Posted on July 15, 2019

Mayors and Protesters Remain Defiant Ahead of ICE Raids: “You’re Going to Have to Come Through Us”

Gabriela Resto-Montero, Vox, July 14, 2019

Protesters around the country rallied against planned ICE raids this weekend as mayors renewed pledges to block ICE access to local law enforcement resources. The agency plans to sweep 10 cities on Sunday in an effort to detain 2,000 immigrants who have been issued final orders of removal.


That deadline has now passed, and ICE officials announced last week that the agency would raid cities including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, and San Francisco beginning Sunday. Because of Tropical Storm Barry, the raids on New Orleans and Houston will reportedly postponed.

{snip} Trump tweeted the raids would target people who “have run from the law and run from the courts.”

Saturday, however, protesters in cities across the US argued the raids are a tool the Trump administration hopes to use to intimidate immigrant communities and target families with children who are themselves US citizens.


Numerous vigils were held across the US as part of the “Lights for Liberty” movement’s campaign to call for an end to “inhumane conditions at the border” and the deportations of refugee asylum seekers.

Suro said there are currently 1 million undocumented migrants with deportation orders, which means the 2,000 targeted by ICE amount to just 0.2 percent of those who face deportation.


Logistical and operational constraints as well as the recommendations of senior officials like Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan (who reportedly told the president a more limited operation targeting 150 families would be wiser) led to a reduced scope. Also complicating matters was the refusal of many local governments to cooperate with ICE agents. Ahead of Sunday’s raids, many mayors have once again instructed their police departments not to aid ICE agents operating in their cities.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed said, “If you want to come after them, you’re going to have to come through us.”

In Denver, Mayor Michael Hancock said not only had he directed his officers to refrain from assisting ICE, but that he has tasked social service employees with watching over any children left without parents because of the raid.


Mayor Keisha Bottoms of Atlanta said, “Our officers don’t enforce immigration borders. {snip}, and other mayors, including Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot and New York’s Bill de Blasio have made similar statements.

Citizens of cities affected by the raids also publicly protested the raids. In Denver, around 2,000 protesters gathered for a rally outside a nearby ICE facility on Friday.


Protesters in Chicago were joined by Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton and US Rep. Jesús “Chuy” Garcia, who told the crowd, “It’s about damn time we tell this racist president loud and clear: Stop criminalizing desperation.”

Similar protests were also seen in other affected cities, like Los Angeles and New York; citizens of cities not directly targeted by ICE also protested. In Phoenix, protesters blocked streets and chanted “Free those kids!” while marchers in Philadelphia shouted “Shut down ICE!” as they took to the streets Friday.

ICE facilities in places such as Greenfield, Massachusetts also saw protesters gather outside.

Despite these protests and local governments’ refusal to coordinate with ICE, the raids are expected to proceed as planned. {snip}