The White House promised that Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, would conduct raids against undocumented immigrants in major cities like Houston this past weekend. But that didn’t happen.
Abigail Hauslohner, a national immigration reporter for The Washington Post, says it’s not clear why the raids didn’t happen on Sunday, but it’s possible they could come later. It’s also possible the raids were never going to happen in the first place, she says.
“At least not the way the president described it,” Hauslohner says. “Perhaps a lot of this is sort of scare tactics.”
She says the Trump administration has tried various things to deter migrants from trying to come to the U.S., including the family separation policy. The announcement of raids could have been another strategy.
“The argument could be made that the intention is that Trump is speaking primarily to people who have not yet come to the United States,” Hauslohner says.
Regardless of whom President Donald Trump is really trying to reach by threatening raids, Hauslohner says one lawyer she talked to says they’re having a widespread effect.
“He told me, you know, ‘Look, regardless of the goal, Trump has succeeded in scaring everyone,’” Hauslohner says. “There’s been this huge reaction to this promise of raids.”
She says many people stayed indoors all weekend because of the possible raids, and immigrant advocacy groups are training people to know their rights in case they are arrested. But staying indoors during the workweek is less feasible, when Hauslohner says raids are still a possibility.
“ICE has never stopped doing that job, which is a huge part of its regular operations,” Hauslohner says. “There is a lot of speculation that maybe larger raids or massive arrests could come later in the week once people start to relax and let their guard down after this flurry of attention over the weekend.”
Written by Caroline Covington.