President Trump on Saturday defended planned mass deportations carried out by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) amid reports that his administration intends to round up as many as 2,000 immigrant families.
"The people that Ice will apprehend have already been ordered to be deported. This means that they have run from the law and run from the courts," Trump tweeted. "These are people that are supposed to go back to their home country. They broke the law by coming into the country, & now by staying."
ICE raids will reportedly start Sunday, targeting thousands of families facing deportation orders in 10 cities, including Houston, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles and others with high numbers of immigrants.
Trump first announced Monday that ICE will begin deporting "millions" of undocumented immigrants next week.
"Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in," he tweeted.
The operation is intended to target those who already have orders of removal against them, but officials have acknowledged that people they cannot immediately deport will likely be caught up in the arrests and subsequently released with ankle monitoring devices.
Applying for asylum in the U.S. is not a crime.
There are an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.