Washington, February 11 (RHC)-- U.S. immigration authorities arrested hundreds of undocumented immigrants in at least a half-dozen states over the past several days. The series of raids marked the first large-scale enforcement of President Trump’s January 26th order to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.
Officials said the raids targeted known criminals, but they also netted some immigrants without criminal records, an apparent departure from similar enforcement waves during the Barack Obama administration. Last month, Trump substantially broadened the scope of who the Department of Homeland Security can target to include those with minor offenses or no convictions at all. Trump has pledged to deport as many as three million undocumented immigrants with criminal records.
Immigration officials confirmed that agents this week raided homes and workplaces in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, the Los Angeles area, North Carolina and South Carolina, netting hundreds of people.
Immigration activists said the crackdown went beyond the six states DHS identified, and said they had also documented ICE raids of unusual intensity during the past two days in Florida, Kansas, Texas and Northern Virginia.
That undocumented immigrants with no criminal records were arrested and could potentially be deported sent a shock through immigrant communities nationwide amid concerns that the U.S. government could start going after law-abiding people.
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