While there was some dispute about the timing and number of people involved, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, confirmed that it is planning to conduct many arrests of undocumented immigrants over the next several days and weeks.

The first warning sign of an upcoming sweep is that ICE has been devoting more resources to Enforcement and Removal Operations, the group within ICE that handles deportations.

By way of example, agents from another division, the one that handles human trafficking and drug cases, have been asked to assist Enforcement and Removal Operations with their duties. While this is an unusual move that signals a broad crackdown on illegal immigrations, details of exactly what is going to happen and when have not been released through ICE.

Moreover, it is important for those in Virginia to recognize that arrests and deportations in immigration cases do not happen within an instant. Indeed, there are many cases in which, while undocumented, an immigrant to this country still has certain legal rights prior to being deported.

Some report that this predicted crackdown will be targeting those who did not appear in immigration court when ordered or who have received a final decision requiring them to leave the country.

Still, it is possible that some residents of Virginia or their families may get caught up in an upcoming enforcement effort involving this country’s immigration laws. Such people should remember that they may have legal rights and may also have options available to them. They should consider speaking with an experienced immigration attorney about these options, as doing so can help them ensure that their rights are protected.