ICE raids across major US cities fall short of expectations but fear remains

Thousands of undocumented immigrants were expected to be arrested on Sunday.

President Donald Trump’s promised nationwide deportation sweep fell short of expectations on Sunday, with only a small number of operations that appeared to fall closer in line with routine enforcement.

While the effort seems to have been downgraded -- or perhaps just delayed -- immigrant communities across the U.S. were still on red alert.

Jorge-Mario Cabrera with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights, or CHIRLA, in Los Angeles told ABC News' Clayton Sandell that most of the calls the organization has received are people inquiring about their legal rights and that most reports of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) vans in the city turned out to be unfounded.

The fear though among many undocumented immigrants is that the Trump administration has merely delayed the raids, which could happen Monday when people return to work.

"If the president wanted to hold communities hostage, he’s done a very good job," Cabrera said.

Greg Chen, head of government relations for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said community organizations were expecting the threat of raids to last through Friday.

"This is by no means over yet," he said.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Sunday declined to disclose any arrest numbers and referred reporters to a prior statement that declined to offer details "due to law-enforcement sensitivities."

Officials later announced that Houston and New Orleans would not see immigration enforcement actions due to Hurricane Barry, which made landfall on Saturday.

On Friday, Trump said the deportations would happen Sunday and that there was "nothing to be secret about."

"It starts on Sunday and they're going to take people out and they're going to bring them back to their countries or they're going to take criminals out, put them in prison, or put them in prison in the countries they came from," Trump said.

Elected officials took to social media to assure residents of the resources available to them.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti posted a video Saturday stating that the city was not coordinating with ICE's efforts.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeted that he stands "with every Houstonion regardless of immigration status."

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city had seen no ICE activity on Sunday. He noted there were three "confirmed situations involving ICE operations" on Saturday but no arrests.

"The Trump administration uses fear as a weapon," de Blasio tweeted. "We’re making sure our immigrant communities are getting accurate information and have the resources to defend their rights."

A number of other 2020 presidential candidates expressed their opposition to the planned ICE operations.

Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, tweeted that the raids were designed to "tear families apart" and further Trump's "extreme agenda."

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told ABC News Live on Saturday that state officials were monitoring the proposed raids "very carefully" and that they would "vigorously defend the rights of anyone" in the state.

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said the Trump administration announced the raids to "make news" and scare the public.

"If you wanted to go after security risks, and there are people who are security risks, why would you alert them and say you're doing this on a Sunday and do it two weekends in a row?" Klobuchar asked ABC News' Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl on "This Week" on Sunday. "Why? Because you want to make news, right?"

On Sunday, ICE urged jurisdictions in California and other sanctuary locations to cooperate to "keep foreign criminals off of our streets," tweeting that "communities are safer when law enforcement agencies work together."

In San Diego, 20 people were were arrested in raids in recent days, but those arrests were part of a five-day enforcement operation, and apparently not specifically tied to the raids mentioned by Trump.

Thousands of people took to the streets on Friday to protest the planned mass roundup.

ABC News' Jeffrey Cook and Soo Youn contributed to this report.