Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

There are only a few days left in our critical Mid-Year Campaign and we truly might not make it without your help.
Please join us. If you rely on independent media, support Common Dreams today. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

Agents walk to a vehicle outside the U.S. Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, on June 26, 2019.

Agents walk to a vehicle outside the U.S. Border Patrol station in Clint, Texas, on June 26, 2019. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Goal of Trump's ICE Raids Threat, Warn Rights Advocates, Is to 'Terrorize Immigrant Communities'

"No matter who you are or what your status is, this is the United States of America—where ALL people have rights."

Eoin Higgins

President Donald Trump's war on immigrants will reportedly enter a new phase Sunday as ICE agents across the country are then expected to begin several days of raids targeting families, an announcement that was decried as "terrorism" by critics. 

"Let's call President Trump's attacks on our immigrant communities what they are: Bigoted. Anti-Immigrant. And a blatant attempt to terrorize immigrant families."
—Rep. Ben Ray Luján

"This is not a 'rule of law' operation," Ali Noorani, the executive director of the National Immigration Forum, said in a tweet. "The goal is to terrorize immigrant communities so immigrants do not seek protection in the U.S."

The raids are expected to begin Sunday and continue for "several days," according to The New York Times, which broke the story Thursday morning.

The operation is tailored to target families but, as the Times reported, anyone in the vicinity of the operation could also be taken into custody:

The raids, which will be conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement over multiple days, will include "collateral" deportations, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the preliminary stage of the operation. In those deportations, the authorities might detain immigrants who happened to be on the scene, even though they were not targets of the raids.

The threat of collateral deportations had advocates like Colorado Democratic candidate for Senate Trish Zornio up in arms.

"POTUS's proposed raids will include 'collateral' arrests if immigrants happen to be in the vicinity," tweeted Zornio. "This is beyond morally wrong and is in direct opposition of U.S. principles."

Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) took to Twitter to attack the president, calling the predicted raids "bigoted" and "anti-immigrant."

"Let's call President Trump's attacks on our immigrant communities what they are," said Luján. "Bigoted. Anti-Immigrant. And a blatant attempt to terrorize immigrant families."

It's not the first time Trump has threatened to send the government after immigrant families. On June 17, the president tweeted that his administration would begin conducting raids the "next week."

"They will be removed as fast as they come in," the president said at the time—before backing down five days later on June 22 with an ominous pledge to restart the process if Democrats in Congress did not fix the immigration issue, specifically the "asylum and loophole problems."

House Democrats passed a $4.6 billion bill for the border on June 27, legislation that exposed a growing rift between congressional leadership and the party's outspoken new members.

Author Cari Luna took to Twitter to blast Democrats for what she saw as the party's complicity in the raids. 

"Last summer in Portland we occupied the ICE building and shut it down," said Luna. "This summer? Kids are still in cages, concentration camps are multiplying, and ICE is conducting nationwide raids."

"Time to occupy the offices of the Democratic leaders whose inaction makes them complicit," Luna added.

"Shame, shame, shame on this awful administration."
—Rep. Veronica Escobar

Even before Thursday's Times reporting, the effects of Trump's all-out assault on immigrants—from raids to conditions in detention centers—were having a deleterious effect on the country's migrant population. 

"I'm scared to go outside. I'm scared to go to all places," a woman from Guatemala named Yennifer told CBS News on Tuesday. "My biggest fear is that if they take me, what's going to happen to my husband? And if they take my kids away from me, what's going to happen to them?"

CBS also talked to Make the Road NY immigrant defense coordinator Luba Cortés, who noted the effects of announcing raids, even if they don't happen, on the communities she works with. 

"To say, 'We're going to have a raid today,' then, 'We're not going to have a raid today,' really plays with people's emotions," said Cortés.

On Thursday, immigrant rights advocates posted information for those who could be targeted by the ICE operations.

"No matter who you are or what your status is, this is the United States of America—where ALL people have rights," tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). "Know yours."

Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) delivered a short, but cutting, reply to the news of the raids to NBC News reporter Alex Moe. 

"Shame, shame, shame on this awful administration," said Escobar. 


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

Just a few days left in our crucial Mid-Year Campaign and we might not make it without your help.
Who funds our independent journalism? Readers like you who believe in our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. No corporate advertisers. No billionaire founder. Our non-partisan, nonprofit media model has only one source of revenue: The people who read and value this work and our mission. That's it.
And the model is simple: If everyone just gives whatever amount they can afford and think is reasonable—$3, $9, $29, or more—we can continue. If not enough do, we go dark.

All the small gifts add up to something otherwise impossible. Please join us today. Donate to Common Dreams. This is crunch time. We need you now.

Biden Urged to Take Emergency Action After 'Disastrous' Climate Ruling by Supreme Court

"The catastrophic impact of this decision cannot be understated," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal, but "we cannot accept defeat."

Kenny Stancil ·


'Now We're Talking!' Says AOC as Biden Backs Filibuster Carveout for Abortion Rights

"Time for people to see a real, forceful push for it," said the New York Democrat. "Use the bully pulpit. We need more."

Jake Johnson ·


Supreme Court Says Biden Can End 'Shameful' Remain in Mexico Asylum Policy

"Now is the turn for Congress to get rid of Title 42, and provide a solution to the weakened asylum system in place, to provide a humane and fair alternative to vulnerable children, families, and individuals fleeing unsafe conditions and persecution."

Brett Wilkins ·


Democrats Lose Senate Majority as 82-Year-Old Leahy Heads for Hip Surgery

"It could be over for the Senate Dems now," said one policy expert in response. "This could mean they effectively lost their majority."

Jon Queally ·


Beijing Slams NATO for 'Maliciously... Smearing' China as a Security Threat

"Who's challenging global security and undermining world peace?" Chinese officials asked. "Are there any wars or conflicts over the years where NATO is not involved?"

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo