President Donald Trump on Friday confirmed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will conduct deportation raids on illegal aliens Sunday, stating the operation will focus on removing “criminals” from the United States.
“It starts on Sunday, and they’re going to take people out and they’re going to bring them back to their countries,” the president said of the planned raids as he left the White House for a trip to Wisconsin and Ohio. “We’re focused on criminals as much as we can, before we do anything else.”
Asked by the media if the administration had given warning of the raid, President Trump said there was no need to do so. “There’s nothing to be secret about,” he said. “ICE is law enforcement, they are great patriots, they have a tough job. Nothing to be secret about. If the word gets out, it gets out.”
This week, the New York Times reported ICE is preparing to round up roughly 200 illegal aliens with final deportation orders in at least ten major U.S. cities. President Donald Trump delayed the raids after details of the operation were leaked to the media.
Former ICE head Thomas Homan and DHS officials believe Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan was responsible for the leak, which caused the operation to be called off.
Ken Cuccinelli, Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director revealed Sunday ICE stands ready to deport one million illegal aliens with final orders for deportation. “[ICE agents are] ready to just perform their mission which is to go and find and detain and then deport the approximately one million people who have final removal orders,” Cuccinelli told CBS News. “They’ve been all the way through the due process and have final removal orders. Who among those will be targeted for this particular effort or not is really just information kept within ICE.”
Some Democrat mayors, including Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot, have signaled they will not cooperate with the raids. On Wednesday, Lightfoot said she will block ICE from accessing its police databases ahead of the deportation operation. “Chicago is and will always be a welcoming city that will never tolerate ICE tearing our families apart,” she said.