Reports of SoCal immigration 'sweeps' countered as 'routine enforcement' by ICE

A group of protesters blocks the southbound 101 Freeway entrance on Aliso Street in downtown Los Angeles Thursday Feb. 9 2017 after reports that about 100 people had been arrested and detained by federal immigration agents

While the Obama administration had clear guidance prioritizing deportation of high-level criminals, an executive order signed by Trump in his first week set up enforcement priorities that could include virtually any undocumented immigrant living in the US.

The raids targeted undocumented immigrants with criminal histories, Gillian Christensen, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, told The Washington Post, noting they were part of a "routine" action.

Officials said agents conducted raids of homes and workplaces as well as other operations in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, North Carolina and SC.

Lawyer Karla Navarrete said Friday agents looking for one man arrested another who is in the country illegally but has no criminal record.

Reports of ICE raids started coming out of Southern California Thursday, resulting in mass protests across Los Angeles after at least 160 people were reportedly either arrested or detained. "I am asking ICE to clarify whether these individuals are in fact risky, violent threats to our communities, and not people who are here peacefully raising families and contributing to our state", Castro said in a written statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. It set a priority of deporting any undocumented immigrant who had been charged with a crime, convicted of a crime or had "committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense". "Individuals who falsely report such activities are doing a disservice to those they claim to support". "A lot of people are scared".

In Austin, more than two dozen protesters gathered outside a government building after a woman called a local immigration advocacy group about her husband, who she said ICE officers detained on Friday.

Austin City Councilman Greg Casar, who represents a North-Central part of the city that is home to many immigrants, said constituents were hanging dark sheets on windows and refusing to open the front door even for immigrant rights advocates. The order also expanded the language about who is considered a criminal.

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LAPD Lt. Al Labrada called the crowd "peaceful" and said the main concerns were the flow of traffic and pedestrian safety.

"We need to be careful we aren't creating fear that will further push our undocumented communities into the shadows", said Amy Fischer, policy director at RAICES, a San Antonio nonprofit that provides legal assistance and other help to refugees.

"Angelenos should not have to fear raids that are disruptive to their peace of mind and bring unnecessary anxiety to our homes, schools, and workplaces", Garcetti said.

He asked over Twitter for people to send him evidence of ICE raids, referring to them as "Operation Crosscheck", and random paperwork checks.

Full numbers for the actions across the country will be made available Monday, the agency said. "ICE calling this an exaggeration is really Trump and ICE seeing the community rise up against them".

Some activists in Los Angeles and Austin suggested that the raids might be retaliation for those cities' so-called "sanctuary city" policies.

According to the ICE, about three quarters of those detained in California had felony convictions; the rest were either in the U.S. illegally or had misdemeanors convictions, the Washington Post reported. "It's happens everyday. But it's happening large scale", Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, said at an emergency rally held Thursday night.

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