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The Effect of Recent Trump Raids on Immigrant Communities and American Businesses

The Effect of Recent Trump Raids on Immigrant Communities and American Businesses

What are the ‘Trump’ Immigration Raids?

The Trump immigration raids were scheduled to take place on Sunday, July 14th and were to be a widespread dispatch of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers to homes of immigrants with prior deportation orders. The raids were to target approximately 2000 Mexican and Central American families who had existing deportation orders. It’s unclear whether the raids were targeting new entrants to the United States or anyone with an existing deportation order.

On July 15th, by all accounts, the raids were smaller than anticipated. Many large cities did not see any activity by ICE officials, and some smaller towns saw a little bit of activity.

Where were the ‘Trump’ Immigration Raids to take place?

The raids were reportedly scheduled to take place in over 10 U.S. cities, including Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington D.C., Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York. The American Immigration Lawyers Association also provided raid response hotline and contact information for those living in New Jersey, New Orleans, Nevada, San Francisco, and Washington State.

What are the effects of the ‘Trump’ Immigration Raids?

Multiple social and economic effects have resulted from the raids and the threat of the raids.

Social Effects of Raids

The raids and potential for raids have also had a profound social effect. First and foremost, the threat of raids has injected a sense of fear and foreboding into the fabric of immigrant communities. The raids have been publicized on the news and social media for months. Just the idea of apprehension by ICE causes extreme stress not only for immigrants but for their United States Citizen and Lawful Permanent Resident family members.

Second, during the scheduled raid times, many immigrants chose not to leave their homes. They stayed home and fortified themselves in by turning off their lights and drawing the blinds. This type of fear is insidious; it has the effect of vilifying children’s parents and making people feel like fugitives. Additionally, children are afraid that when their parents do leave the house, they’ll never see them again.

Other immigrants, whether they have a prior deportation order or not, are fearful that ICE officers may come looking for them. Even if ICE is not looking for you, but you are apprehended during a raid, ICE will still detain and process you.

Economic Effects of Raids

Another effect of people deciding to stay home is economic. Local businesses suffered as swaths of people stayed home. Businesses like grocery stores, salons, daycares, schools, and churches reported drastically lower numbers of customers. People also called in sick to work, which affected business productivity.

Immigrants Knowing their Rights

The threat of raids has also had the effect of an overwhelming and proactive response by attorneys and advocates. Attorneys, advocates, and community-based organizations have been able to educate immigrants, and community members in an unprecedented way as thousands of immigrants are looking to arm themselves with information. Thousands of people now understand their rights in a way that they did not before. Many immigrants now know that ICE officers cannot enter their homes without consent; if they want to enter your home, they need a warrant signed by a judge.

If you are worried about being caught in an immigration raid, please contact our immigration attorneys at Landerholm Immigration, APC at 510-488-1020 to see how we can help you!

Sources I consulted:

The Daily (Podcast), Waiting for the Immigration Raids, July 15, 2019.


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