La Opinión: Family Raids Must Stop

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It is unjust that mothers and children fleeing violence are as much of a priority to ICE as drug traffickers, write editors of La Opinión.The first immigration raids of 2016, carried out on Saturday against more than 100 Central Americans in Georgia, North Carolina and Texas, are "the beginning of an injustice that puts the lives of people who come here fleeing violence in danger by making them return to their countries," according to an editorial in La Opinión.

But in addition to being unfair and inhumane, editors write that this tactic simply will not work. If the  purpose of the raids is to discourage a new wave of migrants from coming into the United States from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, this kind of immigration raid won't work. That's because this migration is not primarily economic but is more akin to refugees fleeing violence in order to survive. "It is not realistic to think that the prospect of deportation will stop the exodus of a mother and/or son who have received death threats from gangs," editors write.

A November 2014 memo outlining deportation priorities was supposed to mean that ICE would focus on dangerous criminals, but those who have arrived in the country since January 2014 are also priorities for enforcement. Ironically, editors write, "This puts a drug trafficker and dealer in the same category as, say, the mother who arrived with her son in the summer of 2014 to save the kid’s life."

"After the much-welcomed executive actions, the Obama Administration returns to its infamous role of 'deporter,' ‒ only more aggressively ‒ against the most defenseless through night raids designed to take families away. Outrageous!

"To top it off," editors write, "we are forced to listen to Donald Trump’s cackling, taking credit for this action citing his odious criticism of immigration. It is possible to imagine that the priority of a government led by this millionaire would be to deport mothers and children, but it is unacceptable to see it happening now. These raids must be suspended immediately!"