NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents tried to make arrests in New York City on Saturday but were turned away in two boroughs as advocates continue to warn undocumented immigrants about their rights ahead of more raids expected Sunday and in the following days.
The raids are part of President Trump’s announced plan to serve papers on an estimated 2,000 families living in the country illegally.
The federal government promised ICE raids this weekend, and Saturday morning it kept its promise. But advocates say that ICE agents were turned away by families in Manhattan and Brooklyn during those attempted raids.
“We heard two reports from Sunset Park. Third report was in East Harlem,” city Immigrants Affairs Commissioner Bitta Mostofi said. “Eyewitnesses speaking to us about ICE attempts to gain access and entry and conduct arrests, but thankfully unsuccessfully.”
The resistance was applauded by advocates who gathered with Mostofi Saturday to denounce an action they see as cruel and unnecessary.
The targets face deportation for entering the country illegally and missing a hearing, but advocates say that many times they never get a notice.
City Councilman Carlos Menchaca says the city has vowed to fight the raids and has set up a 311 hotline to let people know their rights.
“This is a white man saying our country needs to be white and needs to be whiter and we need to remove the people of color,” Menchaca said.
Democrats leaders like Council Speaker Corey Johnson have been advising people to be careful about opening their door. They’re reminding undocumented immigrants that they’re not obliged to answer if ICE agents don’t have authorization signed by a judge.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has said his city would not cooperate with ICE. And Gov. Andrew Cuomo urged New Yorkers needing immigration help to contact the New York State New Americans Hotline.
Hundreds of immigrant advocates held a Manhattan vigil Friday night ahead of Sunday’s expected nationwide crackdown.
The arrests in major cities, including New York, are to start Sunday and are being led by ICE agents. Protesters urged people who are targets to hide during sweeps that President Trump said would continue after this weekend.