“As they were leaving, we heard them say, ‘We’ll be back,’” one woman from Sunset Park told the Daily News.
Asked for comment by the Journal, an ICE representative said: “As always, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security.”
Reports of the attempted raids come one day prior to ICE’s scheduled Sunday roundup of illegal aliens with final deportation orders across at least ten major U.S. cities. On Friday, President Donald Trump confirmed ICE will carry out the raids, saying the operation will center around removing “criminals” from the country.
“It starts on Sunday, and they’re going to take people out and they’re going to bring them back to their countries,” the president said as he left the White House to visit Wisconsin and Ohio. “We’re focused on criminals as much as we can, before we do anything else.”
“ICE is law enforcement, they are great patriots, they have a tough job. Nothing to be secret about. If the word gets out, it gets out,” he added.
President Donald Trump delayed the raids after details of the operation were leaked to the Washington Post. Former ICE head Thomas Homan blamed Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan for the leak, which caused the operation to be suspended.
Meanwhile, several Democrat mayors, including New York City’s Bill de Blasio and Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot, are vowing not to cooperate with the planned raids.
“Let’s be blunt here: @realDonaldTrump has turned ICE into a political weapon against our immigrant communities,” de Blasio tweeted Sunday. “To everyone worried this weekend: this is your city.”
“We will do everything we can to protect you,” he added.
In another tweet, the New York City mayor warned of “reports of attempted but reportedly unsuccessful ICE enforcement actions in Sunset Park and Harlem.”
Receiving reports of attempted but reportedly unsuccessful ICE enforcement actions in Sunset Park and Harlem.@NYCImmigrants and advocates are connecting with residents and distributing resources door to door.
Remember: you have rights. Call 311 and say ActionNYC for help. pic.twitter.com/OZwpxlm30d
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) July 13, 2019
“[The New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs] and advocates are connecting with residents and distributing resources door to door,” he added. “Remember: you have rights. Call 311 and say ActionNYC for help.”