TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) President Donald Trump warned of immigration raids expected to be carried out by Immigration and Custom's Enforcement starting on Sunday, according to the New York Times. The raids are expected to be conducted starting on Sunday, in 10 major cities across the U.S.
KMVT reached out to ICE asking if cities in Idaho could potentially be a location where this operation could take place, or whether not individuals swept up in the operation could be detained in the state. Spokesperson for ICE, Tanya Roman, issued the following statement:
“Due to law-enforcement sensitivities and the safety and security of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel, the agency will not offer specific details related to enforcement operations. As always, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security. In fact, 90 percent of aliens arrested by ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations component in FY2018 had either a criminal conviction(s), pending criminal charge(s), were an ICE fugitive, or illegally reentered the country after previously being removed. However, all of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and – if found removable by final order – removal from the United States.”
Brian Tanner, an
immigration attorney in Twin Falls says that although the raids are expected to take place over the weekend, they are something he's preparing for.
"We are taking this seriously," Tanner says. "We are trying to talk to our clients trying to get the word out, trying to get prepared."
Tanner says these operations often result in the disruption of family units.
"My concern is always families, especially kids, especially kids who are citizens because they are the ones suffer the most in these situations," Tanner says.
He's seen that happen first-hand in Idaho, largely due to Idaho's large dairy sector.
"Definitely a traumatic situation where the kids have nowhere to go and the parents are really are just working on the dairies," Tanner says. "I mean that's a place they could possibly get picked up. We've seen that before."
Tanner says he's received calls related to immigration cases from both undocumented and documented U.S. citizens, and that removals can have an impact on businesses as well.
"My message to employers, and my message to the undocumented is mind your p's and q's the very, very, very, best you can," Tanner says. "Never run. If you're in a car or somewhere else, never provide false information. If you're in your house, that's a protected space."
As for the future of the U.S. immigration system, Tanner says unless laws coordinate with economic needs, especially in, Idaho the system will never work properly.
"The dairy industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and their labor is dependent on 90 percent illegal-aliens," Tanner says. "As long as we have employees that are desperate to work, and employers that are desperate to hire them they will find a way to make that happen."
We can give them a permit, a legal permit or residency. Tanner also says he'd like to see a specific law, Section 212(a)(9) of the Act - Aliens Unlawfully Present after Previous Immigration Violations, amended.
"If you have a year of unlawful presence in the United States, and you return to see family and come back again it's an absolute tenured bar," Tanner says.
According to him, the law impacts families where not all of them have U.S. citizenship.
"If you have citizen children or a citizen spouse and there's hundreds of thousands of them essentially left in limbo without a waiver," Tanner says, "so I would find a way to provide a waiver for them."
"The system needs to be fixed. I know people focus on the fact that it's not legal, but we also need to focus on us and our economic needs." Tanner says. "It would be so much better for law enforcement, prosecutors, employers, all these families, if we had laws that work and we don't."
A spokesperson for ICE says their deportation officers do not conduct operations that target undocumented persons indiscriminately. ICE’s enforcement actions are targeted and lead driven. "ICE conducts targeted immigration enforcement in compliance with federal law and agency policy.”