Tension grows as countdown continues for Trump's immigration enforcement operation

Officers on alert near immigration detention centers

By Roy Ramos - Reporter, Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Police officers were standing guard Saturday outside a detention center for migrant children in south Miami-Dade County's city of Homestead.

There was tension after news that Tacoma Police Department officers in Washington state shot and killed a man Saturday morning outside the privately run Northwest Detention Center, which is a U.S. Department of Homeland Security detention facility that holds migrants.

Police officers said the man, who was armed with a rifle, was using incendiary devices to try to ignite a propane tank in a plant to set buildings on fire. Tensions are high as migrants wait for President Donald Trump's immigration enforcement operation to begin Sunday. 

In Homestead, the officers set up barricades to limit access to the surrounding area of the Homestead Temporary Shelter for Unaccompanied Children, which has about 3,200 beds. That was where hundreds showed up for a protest on Friday night. 

FINANCIAL LOSS AMID FEAR

"If I don't clean apartments, I don't make money. If my husband doesn't work with the plumber, he doesn't get paid," a migrant from El Salvador who cleans homes in Key Biscayne said in Spanish. "We have savings but this is costing us. Our children are not going to school. We are going to get through it." 

Her family is among a group of migrants who will be hiding in a church with supplies to avoid being found, separated and deported. She said others are staying at the homes of church members in southwest Miami-Dade this week. 

Businesses in Miami's Little Haiti and Little Havana neighborhoods were also feeling the pinch. Both a barbershop owner and a nail salon owner said their clients were too afraid to go out. Witnesses said the fear was also palpable among those who use public transportation and at places where day laborers usually meet to get jobs. 

 

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