After a "surge" by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), seeking arrests of undocumented immigrants in Shelby County commenced Sunday, local activist group Latino Memphis began to mobilize a counter surge.
The group's goal, according to a Facebook post is to empower the immigrant community and inform them of their rights.
Attempting to ease some of the fear growing in the community since the arrests began, the group has been knocking on doors of undocumented immigrants, distributing "Know Your Rights" flyers, warning them of the surge, and informing them of what to do if an ICE agents shows up at their home.
Additionally, while Latino Memphis is providing free legal consultations for anyone that has been detained, beginning Friday, local church, Victory Life Iglesia Hispana is accepting donations ranging from clothes to groceries for the families affected by the recent surge.
The surge has been targeting "family units, adults who entered the U.S. as unaccompanied alien children (UAC), and UACs who are at least 16 years old and have criminal histories and/or suspected gang ties." according to a statement released by regional ICE spokesperson.
The exact number of arrests, taking place in several East Memphis apartment complexes is unclear at this time, and ICE officials say more information won't be released until the surge concludes.
The Memphis Police Department released a statement Sunday, iterating they had no involvement with the ICE operations. It went on to say, "ICE is an independent agency and is not affiliated or linked to MPD. MPD has not conducted any research related to migration laws or will do so in the future."