By Brittanie Gutierrez |Staff Writer|
Immigration raids have increased following President Donald Trump’s executive order to crack down on immigration, causing nationwide uproar.
Arrests took place across the nation, with 13 of them occurring in San Bernardino.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested over 680 illegal immigrants with records of criminal activity, over the second week in February.
“It’s disturbing. From a historical standpoint, nobody in America is technically a true American,” said history minor student Joanna Barry.
For some, these raids were disheartening.
“I felt heartbroken when I heard about these raids,” said student Loida Ramirez.
“Yes, before they were prevalent, but now it has a certain stigma because Trump is in office and it’s occurring daily,” Ramirez continued.
Trump tweeted that the raids were a testament to his campaign promises to deport illegal immigrants with a criminal histories on Feb. 12.
“The crackdown on illegal criminals is merely the keeping of my campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers & others are being removed!” tweeted Trump.
75 percent of those who were arrested were criminal illegal immigrants who had committed crimes such as homicide, aggravated sexual abuse, and drug trafficking, according to ICE website.
Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly released a statement on ICE website.
“President Trump has been clear in affirming the critical mission of DHS in protecting the nation and directed our Department to focus on removing illegal aliens who have violated our immigration laws, with a specific focus on those who pose a threat to public safety, have been charged with criminal offenses, have committed immigration violations or have been deported and re-entered the country illegally,” stated Kelly.
Raids are not uncommon to the U.S. However, in states like California with sanctuary cities and a large population of immigrants, fears of deportation have also increased.
“I feel that this is out of spite and isn’t necessarily just for the country’s best interest,” said student Marco Montoya.
He believes there are more important matters aside from making mass arrests that the government should be focusing on.
Some immigrants with records of using false identification, with no prior or current criminal history were arrested regardless.
Daniel Ramirez Medina, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applicant was detained in Seattle, and placed in a Washington detention facility in Tacoma, after ICE arrested his father on Feb. 10, according to CBS News.
Despite informing ICE that he was in the U.S. due to a work permit, and had no criminal history, agents still arrested Ramirez.
Ramirez is suing the federal government for violation of his constitutional rights following his arrest, according to The Hill.
Protests have also risen in retaliation to the increased mass arrests that have started.
‘A Day Without Immigrants’ protests have occurred in locations like Texas and D.C., according to CNN.
Protests are also raising awareness by spreading throughout social media platforms, gaining popularity. They began on Feb. 16.
The protests were said to showcase what the U.S. would be like without immigrants in the workplace, schools, stores, etc.
“People will announce their voices and want to be heard,” said Ramirez.