Democrats concerned over raids, arrests by immigration authorities

| Updated: Feb 12, 2017 21:58 IST

Washington D.C. [United States], Feb. 12 (ANI): Immigrant rights activists and Democrats have questioned the recent raids and arrests made by the U.S. federal immigration authorities across the country. They have expressed their concerns over the actions by the immigration authorities as it has raised fears within immigrant communities around the country. However, the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials described the raids as "routine" action and said that majority of the people arrested were men with prior criminal convictions. Immigrant rights activists believe that the Donald Trump administration could step up enforcement against otherwise peaceful undocumented immigrants. "These reports show the serious consequences of the president's executive order, which allows all undocumented immigrants to be categorized as criminals and requires increased enforcement in communities, rather than prioritizing dangerous criminals," CNN quoted California Senator Dianne Feinstein as saying in a statement while responding to media reports of the stepped up enforcement. Echoing similar sentiments, Illinois Democratic representative Luis Gutierrez said that Trump has unleashed the Department of Homeland Security to chuck out large numbers of immigrants and anyone they encounter, without much oversight, review or due process. He added that the aim of such policies was to infuse fear in the minds of immigrant communities and frighten them. Expressing her concerns, Republican Roybal-Allard said that she was outraged to hear the recent arrests by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in southern California. She advised the Trump administration to prioritize actions on violent felons and others who pose real danger in the country if they are genuinely concerned about threats to American security. David Marin, the field office director for ICE in Los Angeles, said the operation was planned before Barack Obama left office and that majority of the people arrested had felony convictions. He compared the raids to operations during the Obama administration, for instance when more than 200 were arrested over four days in 2015, and more than 100 over four days last year. The development comes after a federal appeals court upheld the decision of halting President Trump's executive order to ban immigrants. (ANI)