ICE arrests 49 immigrants in 1 week; advocates call it annihilation

Family members say those arrested do not have criminal records

Cherri Gregg
May 23, 2018 - 6:12 pm
Syed Jamal (in photograph), the father of Fareed, 7; Taseen (top left), 14; Naheen, 12; and husband of Angela Jamal; has been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for possible deportation back to his native Bangladesh.

Keith Myers/Kansas City Star/TNS/Sipa USA


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested 49 immigrants in the Philadelphia area as part of a seven-day operation, but advocates are pushing back.

Officials said they targeted individuals who committed crimes, faced criminal charges or had been deported. 

Erika Almiron, executive director of Juntos, said the grassroots group has had an influx of calls in recent days from families whose loved ones have been nabbed by ICE agents — many of whom they say do not have criminal records.

"This feels like a hunt for our people," she said. "This isn't about keeping people safer. This is about annihilating a whole community."

Juntos is working to set up a hotline to help families of those who face deportation, as well as additional outreach, education and a media campaign "to put out a different narrative and to show the faces of the people that were impacted."

Mike Dunn, spokesman for Mayor Jim Kenney's administration, said in a statement: "ICE's tactics of sweeping raids have the effect of sowing distrust and anxiety among members of our immigrant communities." 

No word yet from ICE.