The Trump administration's nationwide crackdown on immigrants is expected to begin this weekend, targeting migrant families in cities across the country.
The sweeps were expected to start Sunday, but New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted Saturday that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency had already taken some action in New York.
Immigrant communities have been on edge since President Trump's administration announced plans for the operation, inflaming the political debate over immigration. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a pre-emptive lawsuit Thursday that aims to protect asylum seekers. Activists held demonstrations and advocates coached immigrants on their rights.
Administration officials have said that the coordinated action will target about 2,000 people with final deportation orders in major cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Miami. Minneapolis and St. Paul were not on the administration's list.
Several thousand protesters marched through downtown Chicago Saturday to protest the Trump administration's immigration policies, including the planned sweeps.
The protesters at Saturday's march belted chants critical of Trump and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Many of them carried placards with messages including "No kids in cages" and "Abolish ICE."
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the protest was peaceful and that there were no arrests. He said there were an estimated 5,000 protesters at its peak.