KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thousands of people in the metro are bracing for what could happen over the weekend of July 12 as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement cracks down on undocumented immigrants.
FOX4’s Sherae Honeycutt spoke with those working with the undocumented community ahead of a possible new round of ICE raids.
“They’re absolutely going to happen. There’s approximately a million people in this country with removal orders,” Ken Cuccinelli with the Department of Homeland Security said.
Top ICE officials say they don’t expect to detain that many undocumented immigrants, but that is the pool they are working with. Around 2,000 are expected to be targeted.
Here in Kansas City, the Mattie Rhodes Center works with people regardless of their immigration status. Angela Brunner, their Director of Communications, says it can be a stressful time for mixed immigration status families.
“Anytime we see a policy like this come up, we definitely see a heightened fear in anxiety, stress in our families, and especially some of the children that don’t know what is going to be happening day-to-day,” Brunner said.
Brunner said they remind their clients about their rights when they have questions.
“You don’t have to invite people into your home unless they have a criminal warrant, you don’t have to answer the door, and you don’t have to answer any questions,” Brunner said. “If they do start to ask you questions, you can just simply state that you would like to invoke your fifth amendment rights.”
Jessica Piedra is an immigration attorney, and she said, since President Donald Trump took office, it’s been a constant wait-and-see.
“We’ve been on high alert since then. Really throughout this administration, we’ve been doing know-your-rights and just trying to inform people what their constitutional rights are because the constitution says ‘persons.’ It doesn’t say anything about immigration status as to the civil rights folks have in this country,” Piedra said.
“I would definitely encourage families to feel safe at organizations such as Mattie Rhodes center, or your local church and school. Reach out to find a trusted attorney to understand what is going on with your case, and that there are people here to help,” Brunner said.
It’s still unclear when and where ICE will be focusing. Raids are expected to happen in at least ten major cities across the US.