President Trump defended numerous immigration crackdowns across the U.S. early Sunday, following a week of sweeps by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in several cities.
The president tweeted out that ICE actions was “merely the keeping of my campaign promise” and claimed that “gang members, drug dealers & others” were the target of the raids:
Since taking office, the president has signed executive orders giving wide latitude for the enforcement of immigration laws and for the policing of drug cartels. One executive action, signed in his first week, also instructs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to prioritize deportations for those undocumented immigrations who have been convicted of or charged with a criminal offense or have engaged in fraud and abused any program related to public benefits.
But some law enforcement agencies have said that the ongoing raids had been on their agenda before Mr. Trump came into office.
In Los Angeles, agents arrested 161 immigrants this past week, a majority of whom have had criminal deportations and outstanding deportation orders.
But according to David Marin, the director of the ICE office in Los Angeles, “This operation was in the planning stages before the administration came out with their current executive orders.”
Mr. Trump also tweeted on a host of other issues early Sunday morning, including a federal appeals court’s decision not to reinstate his controversial travel ban.
He tweeted that “72% of refugees” admitted into the U.S. since the travel ban was halted came in from the seven Muslim-majority countries that would have been affected by his executive order. (On Saturday, Mr. Trump had tweeted that it was “77%” of refugees.) He blamed the “COURT BREAKDOWN” for the lapse.