Houston immigrants’ rights group braces for expected ICE raids

HOUSTON- Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids are set to start Sunday in several major cities including Houston, according to the New York Times.

The raids were supposed to happen last month, but President Trump delayed the operation to give republicans and democrats a chance to come to an agreement on the migrant crisis.

The New York Times is reporting that authorities will try not to split up detained families, but the thought of these raids has many immigrants here in Houston worried.

Local immigrants' rights group FIEL is speaking out, saying they are working to prepare families for the raids.

FIEL Executive Director Cesar Espinosa says they are trying to make sure that local families are prepared for the raids and they do that by helping them know their rights and then offering legal services if they do get detained.

To the people who say the immigrants shouldn’t be here in the first place, Espinosa tells them that there are about 600,000 undocumented immigrants living in the greater Houston area and this is an issue that doesn’t just effect the immigrant population, but could impact the community as a whole.

He says he would like to see congress work towards a different solution.

“Instead of talking about raids, we would like for congress and the president to act to figure out a way to reform our broken immigration system so that we wouldn’t need to spend more money on detaining and deporting more people,” Espinosa said.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo spoke out about this issue recently echoing that there is a lot of fear within Houston’s immigrant community and that he believes that families should not be split up through this raid process.

“We do work with ICE as it relates to Homeland Security investigations, going after real hardcore criminals," Acevedo said. "There's a lot of them out there and we're just hopeful that we don't create greater problems for society by separating families. Families belong together. They certainly don't belong apart.”

A senior immigration official said about 2,000 people are targeted in these upcoming raids.

However, it's possible they will arrest other undocumented immigrants who happen to be on the scene of the areas they are targeting.

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