According to NBC News, the plans labeled as ‘Operation Mega’ for immigration raids across the US by the Department of Homeland Security, to target over 8400 undocumented immigrants later in September, were well underway. But the plans have been shelved after the recent Hurricane Harvey, and the upcoming Hurricane Irma.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) stated after NBC News published the report that upcoming operations had been reviewed in the wake of the hurricane news, and changed accordingly. The raids were to intended start on 17 September and to last for more than five days, as stated in the internal, agency-wide memo reviewed by the news organization issued last month. ICE operations often target hundreds or even thousands of undocumented immigrants at a time.
On Thursday, a statement was issued by Sarah Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, saying that while the agency is not inclined to make comments on plans for future law enforcement actions, a variety of different factors can cause such plans to change. The operation had been planned since the middle of August with the primary targets being adult immigrants deemed to be serious offenders or members of criminal gangs.
Rumors that undocumented immigrants will be the target of immigration raids at hurricane shelters have already been debunked by FEMA and Houston officials, including state Governor, Greg Abbott. ICE has also given assurances that non-criminal operations are not being carried out in areas affected by the hurricane.