WASHINGTON TIMES — Immigration authorities signaled a new series of upcoming roundups of illegal immigrant families that surged across the border in recent years, drawing a fierce rebuke Thursday from advocacy groups who said President Obama could pay a political price among Hispanics.
Reuters first reported on documents detailing raids intended to deport illegal immigrant mothers and children from Central America who have arrived as part of the border surge since 2014. The illegal immigrants in question have had a chance to make their case in court, and have been ordered deported by a judge, but are ignoring that order.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement didn’t dispute the report, but insisted it’s following the priorities Mr. Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson laid out.
“Current operations are a continuation of operations Secretary Johnson announced in January and March,” said ICE spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea. “We stress that these operations are limited to those who were apprehended at the border after January 1, 2014, have been ordered removed by an immigration court, and have no pending appeal or pending claim for asylum or other humanitarian relief under our laws.”
ICE promised not to arrest illegal immigrants while they were at church or at a school or hospital, unless it was considered an emergency case.
Immigrant rights advocates, though, deplored the raids, saying the people being targeted should be considered refugees — even though a judge has already denied that request — and should be allowed to stay.