."

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have vowed to fight the raids. The mayor reminded immigrants that they have rights and says the city will provide legal help for families targeted by the feds.

ICE is also expected in Connecticut, where one study says 120,000 lack legal status. Gov. Ned Lamont is encouraging families concerned about being separated from their children to use a toolkit offered by the state to develop a child care plan.

Lamont has signed legislation that places limits on state and local police when it comes to detaining suspects for ICE.

"We are a welcoming state and that's what makes America a shining city on a hill," Lamont said.

State Attorney General William Tong said if ICE conducts sweeps in Connecticut, local and state police should stand down.

"State and local law enforcement need to do their jobs, not the job of the federal government," Tong said. 

Sen. Richard Blumenthal has called the planned raids "unAmerican." He backs legilsation that would prohibit ICE enforcement at churches, schools, doctor's offices and courthouses.

"I challenge the United States Congress to protect those locations from these massive sweeps and arrests so that fear and cruelty will not be on us, they will not be on our watch," Blumenthal said.

Late tonight, Lights for Liberty candlelight vigils across the country will be held to protest living conditions in U.S. border detention camps.