ICE Started Its Immigration Raids—But Its Agents Got Turned Away

The raids began in New York, but agents were rebuffed.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents detain a person during a raid in Richmond, Virginia, in October.Steve Helber/AP

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement began its promised raids on undocumented immigrants on Saturday—but they didn’t get off to a good start.

Federal immigration agents tried and failed to raid two New York City homes on Saturday. Officials were turned away by people at those residences because the agents reportedly did not have warrants.

A spokesperson for ICE declined to give any specific details about the failed raids to reporters, commenting to the Wall Street Journal: “As always, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security.”

The raids are set to begin in earnest on Sunday in 10 cities: Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Baltimore, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, and San Francisco. Most of these municipalities are heavily Democratic, and some have declared themselves to be sanctuary cities, resisting cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.

Immigration activists in these cities have promised to mobilize against the raids. Democratic presidential hopefuls have also spoken out publicly against the raids, signaling that immigration will once again figure prominently in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election.

President Donald Trump scrapped a previous series of planned raids earlier this year. Still, the president has remained steadfast in his promise of “removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States.”

That is pretty much impossible, given that ICE doesn’t have anywhere near the resources needed to make good on Trump’s repeated threats.

Trump’s critics have seized on the moment to denounce the raids. Speaking to the Journal, Vanita Gupta, CEO of the Leadership Council on Civil and Human Rights Council and a former Obama Justice Department official, called them a “craven action [that] may motivate his political base.”

Meanwhile, back in New York City, ICE agents promised to return to the two residences at which they’d been turned away. This time, they’ll have warrants.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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