Editorial: Cruel and unnecessary ICE raids are back on. What a shame

Miami Herald Editorial Board, Miami Herald on

Published in Op Eds

The dreaded ICE raids Part II are on again.

As early as Sunday, undocumented members of our community -- including entire families with deportation orders -- are in danger of being rounded up at dawn by agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Editorial Board has said it before: We have no problem with violent undocumented criminals being hauled off, but we draw the line at law-abiding families having their years-long existence in America end so abruptly -- even though they are here illegally.

These raids were scheduled for last month. President Trump postponed the secret action at the last minute, mainly because the Miami Herald broke the story that Miami was one of 10 cities where ICE agents would be knocking on doors with deportation orders.

The Herald, too, has published a story about what you should do if ICE agents show up on your door.

Only about 2,000 people across the country are in peril of removal, but we know that the fear has spread to millions more in similar predicaments in immigrant communities. The other cities said to be targeted are New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Baltimore, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans and San Francisco. However, given the mercurial nature of President Trump's decision-making, any city, at any time, could be in ICE's sights to maintain the surprise factor -- or the raids could be called off yet again.

There are 1 million people on the United States living with removal orders. Some will say they deserve to go; we say such harsh removals are unAmerican. As outcry grew the last time the raids were announced, Trump postponed them saying he was giving Democrats time to "do something" about immigration reform.

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Of course, he knew no one would touch that political hot potato. In fact, Congress hasn't tried to tackle immigration in a mature and comprehensive manner for a long time. It's a dereliction of duty on both sides of the aisle, which is why raids are the ridiculous default policy. And the president has done incalculable damage with his hostile rhetoric and callous treatment of those making their way toward the Southern border from Central America seeking asylum.

So the clock appears to be ticking again for those in our community who are undocumented and have received deportation orders. Remember: The people in danger of being removed, along with others in their households, are people we all know: cooks and landscapers, students, even veterans of the U.S. military, who served on our behalf. Their lives will be upended as the sun rises.

As the raids begin and friends and neighbors disappear, email the Editorial Board at heralded@miamiherald.com with the word "taken" in the subject line if you know of anyone who taken into custody. Tell us their story, for it's an American story, too.

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