Thu | Jul 19, 2018

Hundreds held in immigration raids

Published:Sunday | February 12, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Members of the family of Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, left, stand with supporters at a news conference in front of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Phoenix after he was deported last Thursday.


Advocacy groups across the United States have reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers are rounding up people in large numbers around the country as part of stepped-up enforcement under President Donald Trump.

They say a round-up in southern California was especially heavy-handed and cite arrests in places such as Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Texas and North Carolina that have rattled immigrants.

But the government says it's simply enforcing the laws and conducting routine enforcement targeting immigrants in the country illegally with criminal records. Authorities say it's no different than what happened during the Obama years on a regular basis.

The truth lies somewhere in-between.

As a candidate, Donald Trump vowed to take a hard line on immigration. Five days after taking office, he signed a sweeping executive order that made clear that just about any immigrant living in the country illegally could be a priority for deportation, particularly those with outstanding deportation orders.

Under President Barack Obama, the government focused on immigrants in the country illegally who posed a threat to national security or public safety and recent border crossers.

But despite the narrower focus, more than two million people were deported during Obama's time in office, including a record of more than 409,000 people in 2012.