The latest nationwide sweep of deportations of criminal illegal immigrants is simply “routine, targeted arrests,” according to a statement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
In one week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested more than 600 illegal aliens in 11 states, all of which are expected to be deported back to their native countries.
Though the mainstream media has portrayed the recent deportation sweeps as centered on President Donald Trump’s immigration orders to prioritize deportations of illegal immigrants with criminal records, DHS is saying the arrests are routine.
“The focus of these targeted enforcement operations is consistent with the routine, targeted arrests carried out by ICE’s Fugitive Operations Teams on a daily basis,” DHS spokesperson Gillian Christensen told the New York Times.
The Times labeled the DHS statement a “contradiction” to Trump’s previous statement on the arrests and deportations, in which he stated on Twitter that “The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!”
Trump made clear during the campaign that under his policies, ICE would be allowed to do its job without federal or local government obstruction, something the previous administration attempted to prevent through executive action.
Open borders groups remain enraged by current deportations and Trump’s plan to beef up the number of ICE and Border Patrol agents.
“It really doesn’t matter if it’s business as usual from ICE’s perspective — at some point, we know that they will start to ramp up enforcement activity,” said New York Immigration Coalition Executive Director Steven Choi.
ICE officials fought back over the weekend against false claims that agents were conducting broad sweeps and acts of retaliation, Breitbart Texas reported from Austin, Texas.
“I believe ICE is out in public arresting people in order to retaliate against our community for standing up for our values against people like Abbott and Trump,” Councilman Casar posted on Facebook. “Trump and his allies will do everything they can to divide Americans, invoke fear in vulnerable neighborhoods, and demonize an entire community of people.”
President pro Tempore of the California State Senate Kevin de Leon also challenged the motivation of the operation and those being targeted for arrest, Breitbart California’s Michelle Moons reported. “There are reports that ICE today executed raids across Southern California,” de Leon said via a written statement obtained by Breitbart California. “I have asked federal officials to disclose how many children, men, and women they have detained; what the processing time will be; what the rationale is for their detention; and I asked that everyone be offered access to an attorney.”
More than 200 criminal aliens were arrested in Texas and California alone during the two-day operation.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with additional information.
John Binder is a contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.