A nationwide immigration enforcement operation targeting people who are in the United States illegally is expected to begin this weekend after it was postponed last month by President Donald Trump, according to two administration officials and immigrant activists. The operation, which has sparked outrage and concern among immigrant-rights advocates, would target people with final deportation orders, including families whose immigration cases were fast-tracked by judges in 10 major cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Miami. “Our communities have been in constant fear,” Estela Vara, a Chicago-area organizer said Thursday at a rally outside the city’s Immigration and Custom Enforcement offices where some activists chanted “Immigration Not Deportation!” The sweep remains in flux and could begin later, according to the administration officials, who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Still, activists ramped up efforts to prepare by bolstering know-your-rights pocket guides, circulating information about hot-lines and planning public demonstrations. Vigils outside of detention centers were set for Friday, to be followed by protests Saturday in Miami and Chicago. The operation is similar to ones conducted regularly since 2003 that often produce hundreds of arrests. It is slightly unusual to target families, as opposed to immigrants with criminal histories, but it’s not unprecedented. The Obama and Trump administrations have targeted families in previous operations. But this latest effort is notable because of the politics swirling around it. Trump announced on Twitter last month that the sweep would mark the beginning of a…
“We don’t want to alarm folks, but we want to alert folks,” said Melissa Taveras of the Florida Immigrant Coalition.
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