ICE cancels 'massive' round-up of illegal aliens due to storms

The Department of Homeland Security has canceled a series of raids later this month that would have targeted illegal aliens who committed serious crimes or were known gang members.

"While we generally do not comment on future potential law enforcement actions, operational plans are subject to change based on a variety of factors," ICE spokesman Sarah Rodriguez said in a statement. "Due to the current weather situation in Florida and other potentially impacted areas, along with the ongoing recovery in Texas, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had already reviewed all upcoming operations and has adjusted accordingly. There is currently no coordinated nationwide operation planned at this time. The priority in the affected areas should remain focused on life-saving and life-sustaining activities."

Prior to the initial NBC News report, another spokeswoman for ICE, Jennifer Elzea, had said the agency was "not able to speculate about potential future targeted enforcement actions."

The raids were scheduled over five days beginning Sept. 17, and were called "Operation Mega," according to the document, a memo circulated agency-wide in August.

It is not unusual for ICE operations to target immigrants by the hundreds or even low thousands. The higher-than-usual target number may have been partially driven by an effort to reach a deportation goal by the end of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, one of the officials said.

The cancelled operation comes on the heels of Trump's controversial decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA, that allows some immigrants who were brought into the United States as children to stay.

ICE had been planning the operation internally since mid-August and had instructed officers in the field to target adults deemed to be gang members or perpetrators of serious crimes, said one of the officials. Other undocumented immigrants not suspected of crimes may have been swept up in the raids as "collateral," the official said.

NBC News broke the story about the raids, which may have had something to do with their cancelation.  In reporting the delay in conducting "Operation Mega," NBC used the term "massive" to describe the roundup of 8,400 illegal alien gang members and criminals.

In what universe is it accurate to say that arresting 8,400 illegal aliens out of 11 million be considered "massive"?  Compared to what?  If we compare it to Obama administration immigration enforcement efforts, it could be referred to as "an improvement" or perhaps a "substantial increase."  But when there are 11 million people here illegally, arresting 8,400 gang-bangers and criminals – even if it is the largest such round-up in ICE history – you have to be daft to state the number of planned arrests asanything more than a drop in the bucket.

Most news stories about the planned raid gloss over the fact that the overwhelming majority of those being deported are criminals.  ICE is not going to swoop in and arrest thousands of ordinary people.  Their targets have been convicted of serious crimes or are known gang members. 

Apparently, that's just too sensible for the open borders crowd, which is screaming bloody murder about the now canceled roundup.  It makes you wonder just whom – if anyone – we should be deporting among those who illegally crossed the border into the U.S.

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