Hundreds of people gathered outside the White House on Saturday to speak out against the surge in the number of raids and deportations following Donald Trump’s anti-immigration executive order last month.
As CNN notes about this week’s ramping up of ICE activity, “The actions are the first concerted effort by ICE under the Trump administration to arrest targeted undocumented immigrants for deportation proceedings.”
Understandably, the immigrant community is on high alert and many are taking to the streets to protest what seem to be the early stages of the new president’s deportation force.
A few hundred people have gathered outside the White House to protest ICE raids. pic.twitter.com/CiF40SPhyJ via @CamThompsonDC
— Ferguson Liveuamap (@fergusonlum) February 11, 2017
The hundreds in attendance assailed Trump’s immigration agenda, and some carried signs reading “here to stay and “no ban, no wall, no raids.” Others broke out into chants of “undocumented, unafraid!”
#UndocumentedUnafraid chants at rally outside White House protesting ICE raids pic.twitter.com/aEZbIJI9mu
— Cam Thompson DCW50 (@CamThompsonDC) February 11, 2017
The backlash comes in the wake of the large-scale arrests of hundreds of undocumented immigrants in at least six states across the country this week.
The Trump administration claims the crackdown is only on undocumented immigrants with a criminal history, but the Los Angeles Times notes that those with no record are also being targeted simply because the feds say they are “believed to have committed” some type of crime.
“These are constituents of mine who have no criminal records — nothing,” said Austin, Texas Councilman Greg Casar. “But they’re being targeted and are really concerned.”
Frank Sharry, the executive director of immigrant advocacy group America’s Voice, also pointed out that ICE is “following school buses” and “raiding construction sites” in the wake of the president’s executive actions.
“ICE has a reputation for being one of the worst law enforcement agencies in the country,” he said, according to the LA Times. “And now they’ve been given the green light by Trump.”
Once again, the new administration is wreaking havoc and causing chaos across the country – all to “solve a problem” that doesn’t really even exist. As Pew Research found, unauthorized immigration from Mexico has actually declined since 2007.