ICE arrests 680 immigrants in raids, as Trump visits site of racist shooting where he previously stirred hatred of migrants

This 'is sadistic, cruel, and intentional, all in an effort to terrorise communities of colour while scoring racist political points with his base', one critic says

Clark Mindock
New York
Friday 09 August 2019 22:10 BST
Girl sobs as dad is taken during ICE raids in Mississippi

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US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has detained 680 immigrants as a part of mass deportation raids on the same day that Donald Trump visited El Paso following the shooting by a gunman who allegedly posted an anti-immigrant screed before the attack.

The raids were conducted at seven agricultural processing plants across Mississippi, and were announced in a press release by ICE just as Mr Trump was landing in Texas.

Mr Trump has faced fierce criticism for the raids, with some suggesting the action shows his “comprehensive white nationalist agenda in action.”

“Today's massive immigration raid, which may very well have swept up American citizens and asylum seekers, was not executed in a vacuum,” said Jess Morales Rocketto, the chair of the pro-immigrant group Families Belong Together.

“Dismantling our asylum laws, caging children, and separating families — all while El Paso mourns — is Trump's comprehensive white nationalist agenda in action. The raids are part of a broader strategy that is sadistic, cruel, and intentional, all in an effort to terrorise communities of colour while scoring racist political points with his base.”

Mr Trump’s El Paso visit drew large protests in the city, with demonstrators telling him to leave while denouncing the anti-immigrant rhetoric he employs that they say has created a dangerous environment for minorities in the US.

The attacks on Mr Trump’s rhetoric have come in spite of his attempts to call for unity in the face of racism, including during a speech he delivered earlier in the week on the subject that was denounced as too little, too late.

Mr Trump, in response to criticism that he propagates racist rhetoric, has consistently claimed himself to be the “least racist person” alive.

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The president’s visit to El Paso also sparked a debate surrounding his last visit there, earlier this year, when he gave a speech that stirred up anti-immigrant sentiment.

During that speech, Mr Trump claimed that immigrants in the US commit thousands of crimes a year, even though no federal database exists comparing crimes to immigration status, and research indicates that immigrant populations actually commit crimes at a lower rate than native-born populations.

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