HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut officials are looking for ways to block a planned raid aimed at illegal immigrants.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal made an announcement about it outside of the federal building in Hartford at noon on Friday.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement threatened raids in major cities starting on Sunday, a U.S. official said this week.
Some people fear it could prevent immigrant families from trying to get essential services.
On Friday, President Donald Trump confirmed that ICE agents will begin raids this weekend, targeting undocumented immigrants. He also said the raids will focus on immigrants with criminal records.
Advocates in CT are rallying against the raids.
Blumenthal announced legislation that would bar ICE from going into churches, hospitals, police stations, or schools to detain suspects. It's existing policy, but Blumenthal said there is little resources if ICE agents ignore it.
"The legislation I've introduce is absolutely necessary to make sure that those policies are enforceable against any agency that may be out of control with agents who may be rogue," Blumenthal said.
New Haven Mayor Toni Harp released a statement saying,
“There is no indication that New Haven will be targeted by potential ICE raids; regardless, New Haven policies remain unchanged regarding immigration. This city is not trained, equipped, nor interested in helping enforce inconsistent federal immigration standards.New Haven has a long, proud legacy as a welcoming, accepting community, embracing new residents no matter where they come from,” Mayor Harp continued. “Given the continuing dearth of a lucid federal immigration policy, and for as long as I’m mayor, New Haven will continue its open-arms tradition for those fleeing oppression in other countries and for those who seek a better life here.What’s more, I suspect recent ICE threats are more about sowing fear, terrorizing certain residents, dividing communities, and distracting the American people from the Trump administration’s deplorable record on other issues than it is about immigration enforcement.”
Two vigils are planned in the state in response to the potential raids.
One is part of a national movement called "Lights of Liberty."
candles lit up towns across Connecticut as demonstrators protested the president’s immigration policies.
Tonight thousands of Connecticut voters attended rallies across the state—lighting up the night in protest of the president’s controversial immigration policies including the looming possibility of increased ice raids and the detention centers at the southern border.
"The conditions that they are living in is inhumane and cruel and it’s based on a policy that is based in cruelty," Kyle Blake of Hamden said.
Hamden hosted one of nearly 20 lights for liberty vigils in our state—we witnessed big crowds and Glastonbury. There were hundreds of similar events across the u-s. Many in the crowd and on the stage shared their own family immigrant story including 1 young refugee from Syria.
"I came to America three years ago this Saturday actually," Walid al Abas said Friday. "I will be three years here. There is more freedom you have more opportunity to school that’s what happened with me in my country."
"My dad came to this country in 1935 at 17 years old with not much more than the shirt on his back he spoke no English knew no one and this country gave him a chance to succeed," Sen. Richard Blumenthal said.
Other similar rallies took place in East Granby and Hartford.