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Now-delayed nationwide immigration sweep brings anxiety, fear in Minnesota

June 22, 2019 10:09 PM

In the Twin Cities, officials and immigrant advocates say they are hearing concerns over news of planned nationwide raids to deport immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

The operation, according to President Donald Trump's tweets, involves people with final orders of removal. They were expected to start Sunday, but the president announced Saturday that he'd asked Immigration and Customs Enforcement to delay it by two weeks.

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"It's been a lot of fear and uncertainty," said Kerry McGuire, a staff attorney at the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota.

McGuire said her organization, as well as other nonprofits, noted an uptick in phone calls to attorneys this week.

"I think just hearing that something is going to be stepped up puts everyone on alert," she said. "It's hard for us as service providers because we are also trying to anticipate what is going to happen."

The headlines about the raids being carried out in 10 major U.S. cities have added uncertainty to what's to come.

RELATED: Trump delays nationwide operation to deport immigrants

"Minneapolis has not been on any of the lists that will be receiving ICE raids," Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said Saturday afternoon.

Responding to the news that the raids had been delayed, Frey reinforced that the police department won't help in any ICE-related activity.

"We're going to make sure our police and our public officials are not sharing any information, they are not collaborating, they are not working with ICE," Frey said.

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter took a similar stance, tweeting early Saturday afternoon that the police department "will not cooperate nor facilitate any such action."

In response to the calls, the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota will open a help hotline on Monday afternoon.


Minnesota Immigrant & Refugee Rights Helpline

Phone number: 651-287-3715

Available Mondays and Wednesdays, 2-4 p.m.

For more information, visit ILCM.org/immigration-help


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Kirsten Swanson

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