Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 35 migrants as part of an operation targeting families with court-ordered removals, a Department of Homeland Security official confirmed to CNN on Tuesday.
The raids were planned to target around 2,000 migrant families who had been ordered removed by an immigration judge, but the latest numbers provided by the official show the arrests fell short of that goal.
The New York Times first reported the apprehension numbers.
The operation came under intense scrutiny after President Donald Trump announced it was imminent. He later postponed the raids, but confirmed when they were set to begin shortly before they started last week.
Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence acknowledged the numbers were low in an interview with the Times on Monday, telling the paper, “I don’t know of any other population where people are telling them how to avoid arrest as a result of illegal activity,” he said. “It certainly makes it harder for us to effectuate these orders issued.”
“You didn’t hear ICE talking about it before the operation was taking place,” he told the Times.
As of May 13, ICE arrested 934 migrants, 35 of whom were part of Operation Border Resolve, which targeted families with court-ordered removals. “The 934 arrests were made in a comprehensive, multi-tiered approach to interior enforcement,” the official said, adding that the majority had criminal convictions.
This is a developing story.