ICE immigration raids, arrests to start Sunday


Raids on undocumented immigrants start Sunday

(CNN) - Officials say a series of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids set to unfold around the nation Sunday will target about 2,000 people with orders of deportation.

Most of them are believed to be people who have recently entered the U.S., but that's not easing fears among many long-time residents without legal status.

Some undocumented immigrants say they feel like they are preparing for a hurricane. They are stocking up on supplies, afraid to leave their homes.

An undocumented father says he's never felt this much stress and fear in his 15 years living and working here.

"It's very stressful," said the unnamed man. "It's like you have a disease that's killing you, like cancer, something that makes you feel desperation."

Feelings of fear and desperation are exploding in immigrant communities across the country. The Trump administration announced raids by ICE agents are set to begin this weekend.

"Psychologically, you live in fear, pressure," said the unnamed man. "You live thinking that any day, any moment, you will be get a knock on the door."

He lays out his documents to show he pays his taxes. He's worked hard as a repairman to achieve the American dream.

But he knows the life he and his wife built together in California could be wiped away with a knock on the door from an ICE agent. He says he left El Salvador for economic reasons.

After his first wife died in childbirth and he could not make enough money to provide for his three children there, he entered the U.S. illegally via the Rio Grande in 2005.

He missed a court date, and a court ordered his deportation. He says that is his only crime.

He's been trying to remedy it through the courts, which includes making scheduled visits with ICE, leaving him even more vulnerable.

At his church, his pastors make clear they're willing to face the consequences of helping the undocumented.

"This is what we need to do," said Pastor Ada Valiente. "We need to walk beside our vulnerable."

Their church is a member of a network of churches preparing emergency shelter for people to go into hiding in the short term. And if need be, indefinitely.

"We have a higher law: The law of love, compassion, and the law of God," said Pastor Melvin Valiente.

Copyright 2019 CNN. KTXL, KINT, Canal 12 and Getty Images contributed to the report. All rights reserved.