NORTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Undocumented immigrants in western Mass and around the country are on alert ahead of planned raids this weekend.

According to the New York Times, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials will arrest thousands of undocumented immigrants.

One local resident tells us he came to Massachusetts fourteen years ago from Ecuador.

He doesn't have documentation, but works, lives, and pays taxes in Northampton.

"This country is made from immigrants and there has to be no hate, no racists. We are all the same," says the Northampton resident.

According to a senior Immigration official, ICE planned to arrest and deport families with court-ordered removals in ten U.S. cities last month.

A day before the raids were expected to happen, President Trump delayed them, giving Republicans and Democrats time to reach a solution on the migrant crisis.

That has still not happened, and now ICE officials say the raids will take place.

The New York Times reports they are happening this Sunday.

Western Mass News spoke to a man in Northampton who came to the U.S. fourteen years ago.

He has a brother, sister, uncles, and cousins in the area.

He says, even though the raids are not targeting western Mass, he's still vigilant.

"Here, I learned my rights, my job, to see how much I’m supposed to make and how many hours I’m supposed to work, and what to do, what to not do. I’ve been here for a while and I don’t know how my life would be over there, because I learn English and I have my job. I have some friends here and I don’t know what’s going to be over there," stated the Northampton man.

Officials say authorities will try not to split up detained families during the raids.

"I’ve seen families separated and that’s bad. That’s not right," added the Northampton man.

Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Ken Cuccinelli said today that ICE raids are absolutely going to happen.

The raids are expected to take place in major cities.

The closest major city to western Mass is in New York City.

Local immigration service organizations say they've been advising immigrants they work with to not visit these places this weekend and to stay in their communities.

Copyright 2019 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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