BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Arrests of undocumented people are on the rise across the south, according to an immigrant attorney from Baton Rouge, LA.
"There is absolutely increased fear in the immigrant community. Mainly, they are hearing about collateral arrests where people are not under any criminal proceedings or have criminal convictions are being targeted," Paul Scott said.
WBRC contacted the U.S. Immigration and Customs Service. A spokesman said arrests are routine, even though Homeland Security has indicated on its website targeted arrests are being made."
Last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a series of targeted enforcement operations across the country.
"These operations targeted public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who have violated our nation's immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges," John Kelly, Homeland Security Secretary said.
The Hispanic Interest Coalition is not surprised by the arrests.
Isabel Rubio says this again shows the need for President Trump to create a way to citizenship.
"Address the people who have lived here many years who have contributed to the economy and who built lives in the community and address that community who deserve a pathway to citizenship." Rubio said.
Scott said any person who might be an undocumented worker, who has been arrested and facing deportation, his main piece of advice: don't give up any rights you might be entitled to.
"Many times what it is the are given a stack of papers in a language they don't understand. It's not explained to them it's waving rights they may have." Scott said.