President Donald Trump said Friday that mass deportation roundups would begin “fairly soon” as the U.S. migrant advocates vowed their communities would be “ready” when immigration officers come.
“I don’t call them raids. I say they came in illegally and we’re bringing them out legally. They’ll be starting fairly soon. We’re removing people that have come in, all of these people over the years that have come in illegally, we are removing them and bringing them back to their country,” the American President told reporters at the White House.
The President also insisted that many of the much-maligned detention facilities for illegals at the border “are incredible.”
“I’ve seen some of those places and they are run beautifully. They’re clean, they’re good, they do a great job,” he said, before blaming Democrats for the conditions.
“They’re crowded because the Democrats will not give us any relief from these loopholes. We have loopholes that are so bad. We have asylum that’s so bad,” Trump continued.
“So these places — many of them, not all of them, but many of them are incredible. They’re really well run. Border Patrol and ICE are doing a great job. I think they do a great (job) with those facilities,” the President added.
His comments came despite a DHS inspector general’s report that detailed harsh conditions at some facilities, including overcrowding and poor sanitation.
Trump, who has made a hardline immigration stance a key issue of his presidency and 2020 re-election bid, had originally postponed the operation last month after the date was leaked.
However, in a turn of events on Monday, he said that it would take place after July 4.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) last month said operations would target recently-arrived undocumented migrants in a bid to discourage a surge of Central American families at the southwest border.
A rising number of migrants are coming from outside Central America, including India, Cuba and African countries. The Del Rio, Texas, Border Patrol sector on Friday reported the arrest of over 1,000 Haitians since June 10.