BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Immigrants in Baltimore and other communities remain on edge as the threat of immigration raids looms despite the expected raids not materializing.
The raids were supposed to begin two weeks ago, but no Immigration and Customs Enforcement activity has been reported in Baltimore.
Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin Monday recounted his recent “fact-finding” mission to the U.S.-Mexico border during an event in Highlandtown.
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“I do believe America is better than what I saw happening at the border in McAllen, Texas,” Cardin said.
The Democratic senator recapped his visit last week to the border, during which he toured the detention centers that have drawn allegations of dangerous and deadly conditions for refugees.
“It was heartbreaking to see how they’re treated,” he said.
1,500 miles from that border station, back in Baltimore, undocumented immigrants are hunkering down.
Baltimore is one of ten cities that were reportedly slated for ICE raids weeks ago that never seemed to materialize. That uncertainty is leaving a lingering fear for some that federal agents could move in at any time.
“Even those who are legally here are worried that they’re going to get picked up,” Cardin said. “There’s real fear over what the government policy implemented by this administration is all about.”
ICE officials have declined to provide any operational details about potential raids.
Baltimore city leaders have said they will not cooperate with any sweep. Mayor Jack Young said the city’s police force will not ask about anyone’s immigration status.
Immigration advocates praised the move.
“They’re making it very difficult for ICE to conduct their scare tactics, but they’re still doing it,” said George Escobar with immigrant rights group CASA. “Fear is still pervasive, but we’re encouraged by what we’re seeing from our local elected leaders.”
Other cities have reportedly seen some enforcement, but so far it appears sweeping raids have not taken place.