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Md. Immigrants Concerned About "Targeted Enforcement Operations"

BALTIMORE (WJZ)-- Federal agents are conducting what they call "targeted enforcement operations" aimed at capturing and deporting those in the country illegally.

Some are claiming it happened in Maryland.

George Solis explains why immigrant advocate groups are calling foul on the operations.

Those groups fighting this tell WJZ the notion that these operations are designed to go after criminals is completely false. They say it's all part of the frustration and confusion spawned by the president order's on immigration.

United States Immigration and Customs released footage of what they call "targeted enforcement operations" in Los Angeles and Chicago Friday.

It comes amid President Trump's expanded immigration policy.

Members of Maryland's immigrant community claimed this crackdown is also taking place in Baltimore, resulting in the arrest of two men in Highlandtown, an area known to have a high minority population.

Tuesday, advocates are taking a clear stance against the alleged operations.

"My message to ICE is very clear, get out of Baltimore," says Baltimore City Councilman Zeke Cohen.

In a statement to WJZ, customs and immigration neither confirm or deny any enforcement activity in the City. They do note these operations are routine and "dedicated to apprehending deportable foreign nationals."

One immigration expert tells WJZ all that means more than just criminals.

"They are saying if you've done anything that's technical violation not just the criminals that is being hyped about, you are in violation of immigration law, hence according to the administration you are capable and should be deported immediately," says immigration attorney Sheela Murthy.

Meanwhile immigrant advocates say they'll continue working to make sure that no one's rights are violated.

Lourdes Ortega with Casa de Maryland tells WJZ as the community tries to sort out and calm fears over what's happening, their biggest challenge is making sure those impacted aren't afraid to speak up.

"I want the community to be more than strong enough to come from the shadows to speak up anything that's happened in the community to let us know," says Ortega.

Baltimore City police's top cop has gone on record saying the department does not care about immigration status and officers will never ask about.

Lawyers are looking into the claims of the arrest of the two men by federal agents.

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