In the face of a renewed spike in illegal immigration from Central America and restrictions on detaining families, the Obama administration is reportedly planning to execute a series of raids aimed at deporting hundreds of illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. over the past two years.
The Washington Post reports that Immigration and Customs Enforcement could begin “the first large-scale effort” to deport the illegal immigrant “family units” who arrived in the U.S. from Central America, ordered for deportation by an immigration judge but instead absconded, vanishing into the interior of the U.S.
More then 100,000 adults with children have flooded into the U.S. over the past two years, expecting to be allowed to stay. According to the Washington Post the number of “family units” the administration will target for deportation is expected to be “to be in the hundreds and possibly greater.”
The newspaper notes that the plans have been “controversial” inside the Obama administration — under which deportations have plummeted. With a new surge of illegal immigration underway from Central America and a recent court decision mandating the release of illegal families in detention, the administration seems to feel pressure to respond, the newspaper reports.
“The court decision and the sudden spike led to the decision to begin planning the upcoming raid, said officials familiar with the deliberations, who said DHS knows the deportations will be inflammatory but believes it must enforce the law,” the Post reports.
While immigration activist groups are likely to protest the move, immigration hawks are skeptical that an Obama deportation effort will be effective at dissuading the continued run on the border or happen at all.
“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, told the paper. “What share is this going to be?. . . It’s a drop in the bucket compared to the number they’ve admitted into the country. If you have photogenic raids on a few dozen illegal families and that’s the end of it, it’s just for show. It’s just a [public relations] thing, enforcement theater.”