ICE raids sweep immigrant communities

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Immigrant communities have faced losses from ICE raids throughout the nation starting from July 14. President Trump’s administration has exacerbated fears and brought a resurgence in the raids.

ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is an agency within the Department of Homeland Security that enforces America’s immigration and customs laws.

In order to enforce these laws, ICE conducts raids on potential violators. “There are 11 million undocumented migrants in the United States right now, [meaning] people without proper documentation. So basically, anyone without citizenship or a green card could be subject to deportation,” Maddie Huynh (12) said.

On Aug. 7, immigration officials raided food-processing plants in Mississippi, arresting approximately 680 people, according to NPR. These raids were among the largest in a decade. U.S. History teacher Carol Green said that there had been a discrimination lawsuit filed against one of the companies in 2018. The exact “whistleblower” for the raids is unknown while it was well known that some of the company’s employees were undocumented immigrants and did not have the paperwork to work legally.

Arushi Saxena
This map illustrates the locations of recent ICE raids nationwide.

In addition to the events in Mississippi, ICE has conducted raids throughout the nation. Bay Area communities have suffered the consequences. According to CBS SF Bay Area, organizations such as Santa Clara County Rapid Response Network, gave support to undocumented immigrants and their families as they awaited arrest.

The large amount of ICE raids has left an impact on the nation. “Now you have possible separation of families and fear in the communities because you have individuals who are either afraid for a family member who is an illegal immigrant or those who are not here illegally but are being targeted for how they look.” said Green.

ICE sends the illegal immigrants to detention centers while waiting for their deportation. Although people are being deported across the border, there are hundreds of immigrants ready to enter the nation. For both groups, conditions in their native country are much worse than the conditions they face in America.

In addition to broken families and dire conditions for the detained and incoming immigrants, ICE raids have left an impact on the economy due to detained workers being a large part of the American workforce.

“In the United States, there are over two million low-scale jobs available, and native-born Americans can’t fill them, even if everyone without a college degree filled them,” Maddie said. “This damages the economy because of the high demand for these jobs that need to be filled.”

A less common result of the raids would be decreased birth rates. Librarian Meredith Cranston said, “The US birth rate goes down—this is true of all developed countries. We rely more and more on immigrants to support our population.”

Currently, according to NPR, some Democratic lawmakers and candidates want to abolish ICE altogether. They believe that ICE is immoral and embodies the aggressive immigration policies of the Trump administration.

A previous version of this article, published in the Winged Post on Aug. 30, incorrectly attributed the following quote to Ms. Carol Green: “In the United States, there are over two million low-scale jobs available, and native-born Americans can’t fill them, even if everyone without a college degree filled them. This damages the economy because of the high demand for these jobs that need to be filled.” The article has been updated on Sept. 7 to correctly attribute this statement to Maddie Huynh (12).