Outrage, fear as ICE cracks down in immigration raids

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ICE raids spawn fear, confusion among immigrants.

New numbers from the Trump administration detailed exactly how many people were rounded up in federal immigration raids, including dozens of arrests in North Carolina.

Homeland Security called the operation "routine." Immigration activists called it heavy-handed and concerning.

In north Raleigh, Viridiana Martinez's cell phone wouldn't stop. She was getting constant texts and emails filled with concerns about the pictures of ICE arrests seen nationwide.

WATCH: New hope for a gay Durham man who is also an undocumented immigrant
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A joyful reprieve in Charlotte on Tuesday for a Durham undocumented immigrant.

This immigrant advocate says many of the calls she's getting are from local school principals and teachers seeking advice about their undocumented students.

"Teach me what I can do, show me how I can get involved and stopping a deportation and learning about these raids. How do we emergency respond to this?" she said recalling the kinds of concerns she's hearing.

According to the Homeland Security Department, this newest federal crackdown on immigrants living illegally in the U.S. has resulted in 680 immigrants arrested across the country, 84 in North Carolina alone.

Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison tells ABC 11 he had no knowledge of any ICE raids in our area.


We asked Harrison about Monday's protests in Milwaukee, Wisconsin against the Milwaukee County sheriff's plan to deputize his officers to enforce federal immigration rules. Harrison said he wouldn't rule out taking similar action here.

"I have to think about it. I have to look at what it is," Harrison said. "If (ICE) explained to me what was going to be done and what needed to be done, yes, I probably would. But right now I don't see that happening in Wake County."

President Donald Trump tweeted about the crackdown- calling it, "the keeping of a campaign promise. Gang members, drug dealers, and others are being removed."

"It's a stance of common sense," President Trump said about the raids at a Monday news conference with the Canadian prime minister.

"I think that's what the president is saying and I know that's what I'm saying -- if you're a bad guy regardless of who you are -- I want you out of Wake County," Sheriff Harrison said.

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"No one is saying we should be exempt from some kind of punishment, but I think deportation is cruel and unusual punishment," Martinez added.

Homeland Security says 75 percent of the arrests were of criminals. But critics are pointing to several cases of ICE agents coming to homes and businesses and arresting undocumented residents with no criminal past.

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politicsimmigrationimmigration reformdeportationICEPresident Donald Trumpdepartment of homeland securityRaleigh
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