MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Federal agents reportedly conducted raids in 10 cities over the weekend that targeted immigrants who have been issued final deportation orders.
Memphis wasn’t on the list, but some people were still on guard fearing the worst.
Mauricio Calvo is the Executive Director of Latino Memphis. He says many people reached out to him and were concerned about what happened to them over the weekend.
But he says an announced raid is not what he’s worried about.
“I think it’s important to note that this is happening every single day in Memphis and throughout the country. We don’t have to wait for a tweet from the president for deportation and separation of families to take place,” Calvo said.
The raids reportedly targeted thousands of people who were given a final order to leave the country. While they didn’t hear of activity in Memphis, Calvo says it’s important to let due process play out.
“People are saying, ‘Well, people need to stick to the process.’ But the federal government is not sticking to the process. ICE agents are showing up with warrants that are not signed by judges.”
Immigration attorneys say that’s why it’s so important for people to be educated, so they make informed decisions and not ones that are rooted in fear.
“I want to make sure that folks know that they have the right to remain silent. Everyone, if they see a law enforcement officer, they want to show they’re cooperating. But that often leads them to say things they shouldn’t,” Attorney Lily Axelrod said.
That’s why they provided “rights cards” to improve the communication with law enforcement until other solutions become available.
ICE sent us a statement saying:
“As always, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security… all of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and – if found removable by final order – removal from the United States.”