SWEETWATER, FLA. (WSVN) - Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents will reportedly roundup and deport thousands of South Florida families in the U.S. illegally over the weekend.
On Sunday, immigration agents may single out South Florida and other cities across the country. People with pre-existing deportation orders are believed to be the target, according to immigration attorneys.
“I think our community is scared out of their minds,” immigration attorney Tammy Fox-Isicoff said. “There’s no discretion. There’s no kindness. There’s no prioritizing those who would be a jeopardy to the public. It’s just a mass type of deportation.”
Deportation sweeps were rumored in June when the Trump administration threatened to go after one million people in the country illegally, but it never happened.
“The Trump administration doesn’t prioritize criminals,” Fox-Isicoff said. “Despite the fact that he talks about going after bad hombres, he doesn’t target bad hombres. He doesn’t care if he deports a parent of a U.S. citizen child with cancer.”
The possible Sunday sweep is expected to be much smaller but still significant.
“They come to the door at 4 to 6 a.m., and they cart off the individual who has a final removal order,” Fox-Isicoff said. “If others are in the house who are also undocumented, they often ask to see proof of their lawful status, and if they can’t produce lawful status, then they are collateral damage.”
The New York Times reported as many as 2,000 immigrants across the U.S. could be rounded up.
“They’ll send them to a detention facility, but the detention facilities are somewhat non-existent at this point because they are packed to capacity,” Fox-Isicoff said.
ICE officials issued a statement that read in part: “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.”
Meanwhile, immigration experts are cautioning South Floridians not to open their doors to customs agents this weekend, unless the agents show a warrant.
“If they do not have a properly signed warrant, we are advising our clients not to open up the door because the legal process hasn’t been complied with,” Fox-Isicoff said.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said law-abiding Miamians have nothing to worry about.
“You shouldn’t be worried,” he said. “The City of Miami is not coming after you. Obviously, those who are violent criminals who potentially are not in this country legally, certainly we don’t want those people in our city, but aside from that, we as a city are a city of immigrants. We embrace the fact that we have a tremendous amount of diversity in our city, and I’m obviously the product of two Cuban exiles.”
It remains unclear how many people in the community will be impacted, but immigration advocates are not taking chances.
The advocates could be seen handing out letters so everyone knows their rights if they get a knock on their door.
For more information on what you should do if ICE knocks on your door, please click here.
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