As Raids Failed to Materialize, Many Immigrants Still Felt Fearful

WNYC | 7/14/2019 | Staff
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The city braced for deportation raids this weekend that didn’t come to pass, but legal groups and city officials fanned out across the five boroughs to assuage fears and inform immigrants of their rights.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were planning to arrest families who recently arrived, missed their court dates, and were ordered deported. But fear has spread among many immigrants. At Saint Joan of Arc Church on Stratford Avenue in the Bronx, around 60 people filed into the basement for know-your-rights workshops. Alejandra, who didn’t want to provide her last name, said she came to the U.S. 12 years ago from Mexico and doesn’t have legal status. She said she feels afraid.

Home - Spanish

“We stay at home,” she said in Spanish. “We can’t go out.”

She said she rarely leaves her house now, because she worries what would happen to her two U.S. citizen daughters if she got deported. Hilario Galicia Montes, a volunteer at the church, said he wasn’t afraid, after spending 21 years in the country and regularly paying taxes. But he said many of his friends are scared.

“They don’t want to go out,” he said. “They don’t want to go to work.”

On Sunday, Mayor de Blasio said ICE agents attempted to arrest people in Harlem and Sunset Park on Saturday but weren’t successful. The agency didn’t respond to WNYC’s request for comment and hasn’t confirmed if these activities were part of the planned operation across the country targeting around 2,000 people.

Sunset - Park - Activists - Politicians - Fliers

Across Sunset Park activists and politicians were handing out fliers with information on what to do if ICE knocked on people’s doors. City Councilman Carlos Menchaca said the attempted raid in his neighborhood put...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WNYC
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