Immigration officials in the U.S. are planning a series of raids between May and June that will result in the deportation of hundreds of mothers and children from Central America that entered the country illegally, according to a report from Reuters.
The string of raids is posed to be the largest sweep of deportations under the Obama administration this year. A similar drive took place in January over two days that focused on Texas, Georgia and North Carolina.
A total of 121 people were retained after the January sweep, with most being women and children. The move resulted in backlash from immigration advocates and some Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, the current Democratic frontrunner.
ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has told offices across the country to launch a 30-day string of arrests centered on mothers and children who have been told to leave the country, Reuters said. The operation would also target minors who entered the country without a parent and have since reached age of majority.
The dates of the raids are unknown, and it is possible that the details of the operation could change.
The new raids serve as a response to a recent surge of illegal entries of women and children from Central America.
Between October 2015 and March 2016, over 32,000 mothers and children were apprehended by Border Patrol as they crossed the border illegally into the U.S.