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Large Immigration Raids Planned For Miami, Several Other Cities

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Deportations of undocumented immigrants will begin Sunday in 10 US cities, including Miami, CBS4 has learned.

Sources tell CBS4 the other cities are Atlanta, Chicago, Baltimore, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, and San Francisco.

That concerns one mother who has lived in South Florida for nearly 20 years. She didn't want her name released.

"This is not a life for anyone. I can't even go back to Nicaragua. Since I came over from there, the government doesn't like me," she said.

The mother of two from Nicaragua has been dodging federal agents for ten years, after she exhausted all options to stay in the United States.

"The law is broken. The only way you can fix your papers in this county is through family reunification. When you have a husband, siblings, or kids that can request for you," she said.

According to The Washington Post, the federal government plans to target undocumented immigrants in predawn raids.

Officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) declined to comment. They only said they don't discuss future operations.

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"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 ongoing enforcement operations before the conclusion of those actions," ICE said in a statement Friday.

The raids follow President Trump's tweet early this week calling for the deportation of "millions" of immigrants."

Those to be deported include those who arrived in the US illegally as minors but have since turned 18, those who were ordered removed by a court, and those who missed court hearings.

"If you're here illegally, then you should be removed," acting head of ICE Mark Morgan told reporters Wednesday during a call prompted by the President's tweet. "And in this case, that includes families."

Field agents at local field offices are receiving briefings and training, according to a senior immigration official.

There are also preparations being put in place for mixed-immigration status families.

In February, ICE sent around 2,000 letters to families who already had received final orders of removal by judges in absentia, asking them to self-report to local ICE offices by March to comply with the orders, Morgan said. The upcoming operation is expected to target approximately 2,000 people, according to the senior immigration official.

Once arrests take place, families will likely be moved to ICE family residential detention centers as the agency works with consulates to obtain travel documents, according to the official. Some people will likely appeal their cases, but eventually some will be removed.

Advocacy groups say they're mobilizing beginning Sunday in anticipation of an upcoming operation.

The Florida Immigrant Coalition has a hotline for concerned families or people willing to help. That number is 1-888-600-5762.

Melissa Taveras from the Florida Immigration Coalition stopped by the CBS4 studio to break down the upcoming immigration deportation raids and what it means for local undocumented aliens.

"We are doing everything in our power to make sure that every single undocumented person in the city of Miami knows that regardless of their status they have constitutional rights. They have protections," Spokesperson Melissa Tavaras said.



Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez said county officers will not be helping federal agents.

"Officers will not be cooperating or participating in any raid activity here for the residents of Miami-Dade County," Mayor Giménez said.

As for the mother who is concerned she will be deported, she told CBS4 she will go to a friend's home for the week.

She's hoping her oldest daughter will become a citizen soon to request that her mother will stay to avoid dodging federal agents.

"People think that we want to be here illegally—no. Sometimes I speak to people who say 'do your papers. Go get your drivers license.' It's not like that. It's not easy," she said.

(©2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)

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