Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

ICE protest in LA

Protesters shut down an intersection near an ICE detention facility in Los Angeles, California late Thursday. (Photo: NDLON/Twitter)

People Take to Streets in Resistance as ICE Raids Descend on Los Angeles

Three weeks after President Donald Trump's inauguration, ICE reportedly detained over 100 people in Los Angeles in only three hours

Nika Knight

Protesters took to the streets in Los Angeles on Thursday evening after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reportedly raided homes and communities around the city and detained over 100 people in a mere three hours.

Reflecting the growing community-level resistance to President Donald Trump's immigration crackdown, protesters chanted "not one more deportation!" in front of an ICE detention center and later formed a human chain in the street:

While an ICE spokesperson defended the citywide immigration raids as routine, local immigrant advocacy groups say the volume of reports of detentions they received is unusual and frightening, and a part of Trump's harsh crackdown on immigrants' rights.

"This is the kind of situation we feared would happen, and here it is," said Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA).

The alarming raids came the same day a mother of two who has lived in the U.S. for over 20 years was deported from Arizona to Mexico, despite protests from her community and pleas from her children. The deportation was widely seen as just the beginning of Trump's xenophobic campaign against peaceful undocumented immigrants.

Indeed, while ICE claimed its detentions in Los Angeles targeted people with violent criminal records, CHIRLA said that many people detained on Thursday had no criminal convictions to speak of.

Moreover, CHIRLA policy director Joseph Villa also told a local TV station that despite CHIRLA's efforts to speak to those being detained, "ICE is not releasing their names. ICE is not allowing them to see their attorney."

"We can't make this the new normal," Salas said. "People were calling us—we were in the middle of a staff retreat, we stopped everything because we were receiving so many calls from our community. Our community is concerned and they really do feel terrorized."

Watch members of CHIRLA describe the deportations here:

Local advocacy groups have been holding vigils, attempting to connect detained people with immigration lawyers, and offering "know your rights" trainings to help undocumented immigrants fearing raids. A solidarity rally for immigrant rights is planned in New York on Friday.

Civil rights advocates are also calling on law enforcement to help them resist an emboldened ICE agency. Many local police departments, including the Los Angeles Police Department, have promised not to assist ICE with immigration detentions and deportations.

As part of the effort to resist Trump's crackdown, immigrant youth group United We Dream also launched a #HereToStay campaign, which asks supporters of human and civil rights to pledge to show up in person when ICE comes to deport members of their community.

The resistance is needed: early Friday, reports emerged that ICE also conducted raids in Atlanta, Georgia and Austin, Texas.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

As Delta Wreaks Havoc, Biden Faces Growing Pressure to Force Big Pharma to Share Vaccine Recipes

"Millions of people have lost their lives waiting for such desperately needed action."

Jake Johnson ·


At Times Square Rally, Activists Demand Congress 'Tax the Rich'

"If billionaires can afford to go to space, they can afford to pay their fair share."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Recess Can Wait': 23 Groups Demand Senate Stay in DC to Pass For the People Act

"It would be unconscionable for the Senate to break for recess without addressing the ongoing assaults on our democratic systems happening across the nation."

Jessica Corbett ·


Nina Turner Primary Opponent Shontel Brown Facing Felony Ethics Probe

"This is certainly a shocking revelation and it raises very serious ethical and legal questions," says Kara Turrentine, Turner's deputy campaign manager.

Brett Wilkins ·


Human Rights Watch Accuses Israel of 'Apparent War Crimes' During May Assault on Gaza

"Israeli forces carried out attacks in Gaza in May that devastated entire families without any apparent military target nearby."

Jessica Corbett ·