This news article is part of VICE News’ collaboration with the American Justice Summit. Our Executive Director Layli Miller-Muro is featured speaker on Friday, Jan. 29. Watch a livestream at vicenew.com.
Just before Christmas 2015, news broke that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would begin taking immigrants who had deportation orders into custody in order to immediately remove them from the United States. With no further information, during the first few days of 2016, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents began banging on doors across the country, causing ripples of fear throughout immigrant communities.
At first, many advocates believed that the raids might target immigrants with criminal backgrounds, or those with old deportation orders who had exhausted all of their appeals. There was hope that ICE would spare unaccompanied children and those with pending claims for asylum and other forms of protection. But after a few days, a different story emerged.