Just 35 people were detained across the country in last week’s widely anticipated raids by immigration authorities, The New York Times reports. More than 2,000 migrants who were in the U.S. illegally were targeted, and far larger numbers of detentions were predicted in advance by President Trump and others, but in the end Operation Border Resolve resulted in more noise than substance.
The advance publicity may have prompted many of those who had been targeted — 2,105 people in more than a dozen cities who had received final deportation orders but had not reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers — to temporarily leave their homes, or to move altogether to evade arrest. Advance notice of the large-scale operation also gave immigrant advocates time to counsel families about their rights, which include not opening the door or answering questions. On social media, community groups shared detailed information about sightings of ICE agents. In an interview Monday, Matthew Albence, the acting director of ICE, which is responsible for arresting, detaining and deporting unauthorized immigrants who are already in the United States, acknowledged that the number of apprehensions was low. “I don’t know of any other population where people are telling them how to avoid arrest as a result of illegal activity,” he said. “It certainly makes it harder for us to effectuate these orders issued.” He added, “You didn’t hear ICE talking about it before the operation was taking place.”