A video that circulated on social media Friday appeared to show ICE agents in Texas detaining people in an Austin shopping center parking lot.
Grassroots Leadership, an immigrant rights group, has meanwhile received calls from about 20 different people's families on its hotline.
The raids, which hit residential areas and workplaces, sparked protests and provoked the ire of elected Democratic representatives, notably in California and particularly in Los Angeles, where the Pew Research Centre estimates around a million undocumented migrants reside. Breitbart Texas reported from Austin, Texas, that 44 criminal aliens had been taken into custody this week.
Castro said the agency's San Antonio field office has "launched a targeted operation".
He said ICE needs to clarify whether these people "are in fact risky, violent threats to our communities, and not people who are here peacefully raising families and contributing to our state". "I will continue to monitor this situation".
Trump issued an executive order last month to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living in America illegally.
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Casar continued in his statement saying, "ICE is out in public arresting people in order to retaliate against our community for standing up for our values against people like Abbott and Trump". "Trump and his allies will do everything they can to divide Americans, invoke fear in vulnerable neighborhoods, and demonize an entire community of people".
Of course, a Department of Homeland Security official told the Daily News that reports about the number of immigration-related arrests Thursday were "grossly exaggerated", but I wouldn't put it past this administration to be conducting the type of covert operations being described. Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, said.
Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro has expressed concern about the raids, and said he has asked ICE to clarify "whether these individuals are in fact unsafe, violent threats to our communities, and not people who are here peacefully raising families and contributing to our state". Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti asked ICE on Friday for "greater transparency about ongoing operations" within the city.
"Examples would include known street gang members, child sex offenders, and deportable foreign nationals with significant drug trafficking convictions".
The operation is on-going in several states. On Thursday an ICE official called reports of 100 arrests on that day alone exaggerated.
"Every day, as part of routine targeted enforcement operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrest criminal aliens and other individuals who are in violation of our nation's immigration laws", the statement read.
ICE agents were performing random identification checks in North Carolina this week, although it was not clear if anyone had been arrested there, local news outlet the Times News reported. In an email, ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said there were "many. inaccurate claims surrounding this operation".