Activists rallied across the U.S. on Saturday to protest against planned raids targeting at least 2,000 immigrant families, starting Sunday.
U.S. President Donald Trump had warned about the operation since last month, but reports said it was delayed due to disagreements within his administration.
On Friday, Trump confirmed the operation would go ahead.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "They came in illegally.
They have to go out.
/ We're focused on criminals as much as we can." The mass deportation plan has stirred outrage among Democrats and immigrant advocates, who say it is sowing fear and would rip apart families.
On the campaign trail in Iowa, SATURDAY Democratic presidential candidate Senator Amy Klobuchar blasted the operation.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SEN.
AMY KLOBUCHAR, (D) MINNESOTA, SAYING: "He announces these operations to scare people.
/ Obviously you deport people who are security risks.
You deport people who haev committed crimes, of course you do that, but what is he doing right now?
He's notifying people that are security risks.
You don't think they're going to find a place to hide.
This makes no sense at all to me." In a statement, Immigration and Customs Enforcement said, quote, "all of those in violation of the immigration laws may be subject to immigration arrest, detention and - if found removable by final order - removal from the United States." The raids come amid rising anger about the administration's treatment and detention of immigrant families on the U.S.-Mexico border.
With the November 2020 elections coming into focus, there is sparse hope on Capitol Hill that any plan to solve the issue will gather the momentum to make it through Congress.