BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore leaders– including the mayor– have vowed that they will not assist federal agents with immigration efforts after President Trump announced a delayed crackdown starting after July 4th.
“Baltimore City is a rainbow,” Mayor Jack Young said. “We want everybody to feel welcome, and we’re not participating in an ICE raid at all.”
The city will provide legal services for those targeted. Activists have also been providing advice on what to do if Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents knock on people’s doors including a seminar at the Southeast Anchor Library in Highlandtown Monday night.
“All of us—if you want to be honest—are immigrants to this country except for the Native Americans,” Mayor Young said.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore also criticized the upcoming enforcement. “I characterize this as an act of domestic terrorism,” said Rev. Bruce Lewandowski of the Sacred Heart of Jesus church.
Vice President Mike Pence has defended the enforcement in Baltimore and other cities as the President “doing his job.”
The President’s announcement of a delay in the enforcement action comes as came as immigrant advocates across major U.S. cities had been mounting an unprecedented campaign to prepare undocumented immigrants for a highly publicized operation in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was expected to target more than 2,000 families with pending deportations orders.
Democrats in Congress and in major U.S. urban centers — which were likely to be the main targets of the now-delayed operations — had urged the White House to abort any massive deportation blitz, which they believed would’ve separated families in which some members are undocumented but others, particularly children, are U.S. citizens.
It is unclear if the president relented because of concerns raised by Democrats — as he claimed in his Twitter post — or because of the political damage the raids could’ve inflicted on his agenda.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress are currently negotiating legislation to allocate funds to different agencies, including ICE, that are dealing with the large-scale migration of Central American families and unaccompanied children to the U.S.-Mexico border.