PORT CHESTER, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – This weekend Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers (ICE) may be conducting raids in New York and New Jersey.
The Trump administration is looking to apprehend several thousand people who’ve been ordered to leave the country or entered the U.S. illegally.
CBS2’s Tony Aiello reports that the impending raid has some New York communities on edge.
Port Chester officials say they welcome Hispanic immigrants. Seventy percent of village residents are first or second generation from Mexico, Central or South America.
“People who come to this country are trying to better their lives… and fear always causes stress and concern and anxiety,” Anne Brander of the Carver Center said.
The center says it’s ready to help any families impacted by the raids. Services run the gamut, from a food bank – to citizenship classes.
“There are many supportive people and services in Port Chester committed to helping local residents,” Brander said.
Houses of worship are also reaching out to immigrant communities. Some are quietly offering help while others are openly providing sanctuary to undocumented immigrants.
In Montclair, New Jersey Rabbi Eliott Tepperman says Bnai Keshet synagogue will offer shelter to people facing deportation.
“Jews know what it means to find a way, whether it’s perfectly legal or not, to a safer home, and we are not going to stand by when other people are in that same position,” Tepperman declared.
Administration officials said the raids are a warning to keep families from approaching the U.S. southern border.
President Trump added it’s his duty to enforce the law.
“They came in illegally. They have to go out. We have millions of people standing in line waiting to become citizens of this country.”
Washington has tried for years for an immigration compromise. A Gallup poll shows 81 percent of Americans favor a system that grants a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, as long as they meet certain requirements over a period of time.