New Orleans city council member call reported upcoming ICE raids ‘cruel’

FILE - In this Wednesday, May 22, 2019 file photo migrants mainly from Central America guide...
FILE - In this Wednesday, May 22, 2019 file photo migrants mainly from Central America guide their children through the entrance of a World War II-era bomber hanger in Deming, N.M. A panel of appeals court judges in California will hear arguments in the long-running battle between advocates for immigrant children and the U.S. government over conditions in detention and holding facilities near the southwest border. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio, File)(Cedar Attanasio | AP)
Updated: Jun. 21, 2019 at 10:31 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Local leaders are speak out against reported, upcoming ICE raids in major cities. While ICE representatives insist they don't conduct random sweeps or checkpoints, some say their approach to target families is cruel and inhumane.

It began with a Tweet from President Trump, Monday, indicating removal of "millions of illegal aliens". ICE, the enforcement arm of the Department of Homeland Security, is tight-lipped about upcoming operations, saying they don't publicize such information. Yet, according to recent reports, Immigration and Customs Enforcement discussed arresting and deporting immigrant families in ten major cities come Sunday, including New Orleans.

It doesn't sit well with some local leaders.

"ICE has a role in this country but I think ICE procedures should also be humane. This seems unusually cruel," New Orleans City Council member Moreno said.

Moreno says her greatest concern is that ICE is targeting families.

"This is likely going to lead to more children being separated from their parents and so that's what's so alarming," said Moreno.

ICE leaders insist those here illegally should be removed and that includes families, but representatives also stress those at risk of deportation have been specifically identified as individuals who either didn’t show up to court or lost their hearing. There will be no indiscriminate enforcement, they say.

Even so, it's no consolation for Moreno.

"We've already seen so many of those stories of children being torn apart from their parents and what's happening at all of these different types of holding shelters for the kids," Moreno explained.

Most recently, lawmakers sounded off about conditions at a windowless border patrol station in Texas. There, more than 250 children, infants and teens are facing a slurry of issues, including inadequate food, water and sanitation.

It’s just the latest in a string of publicized immigration facilities operating under sub par conditions. Still, administrators say they’re resolved to get a handle on the immigration crisis, some hoping mass arrests serve as a deterrent for other illegal aliens hoping to usurp the legal process.

"I think there should definitely be a definitely another way to go about this. This seems like the wrongest way," Moreno said.

House Democrats say they’ve a $4.5 billion measure to respond to what’s being called a humanitarian crisis, but state leaders along the border say the money’s not coming fast enough.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is taking a stand against the proposed raids, saying the city’s police department will not participate.

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