The Trump administration is reportedly considering conducting national militarized raids to arrest 10,000 immigrants.
Citing seven current and former administration officials, the Washington Post calls it “a secret White House plan to arrest thousands of parents and children in a blitz operation against migrants in 10 major US cities.” Mass arrests would require thousands of armed federal police and agents to be deployed.
Operations of this sort, conducted by the state against immigrant workers, serve to normalize widespread violations of democratic rights and conditioning the population for the implementation of dictatorial rule. The plan would not only constitute the largest immigration raid in US history, it would serve as a potential dry run for mass arrests of other dissidents.
According to the Post, the plan was temporarily tabled weeks ago by the former head of the Department of Homeland Security Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, and the former acting head of ICE, Ron Vitiello. However, according to the paper, it is still being discussed.
Recently, former ICE Director Tom Homan said on Fox News that ICE should “do operationally what Congress has failed to do legislatively,” adding “ICE needs to do a nationwide operation.”
In February 2019, the military conducted a training exercise in Los Angeles and Long Beach. The Army said the ”local terrain and training facilities in Los Angeles provide the Army with unique locations and simulate urban environments the service members may encounter when deployed overseas.”
A 2016 report from the US Army War College titled “Military Contingencies in Megacities and Sub-Megacities” notes that “the United States will find itself at some point in the not-too-distant future engaged in military contingencies in large cities.”
The ongoing plans to conduct nationwide raids of immigrant neighborhoods should be viewed as a threat to the democratic rights of the entire population, regardless of immigration status.