ATLANTA - President Donald Trump said large-scale immigration raids conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will start Sunday in major cities across the country, including Atlanta.
The targeted raids have caused concern and confusion for many.
"You don't know what to believe and what's true and what's not true," Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said. "I really hope, for the first time, that this is just additional theatrics from the president."
Channel 2's Aaron Diamant, who has spent years covering immigration issues, spoke to experts about who is being targeted and what to expect.
The proposed raids will target undocumented immigrants with criminal records as well as migrants, including families who have final orders of deportation from a judge.
Immigration attorney Charles Kuck said ICE officers will target convicted felons who have already been deported multiple times.
"So when they go out looking, they have a specific target," Kuck said.
Kuck said the proposed raids are similar to those conducted in 2017 when Channel 2 Action News embedded with ICE officers.
- Woman accused of killing man who left accident scene cries as 911 call played
- Dramatic body camera video captures deputy saving choking 12-day-old baby's life
- Marietta officer saves Georgia couple from drowning on Florida vacation
"At the end of the day, this is nothing different than what they've always done, except this time, they are publishing it in advance," Kuck said.
Dean Dabney, the chair of the Georgia State University Department of Criminal Justice, said the president's publicity has already compromised the mission.
"I'm sure those officers in those unit in those cities are very frustrated," Dabney said. "If the fish know that the net's coming, they get out of the way."
The president made a similar announcement about potential ICE raids last month, but those sweeps got pushed back.
A spokesperson for ICE told Diamant that the agency does not talk about future operations for security reasons, but he said operation dates often get moved up or pushed back.
Most ICE raids take weeks, and sometimes months, of planning.
Diamant said officers do recon work to make sure the people they are looking for are where they expect them to be. They don't usually round people up.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.