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Trump's ICE raids fall flat

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Judging by the numbers alone, the much-touted ICE raids were far from a success.

By the numbers: There were 35 arrests over the pair of raids this year, out of a target list of 2,000 people, per AP. 650 arrests took place in one long weekend of raids in 2017.

The big picture: In the past week, the Trump administration has all but blocked Central Americans from asylum, rolled out a rule that would allow officials to deport more unauthorized immigrants without a court hearing and reportedly discussed lowering the refugee cap to near zero, Axios' Stef Kight notes.

  • Through it all, President Trump has been tweeting at U.S. citizens in Congress to "go back," along with eagerly previewing the raids.

But the resistance to these tactics is yielding results.

  • Immigrant rights activists used the heads up to push “know-your-rights” campaigns in cities like Houston, New York and Chicago, the AP reports.
  • "To inform the public, they used hotlines, text networks, workshops, social media and promoted a smartphone app that notifies family members in case of an arrest."

Between the lines: Even without measurable results, the raids have a pronounced effect on communities with large immigrant populations.

  • On the first weekend, "some immigrant-heavy churches had noticeably lower attendance and attributed the fear of stepped up enforcement."
  • "Businesses in immigrant-heavy neighborhoods, including in Chicago, Atlanta and Miami, also reported very light traffic."

The bottom line: Trump is running a campaign based on immigration restrictions, but lags behind Barack Obama in deportations — so expect even more crackdowns in the near future.

Go deeper: Trump will make it harder for Central Americans to get asylum