MIAMI — Immigration activist LuzHilda Muñoz spit out her anger when she learned Saturday that President Donald Trump had just tweeted he was delaying planned immigration raids, a prospect that had sent fear through her community.
While glad about the reprieve, Muñoz said she was not convinced Trump’s tweet was true, and it did little to calm the anxiety she felt after hearing that Immigration and Customs Enforcement would round up undocumented families in several U.S. cities starting Sunday. Trump said he would delay it for two weeks.
“It’s just very infuriating to know he feels he has the right to f——- play with our lives,” said Muñoz, who runs a deportation defense program for immigrant advocacy group United We Dream.
Marjorie Murillo, a community liaison specialist for Miami Dade Public Schools, said going from hyper-vigilance to wait-and-see was like keeping up with a hurricane.
“It’s coming, maybe it will turn a little bit, stay on guard,” Murillo said. “We can’t ever let our guard down.”
Since the planned roundups became public knowledge on Friday, advocacy groups have been in rapid-response mode. They ratcheted up warning and reporting systems that they have developed to inform people to stay in their homes, not answer their doors and be aware of their rights.
Lawyers were told to be ready on standby to help arrestees, and volunteers offered to open their homes to targeted people so agents would not find them at home. Groups organized volunteers to drive people to work, children to school and families to grocery stores so they wouldn’t have to worry about being pulled over.
Then came Trump’s tweet that he was postponing the plan for two weeks. But advocates said they are not standing down.
“We don’t trust him in any way,” Murillo said. “I’ve been calling and sending messages everywhere that they are postponed, but where I live, parents and everyone, they are never safe.”
Richard Morales, director of immigration campaigns for Faith in Action, the largest faith-based network in the country, said his group told the 45 affiliates in 22 states to “stay vigilant”.
“I feel that he’s holding our families hostage,” Morales said. “People are afraid to go out. I’m fully expecting tomorrow that the persons that normally go out to church are not going to go out because they are afraid.”
By Suzanne Gamboa for NBC NEWS
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