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What's Happening With The ICE Raids?


Immigrant communities across the country braced for ICE raids today. Matthew Albence, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, spoke this morning on Fox News.


MATTHEW ALBENCE: We are doing targeted enforcement actions against specific individuals who have had their day in immigration court and have been ordered removed by an immigration judge. We are merely executing those lawfully issued judges' orders.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Protests have been held across the country in recent days from New York to San Francisco and Chicago.


UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: Immigrants are welcome here. No hate. No fear.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And so now on the line we have Johnny Kauffman from member station WABE in Atlanta and Maria Zamudio from member station WBEZ in Chicago.

Good morning to you both.


MARIA ZAMUDIO, BYLINE: Thank you so much for having me.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Johnny, let's start with you. What are you hearing from immigrant communities in Atlanta?

KAUFFMAN: There's been nowhere today a sign of increased ICE enforcement. Activists aren't reporting anything. The regional ICE office hasn't said anything. It's been a quiet Sunday here, but, you know, it's hard to know, is that because people are spending normal time with family and at church or is it because of fear of potential ICE activity? And we don't know that exactly. Activists have told me they're hearing from Latinx taxi drivers who are worried about things being quiet and about less business, but they haven't really seen that on the ground yet.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Immigrant rights groups have been preparing for these arrests for a while now because, of course, the president was broadcasting that they were going to happen. What are they saying today?

KAUFFMAN: Dozens of activists in Atlanta went out into the community, calling themselves ICE chasers today. They were looking to monitor ICE activity and also meeting with people at gas stations and apartment complexes, explaining their rights. The activists seemed wary but focused on continuing to do the same kind of work in the coming days - informing people of their rights. And I spoke with the leader of a Latino human rights group. And she sees this talk coming from the Trump administration about increased enforcement really as a political move and says, you know, we can be political too. We can get people organized, and we'll see you in the presidential election in 2020.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Chicago immigrant activists have been active this morning as well, so let's bring in Maria from Chicago. What can you tell us about what's happening there?

ZAMUDIO: Yeah. Advocates had been preparing for this for a while. As we speak, local leaders are having brigades in immigrant neighborhoods in Chicago's North and West Sides. I also started my day at a detention center in Broadview, a suburb outside Chicago, where dozens of protesters gathered. This detention is where undocumented immigrants are typically brought in after arrest. And while protesters couldn't get information about who was arrested, they were there to show their support to immigrants inside.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Have you heard about any arrests?

ZAMUDIO: So there was, like, a rapid-response team that was prepared for this weekend, a hotline that was advertised to community members. And as of right now, there was no call to that hotline. So we haven't seen any activity as of yet.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: When you've been talking to these immigrant advocates - and if these raids don't happen today, are they prepared for the long haul? I mean, if they don't happen today, they may happen this week or later this month.

ZAMUDIO: Yes. They really see this as something they need to continue doing every weekend. They're trying to figure out a way to keep this sustainable for the foreseeable future.

KAUFFMAN: The activists that I spoke to actually seemed kind of energized by today, I think, you know, partially because they didn't see a lot of activity, but they saw a lot of outpourings of support and a lot of people came out. And so they really see it as an opportunity to continue to connect with the community, to continue to get people, like, politically activated and engaged. And definitely, the sort of education efforts in terms of people's rights and how to deal with someone if ICE comes knocking - that is something that they're going to sustain for a long time.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: WABE's Johnny Kauffman is in Atlanta, and WBEZ's Maria Zamudio is in Chicago.

Thank you to you both.

KAUFFMAN: You're welcome.

ZAMUDIO: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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