ICE and Local Police Departments

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In these times of mass deportations, it is important that those of us who are against these acts, or exposed to them, know of the process.

ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is used by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to search for, seize, detain, and deport undocumented individuals living in the United States. ICE heavily depends on the cooperation of local law enforcement and local judicial systems to locate and deport those who are without documentation that states they are here lawfully.

Before proceeding further, let’s back up for a moment and realize that many workers flooded the U.S. after NAFTA, and other trade agreements caused their local farms and businesses to be uncompetitive. Most came to the U.S. at the invitation of U.S. employers who were trying to reduce their own wage expenses by illegally paying workers under the table.

Flooding the U.S. ‘shadow’ workforce has been the only option for many out-of-work Mexican farmers, artisans, and laborers, while others have come from unstable countries, fleeing life-threatening conditions. ICE uses local law enforcement to perform unregulated, unspecified, and unaccountable transferral of undocumented persons into detention and deportation.

Cooperation with local criminal justice systems gives ICE access to local jails for detentions, and allows ICE to obtain fingerprints from arrested individuals, guilty or not. The detention and deportation process overlooks the party’s guilt or innocence, while it also encourages racial profiling. Any expansion of the county jail means issues of immigration could significantly impact our local penal system.

For these stated reasons and more, El Cerrito Progressives clearly and assertively supports The City of El Cerrito declaring itself a Sanctuary City.

More information on expansion of ICE raids, read: How ICE Uses Local Criminal Justice Systems to Funnel People Into the Detention and Deportation System

Author: jmelange

I am a writer living in the Bay Area, California.

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