Some 121 people, mostly women and children from Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, were rounded up this month in federal raids primarily in Georgia, North Carolina and Texas amid growing fears that the U.S. faces a surge of illegal unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America comparable to 2014. So far 77 have been deported. Stateline reports that the the deportation raids have caused fear in U.S. immigrant communities and highlight the wide confusion and political division among federal, state and local authorities on how the nation should deal with as many as 11 million undocumented immigrants, most of whom entered the country illegally across the southern border. The Democratic mayors of Philadelphia and New Haven, Ct., said they would not cooperate with the deportation efforts. The Democratic New York City Council announced that city agencies would not report undocumented people to federal authorities. In Maryland, the Democratic executive in Montgomery County said local police wouldn't cooperate in any raids.
In Texas, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott extended the 18-month mission of National Guard troops along the border in response to a rise in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the Rio Bravo. The Obama administration is building temporary shelters to house unaccompanied immigrant children in Colorado, Florida and New Mexico. The federal government “doesn't want to get caught the way they did in 2014,” said Marc Rosenblum, who is leaving his position at the Migration Policy Institute to become deputy assistant secretary of Homeland Security and director of the Office of Immigration Statistics. “They want to give relief to people who have valid claims while enforcing their borders.” Either way, he said, it's a dilemma with no easy solutions. “It's a tough policy problem.”