Gov. Lamont, state leaders discuss immigration raids in Bridgeport


BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH)– Many of the state’s top democrats stood together at a Bridgeport community center and spoke out against threatened federal immigration raids.

“All of us are linking arms together, I’ve said it many times, as a firewall,” said William Tong, (D) Attorney General. “Because we are here to protect and defend every family here in Connecticut.”

Protect them from widespread federal immigration raids. You may remember it was last month that President Trump threatened to deport “millions” of people. Members of his administration have now lowered that number to a couple thousand, but that has still left cities like Bridgeport bracing for these raids.

The Bridgeport-based Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants is already seeing the fear.

“All of the policies we are seeing, all of the tactics, are having a dire, immediate, and will have a long term effect on the people that we serve,” said the Institute’s President and CEO Claudia Connor.

Related: Trump administration plans immigration enforcement operation

The real question here is who is going to be targeted by immigration and customs enforcement, better known as ICE. In the past, the priority for ICE has always been to deport immigrants who commit other crimes once here, people who are a threat to the community.

The Trump administration’s change to deporting people whose only crime was entering the country without proper documentation, that is what has so many families worried. Often the people facing deportation are parents whose children are US citizens. Local governments are trying to fight the Trump administration’s tactics, on both the state and city level.

“Recently I was with Mayors across the country.,” said Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim. “This has been a topic for urban centers all across American, and as cities, I think it’s fair to say, we have some of the largest populations that are being challenged.”

And have been challenged for two and a half year now. The threat of mass deportations this weekend just adding to that in places like Bridgeport.

“In an environment that is already fraught with incredible anti-immigrant activity and sentiment, that this ratchets up the level of fear among our clients to a very, very high degree,” Connor said.

There is nothing to indicate that the planned raids will specifically impact Bridgeport, or any community in Connecticut.


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