Immigration-Arrests Explainer

In this Feb. 7, 2017, file photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, foreign nationals are arrested during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens in Los Angeles. 

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and other local officials says they have little or no information about any plans for a massive deportation effort by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement targeting Denver and other cities.

NBC News reports that immigration authorities are planning to target families in the country illegally, going after 2,000 immigrants with deportation orders in several cities across the country. The Miami Herald and CNN have reported that Denver will be among those cities.

John Fabbricatore, ICE's acting field office director for enforcement and removal operations in Denver, wouldn’t confirm and did not deny that there could be an increase in deportations on Sunday.

“This office operates every day. We have targeted enforcement operations and we will continue to do that,” he said.

If there is to be an increased effort Sunday, Denver-area politicians and law enforcement agencies say they are in the dark.

"Denver is aware of recent reports that immigration enforcement would increase in the coming days, but Denver Police and the City of Denver would never receive advance notice of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activity," Hancock posted on Facebook Friday, adding that Denver does "not support family separation or the round-up of immigrant families to spread fear in our community."

He later posted: "Denver will always stand with families fleeing violence and do whatever we can to prevent the inhumane practice of family separation. We are an inclusive, compassionate and welcoming city, and the threats of this White House, which are only a distraction from its failures, will never weaken our resolve."

The Aurora Police Department responded to reports by reiterating its own immigration policy on Facebook.

“Aurora Police Officers DO NOT have the authority to detain a person based on their immigration status," the post reads. "They also DO NOT have the authority to investigate or enforce federal immigration laws. They do not and will not ask a person about their immigration status. It is not our practice to report to other agencies who we speak with or what their immigration status is for being in this country or in our city.”

U.S. Rep Diana DeGette, D-Denver, said in statement that ICE has not responded to her requests for more information about raids.

"ICE has confirmed that it will be conducting operations against immigrants," she said. "I have asked for more specific details, but the agency has so far refused to provide any.

"What this administration is doing to these immigrant families is shameful," she added. "Instilling fear in the hearts of families across the country by announcing these nationwide raids, while continuing to lock up kids at the border, is not who we are as a country. The people who are fleeing to this country are often doing so out of desperation. We should be doing everything we can to help them, not tearing families apart.”

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Ryan Haarer of 9News and Mark Harden of Colorado Politics contributed.

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