Trump administration official says ICE raids underway; minimal activity reported

(CNN) - Tensions are elevated in areas with high migrant populations, as immigrations raids began Sunday, focused on about 2,000 people who’ve been ordered to leave the country.

A senior administration official says Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids are underway in nine major U.S. cities: Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and San Francisco. The raids will focus on recent arrivals to the country.

The reported operations have sparked protests, and some city officials have extended a hand to those affected.

"We provide resources. We've sent out information on social media, advising people of their rights,” said Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

As of early Sunday evening, there weren’t any confirmed reports of migrants being apprehended in Baltimore, Chicago or New York, according to immigrant advocacy groups in those cities.

The New York Times reports operation plans changed, and a smaller scale of apprehensions will start later this week.

The Trump administration says the raids will increase security, as the priority is apprehending violent criminals and aggravated felons.

"Their priority has always been - and it will be - to go after those that are criminal aliens, meaning those people that are here illegally and have committed additional crimes against American citizens,” said Mark Morgan, the acting Customs and Border Protection commissioner.

Just over 250,000 people were deported in the 2018 fiscal year. That’s nearly 30,000 more than the previous year.

New Orleans was initially included in the cities where raids were expected to take place, but the city suspended ICE operations through the weekend in areas hit by Hurricane Barry.

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