ICE raids: Immigration law firm worker says silent raids in SoCal have already begun

LOS ANGELES -- A nationwide sweep targeting undocumented immigrants is slated to start this weekend, but an immigration law firm worker said silent raids have already started in LA..

Karla Sanchez is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient. The policy temporarily protects her from deportation and provides her a work permit. She works at an immigration law firm and said they've been getting calls about silent raids since Tuesday.

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Security cameras captured at least 15 ICE agents Monday going to the home of a Los Angeles family.

"It's just exhausting. And I think they're trying to do that, they're trying to exhaust us - kind of scare us or tire us into just self-deporting," Sanchez said.

ICE raids are expected to start Sunday across 10 U.S. cities, including Chicago.

RELATED: ICE to begin nationwide immigration raids Sunday, according to reports; Chicago protests planned

"There's people that literally stock up like it was the end of the world, like 1999. I've known people that have stocked up with like hundreds of water bottles, just in case something terrible happens like right now, as they perceive it," Sanchez said.

On June 17, President Donald Trump threatened the deportation of millions of people, but they were called off at the last minute so Congress could work on legislation.

But Sanchez said any raid, announced or not, shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.

"Immigration raids of this nature are not new. They're just heightened by the Trump administration. But these raids have been going on under Democrat and Republican rule for over 20 years," Sanchez added.

Sanchez said the fear of raids is affecting the mental health of the undocumented community.

Activists suggest undocumented immigrants know their rights - like the family who was nearly arrested on Monday.

"They were able to protect themselves because ICE eventually left and so we are really trying to do this as a way to get our community members to do the same thing," explained Shannon Camacho of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.

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Immigration and Customs Enforcement top official told ABC News on Friday that the agency plans to arrest more than 2,040 undocumented family members, adding that "there has to be consequences" to entering the United States illegally.

When the raids officially begin on Sunday, they are expected to last for several more days.

Last month, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said the city would not cooperate with the raids.

RELATED: Mayor Lightfoot vows to protect, support Chicago immigrant communities against ICE raids

"Our president has failed to build a wall, so instead he's going to go back to his old playbook of trying to rip families apart," Garcetti said. "Here in Los Angeles we will not participate in that."
L.A. County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl posted on Facebook in late June urging people to know their rights.

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