Immigration

Trump’s Big Immigration Raids Caught Almost No One

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump's much-ballyhooed immigration raids -- the raids that were suppose to sweep up thousands or even millions (according to Trump) of immigrants -- reportedly led to the apprehension of almost no one.

Out of the 2,100 humans targeted by Trump's deportation force, only 35 of them were actually taken into custody and, if you read between the lines, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) apparently believes Trump is to blame for that.

From Reuters:

“I guarantee you if we were doing raids, and we had officers running all over the place picking up targets indiscriminately, you would have videos all over YouTube,” [ICE acting director Matthew Albence] said.

As word spread about the possible ICE operation, immigration rights groups circulated “know your rights” materials in immigrant communities and local activists advised people not to answer the door to agents without a warrant.

Albence said some operations were called off because their officers were “under surveillance.” [...]

Albence skirted a question about the president’s tweets, blaming media coverage in general and said past operations had been more successful in part because they were carried out with less attention.

Past operations were "carried out with less attention" because Trump did not tell the world that it was coming a month in advance.

For the 35 immigrants who were actually swept up in Trump's raids, the fact that so few others were taken into custody probably doesn't provide much consolation, but it's such a low number it's hardly worth mentioning at all. Far more immmigrants than that are apprehended every single day as a matter of course. The federal government deported over 256,000 immigrants in fiscal 2018, or about 700 per day -- 35 is a statistical anomaly.

With all of that said, there's no guarantee ICE won't attempt to carry out another raid without Trump serving as an early warning system. Maybe they won't even tell him it's coming so he won't be able to spoil it.

  • muselet

    Yeah, Matthew Albence sounds peeved that Donald Trump’s big mouth spoiled his officers’ fun.

    Also, I found this—

    Albence said some operations were called off because their officers were “under surveillance.”

    —particularly funny. “Under surveillance” translates to “people were watching and shooting video.” Oh, the horror!

    I wonder if immigration enforcement would be more effective if it were handled by guys in cheap suits armed with arrest warrants rather than by swarms of Battle of Ramadi cosplayers in full battle rattle. Just a thought.

    –alopecia

  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    of the 2,100 humans targeted by Trump

    That’s a nice touch, there, Ashby…

    To Trump et al, they aren’t “humans,” they’re just “illegals.”

  • gescove

    Regardless, instilling fear within migrant communities was Mission Accomplished. Harm, cruelty, and fear are the policy objectives of this administration.