U.S. authorities plan to start arresting immigrants eligible for deportation in 10 cities this weekend, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday, adding that he was not concerned about the advance notice.
Trump warned last month about the planned deportations, which were earlier reported by the New York Times.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said he was not concerned that plans of the arrests have become publicly known, saying the deportations were not a secret.
“If the word gets out, it gets out,” he said.
At least 2,000 immigrant families are eligible for deportation and will be targeted in the raids, the Times reported, citing former and current officials.
“We’ll focus on criminals as much as we can,” Trump added.
Mayors of a number of cities expected to be targeted have said they will not cooperate with deportations carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Immigrant advocates have said advance word of the raids could help some of those targeted evade arrest.