Sunday, July 21, 2024

Despite delayed ICE raids, immigration advocates remain alert

Immigration activist LuzHilda Muñoz spit out her anger when she learned Saturday that President Trump had just tweeted he was delaying planned immigration raids, a prospect that had sent fear through her community.

“It’s just very infuriating to know he feels he has the right to f——- play with our lives,” said Muñoz, who runs a deportation defense program for immigrant advocacy group United We Dream. While glad about the reprieve, Muñoz said she was not convinced Trump’s tweet was true, and it did little to calm the anxiety she felt after hearing that ICE would round up undocumented families in several U.S. cities starting Sunday.

Since the planned roundups became public knowledge on Friday, advocacy groups have been in rapid-response mode. They ratcheted up warning and reporting systems that they have developed to inform people to stay in their homes, not answer their doors and be aware of their rights.

Lawyers were told to be ready on standby to help arrestees, and volunteers offered to open their homes to targeted people so agents would not find them at home. Groups organized volunteers to drive people to work, children to school and families to grocery stores so they wouldn’t have to worry about being pulled over.

Then came Trump’s tweet that he was postponing the plan for two weeks. But advocates said they are not standing down; “We don’t trust him in any way,” said Marjorie Murillo, a community liaison specialist for Miami Dade Public Schools. “I’ve been calling and sending messages everywhere that they are postponed, but where I live, parents and everyone, they are never safe.”

Morales noted that Trump announced his re-election campaign last week in Orlando, Florida. “He wants to be sure that his base is clear about what his stance is on immigration and on deportation and the wall,” Morales said.