(ESPAÑOL) Mere days after Trump’s announcement of DACA’s future demise, Homeland Security cancels its nationwide raids scheduled for the end of this month. With a target estimate of over 4,800 undocumented immigrants, this would have been the largest raid operation in ICE’s history.
The agency cited concerns for safety and operations due to Hurricanes Irma and Harvey as a reason for the cancellation. No new date has been announced yet.
The raid operation, codenamed “Operation Mega,” had been planned since mid-August and had been centered around catching and deporting gang members and perpetrators of serious crimes.
The agency said their raids would not have targeted juveniles, and DACA recipients still have protection until the program lapses in March of 2018, ICE representatives assured. Texas, currently still recovering from Harvey, hosts approximately 124,000 DACA recipients, while Florida, about to be hit by Irma, has more than 30,000.
Meanwhile, the rest of the nation, including Texas and Florida, prepare for the inevitable lapse of DACA and what it could mean to their legal rights. Other cities in Texas are providing more free legal services and an immigration group in Arizona is hosting an online fundraiser to help applicants pay the renewal fee for the program, in hopes of keeping their legal status and find a different solution for when the program expires. There will be a final renewal period in Oct. 5, and the program is not taking any new applicants for its duration.
Meanwhile, at the request of Democrat Nancy Pelosi, Trump went public on Twitter and announced that Dreamers did not have to fear imminent deportation. However, Trump did not provide any long-time reassurance, and the 6-month deadline for Congress to effectively replace DACA with a similar, effective program for handling undocumented juvenile immigrants seems almost too hopeful after the many decades of immigratory standstill that have stood unresolved.