PRESIDENT Donald Trump said on Friday mass deportation roundups would begin ''fairly soon'' as US migrant advocates vowed their communities would be ''ready'' when immigration officers come.

Trump, who has made a hard line immigration stance a key issue of his presidency and his 2020 re-election bid, postponed the operation last month after the planned date was leaked to the press, but on Monday he said the roundups would take place after the July 4 holiday.

''They'll be starting fairly soon, but I don't call them raids, we're removing people, all of those people who have come in over the years illegally,'' he told the reporters at the White House on Friday.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] last month said the raids would target undocumented migrants who had recently arrived in United States so as to discourage a surge of  Central american families at the southwest border.

ICE did not immediately respond to a request for a comment on Trump's statement.

ICE  operations are expected to involve ''collateral arrests'' in which undocumented migrants not directly targeted by officers are picked up in raids.

Government documents published this week by migrants rights groups showed some past ICE raids had more collateral arrests than apprehensions of targeted migrants.

Migrants rights group say this general, looming threat to undocumented migrants is harmful to the communities and the US economy, as it forces adults to miss work and children skip-school out of fear they may be picked up and separated.

We have to be ready not just when Trump announces it, because there are arrests every day and they have been increasing,'' said Elsa Lopez, an organizer for new Mexico immigrant and Workers rights group Somos Un Pueblo Unido.

Migrant apprehension on the southwest border hit a 13-year high in May but eased in June as Mexico increased immigration enforcement.

An increasing number of migrants are coming from countries outside Central America, including India, Cuba and Africa.

The Del Rio, Texas, Border Patrol sector on Friday reported the arrest of over 1,000 Haitians since June 10. [Agencies]


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