U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement asserted that "no coordinated nationwide operation" is being planned, after a report Thursday said that the Homeland Security Department was planning raids across the U.S. targeting thousands of illegal immigrants this month.
A notice from ICE, which is an agency under DHS, suggests that the recent string of storms developing in the Atlantic and threatening the U.S., including hurricanes Harvey and Irma, led to a readjustment in upcoming operations.
"While we generally do not comment on future potential law enforcement actions, operational plans are subject to change based on a variety of factors," the statement read. "Due to the current weather situation in Florida and other potentially impacted areas, along with the ongoing recovery in Texas, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had already reviewed all upcoming operations and has adjusted accordingly."
"There is currently no coordinated nationwide operation planned at this time. The priority in the affected areas should remain focused on life-saving and life-sustaining activities," the statement added.
Hours earlier, NBC News put out a report, citing three law enforcement officials and an internal document circulated in August, saying that a five-day raid, which had been planned to start on Sept. 17, would target 8,400 illegal immigrants.
The raid, dubbed "Operation Mega," was in planning stages, and was subject to being shifted or cancelled because of the potential reallocation of resources in the direction of rescue operations due to Irma, the report added. The operation, as it was reportedly planned, would not have occurred in areas affected by the storms, but was described in the memo as "the largest operation of its kind in the history of ICE."
News of the operation comes days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump administration was rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that began under former President Barack Obama.
One official told NBC News that Operation Mega would not target juveniles. The report also said that DACA recipients are not at risk for deportation until March 5, which is the deadline set up by President Trump for the program to end, pending legislation from Congress.