INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced it will start raiding communities in 10 major U.S. cities on Sunday.
The cities are Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York and San Francisco. These aren’t expected to be random raids.
In February, ICE sent about 2,000 letters to families who had court-ordered removals. Those are the people immigration officers are going after.
President Donald Trump promises this will be the first step in deporting millions of immigrants.
One Indianapolis immigration attorney doesn’t believe a raid on that scale is possible.
“I think this was something to energize his base,” Attorney John Broyles said. “He’s announcing his reelection. I don’t see it as something that’s going to happen.”
Broyles works with ICE agents daily at work, and he said even local ICE agents are a little unsure about what’s next.
“I did call up an ICE agent here at our local office, and his immediate comment was ‘I don’t know why he said that,’ because nothing has changed,” Broyles said. “I mean, we don’t have the capacity — not only bed space — but we don’t have the resources to do anything close to that.”
While Broyles doesn’t have exact numbers for bed space in the Midwest, he estimated detention centers can hold a few thousand immigrants. ICE is planning to use hotel rooms as temporary detention areas as well, and anybody they can’t hold will be given an ankle monitor and be released until there is room. But, when that room will be available is hard to say.
“I have clients that have been in removal proceedings for more than five years,” Broyles said. “I have some clients that their cases have gone up on appeal and been remanded back and they’ve been in removal proceedings for almost 10 years. So, it is not something that happens immediately.”
ICE did not respond to a request for comment.