EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – While there is still no indication that the ICE raids expected to start Sunday will happen in the Borderland, the local immigrant community is on edge.
“I come from a mixed-status family. I do have family members who are undocumented and others who are not,” said Senaida Navar, a local DACA recipient.
She said her family has always been living on the edge. Navar said that although no one in her family has a deportation order, they are still preparing in the event that ICE ends up at their door.
“When these orders came about, we weren’t shocked, but it definitely heightens that fear,” she said.
Navar said her siblings who have U.S.-born children have been making plans on what would happen to their kids.
“I do have a lot of nieces and nephews, so that is something that my siblings have to consider is what will happen in any given event. It’s going to be very difficult,” said Navar.
Fernando Garcia, the Executive Director of Border Network for Human Rights, said undocumented immigrants he’s spoken with across the Borderland have been getting their affairs in order.
“They are putting their documents together. They are putting money aside, documents aside. They are trying to figure out what would happen if they are separated from their children specifically,” said Garcia.
In a statement Friday, an ICE spokesperson said:
“Due to law-enforcement sensitivities and the safety and security of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel, the agency will not offer specific details related to enforcement operations. As always, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. In fact, 90 percent of aliens arrested by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations component in FY2018 had either a criminal conviction(s), pending criminal charge(s), were an ICE fugitive, or illegally reentered the country after previously being removed. However, 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..”
ICE stats say about 256,000 were deported in the 2018 fiscal year.
In the 2012 fiscal year, more than 400,000 were taken out of the country.