Criticism of these raids are coming from all corners, most importantly from liberal Democrats often aligned with the president. However, according to an official White House statement this weekend, it will be business as usual going forward.
“The enforcement strategy and priorities that the administration has articulated are not going to change,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Friday. “Individuals who recently crossed the border are priorities for removal.”
After immigration reform efforts failed in Congress, Obama used executive action to protect 700,000 young undocumented long-term residents.
However, recent arrivals are not the only people the White House appears to be going after. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids are also picking up those who have the legal right to be in the country but may lose it because of illegal activities they may have engaged in as much as 20 years ago. Many of the infractions were for low-level crimes which may not have even resulted in jail time at the time of their arrest.
According to US officials, 121 mothers and children were detained and sent to federal detention facilities last weekend, generating criticism about the way ICE is responsible for breaking up families in which members have different statuses.
“People are very confused,” Adelina Nicholls, executive director of the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights, told the Washington Post. “They hear there are raids going on, but they don’t know why, and they worry they will be affected, too.”