From the moment that then-candidate Donald Trump first announced his run for the presidency in June of 2015, he has used extremely harsh rhetoric when speaking about immigrants. Indeed, his presidential announcement speech contained several offensive lines regarding Mexicans and other immigrants. As the 2016 presidential campaign moved forward, Trump’s actual policy proposals began to materialize. While often inconsistent and lacking in workable detail, candidate Trump repeatedly called for an immigration crackdown, including a sharp increase in deportations.
When President Trump assumed office in January 2017, there was tremendous fear and confusion in immigrant communities in Southern California and throughout the country. What did his election mean? What effects were his immigration policies going to have? Now, as we are entering the sixth month of the Trump presidency, we are beginning to have some additional clarity on his immigration agenda. In this post, our experienced Los Angeles deportation lawyer explains what we currently know, and what we still do not know about ICE raids during the Trump Administration.
Three Things We Know About ICE Raids Under President Trump
ICE Raids Are Up
While it is very difficult to get hard numbers of the amount of ICE raids that have been conducted through the first six months of the Trump Administration, there is little doubt that general enforcement has increased since President Trump took office. Indeed, there have been many high profile ICE raids, both in California and around the United States. For example, recently, the Los Angeles Times reported that federal officers picked up nearly 200 people in raids that occurred in one day in Los Angeles County.
ICE Has Intentionally Made a “Show of Force” With Its Raids
Earlier this year, a high ranking ICE official spoke to the Washington Post on condition of anonymity. This federal official told the reporters that the coordinated and public nature of recent ICE raids was “no accident,” strongly implying that these raids were designed to intimidate immigrants and immigrant communities. This type of signal could mean many different things, including the fact that the Trump Administration must be considering additional, intrusive ICE raids in the future.
State and Local Governments Have Responded
Of course, President Donald Trump is not the only political actor that matters in our country. While the administration has considerable influence and control over how ICE operates, state and local governments also retain important political power. In many cases, state and local governments all around the U.S. have responded to the President Trump’s words and actions by instituting new policies that help to provide additional support and protection for immigrants.
For example, the state of California is moving closer to passing Senate Bill 54, an important piece of legislation that helps protect the rights of many immigrants in the state. Among other things, SB 54 would establish certain safe zones that protect immigrants against ICE Raids. In Los Angeles, city officials have also taken action, re-affirming their support for immigrants, maintaining the city’s sanctuary status, and providing increased financial support for people facing deportation in the form of the L.A. Justice Fund.
What We Still Don’t Know About ICE Raids and the Trump Administration
We Do Not Know What Will Happen Next
The President of the United States wields enormous power. This is especially true when it comes to how federal agencies, such as U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE), will operate. Indeed, at almost any moment the president can change course rather dramatically. While lawsuits can be filed, and American courts can intervene to stop unlawful orders, as occurred with President Trump’s travel ban that was targeted at certain Muslim countries, the president may be able to order additional ICE raids. Notably, legal and political observers have assessed that the Trump Administration is unusually erratic. The bottom line is that there is still a lot we do not know about how ICE raids will occur in the future under President Trump. As such, it is imperative that immigrants remain vigilant. Our team will always be closely monitoring any new political, policy or legal developments that might affect Los Angeles immigrants and their families.
Do You Need Legal Assistance?
Our experienced immigration law team can help. At the Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, we are proud to support all immigrants, documented and undocumented. If you need legal advice, please do not hesitate to call us today to set up an initial immigration consultation. We serve communities throughout Southern California, including Glendale, Burbank, Cerritos and Downey.