BREAKING NEWS ON TWITTER FROM AP:
Trump administration considers mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants.
If every one of the 100,000 Guardsmen arrests and deports about 100 undocumented immigrants, the streets will be cleared of them, along with many businesses, farms, schools and so on.
CHURCH FEARS: Pastor Mark D'Ymaz fears churches with large numbers of immigrant will be targetrs of opportunity for federal enforcement efforts.
AP has gone on to say that its reporting is based on a draft memo and appears targeted at four border states — Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California
. And, who knows? A Trump press spokesman told reporters on Air Force One that there is "no effort" to use the Guard to roundup immigrants. No way to know what's real or fake anymore, not when the words come out of the mouths and pens of the Trump administration.
UPDATE: Here's more from AP,
which says the memo covers 11 states , most not on the Mexican border and INCLUDING ARKANSAS. ICE headquarters that covers Arkansas is based in New Orleans. The seven states border the Mexican border states — Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Here's the full memo.
True in practice or not, the report will only raise further the temperature in the frightened immigrant community, already fearful to venture on the streets because of enhanced ICE enforcement.
Those fears were so great — there were viral reports of roadblocks by ICE in Little Rock— that Little Rock police issued this statement yesterday:
The DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) did conduct criminal investigations in central Arkansas, including Little Rock. The investigations were criminal in scope and did NOT involve immigration related issues.
ICE is so demonstrably anti-immigrant (its officers supported Trump for president and its tactics, as Linda Greenhouse notes,
should cause some concern for those who value the Constitution) that I take the police's bland assurances with some skepticism.
It is, after all, a criminal offense (though a minor one) to ENTER the country illegally (though not to be a resident here without documentation). Some enter legally and then become status offenders by failure to renew papers. Others come without authorization. As we've learned, some are being rounded up even with proper papers.
Here's some more nuanced reporting
on the ICE enforcement actions. More reason not to trust them.
Our substantial community of immigrants is fearful . KTHV reported on that feeling this week:
Mosaic Church has been helping undocumented immigrants get their papers for more than fifteen years. Pastor, Mark DeYmaz said some of his church members, and those who need his services most, to become legal, are afraid to even leave the house.
“There's a very real fear in the immigrant and refugee community that by congregating in places like a church, like Mosaic, in large groups, this could be leveraged by federal government to take large groups of people in to custody, or certainly to vet them as it were” DeYmaz said.
A health care worker reported to me yesterday:
One of my patient's mom crying today, "Promise me my boy [four years old] will be OK if they send me back." I felt sick.
City officials meanwhile continue to say they are not enforcing immigration law except to refer undocumented immigrants to federal agents when they are taken into custody for other crimes. The mayor says Little Rock welcomes a diverse population. Perhaps they could use some more tangible demonstration of welcome and love than a news release.
UPDATE: And here we go, from Michael Calderone Twitter:
UPDATE: Gov. Asa Hutchinson,
whose career includes time as undersecretary at Homeland Security for border issues, issued this statement:
“While we haven’t had any contact from the Administration in regard to this issue, I would have concerns about the utilization of National Guard resources for immigration enforcement with the current deployment responsibilities our guardsmen have overseas. During my time at Homeland Security, we utilized National Guard partnerships for specific responsibilities along the border, so the concept is fine, but it’s a matter of resources. In Arkansas, I believe it would be too much of a strain on our National Guard personnel.”