Families are taken into custody as push to deport immigrants denied refuge begins

The detentions of at least 11 families across the country marked the first day of an effort by the government to find and deport Central American migrants who sought refuge in the U.S. and stayed illegally, immigrant advocates said Saturday.

Unlike a string of immigration raids in the mid-2000s, agents do not plan to conduct workplace raids or other mass enforcement actions, but will instead target addresses for families with deportation orders.

In Norcross, Ga., on Saturday, Joanna Gutierrez said her niece and niece’s 9-year-old son were taken by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, who arrived in an unmarked car and presented Gutierrez with a warrant for a man she didn’t know.

Gutierrez says she told the agents they needed a warrant to enter her home. They told her they didn’t, she says, and walked inside, checking every room in the house and waking her children. “They were shaking from fear,” Gutierrez said of the children in a phone interview Saturday night.