In a recent 4-day operation federal immigration officers made close to 500 arrests in sanctuary cities. According to reports from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in one day Los Angeles experienced 167 ICE arrests, San Francisco and San Jose witnessed ICE arrests in large numbers, and the Boston MA area reportedly saw ICE take 50 immigrants into custody.
Unspecified authorities allege the dragnet has been an enforcement signal to local governing bodies that are uncooperative with federal agencies in the escalated capture and detention of undocumented residents. ICE Acting Director, Tom Homan recently stated, “Sanctuary jurisdictions that do not honor detainers or allow us access to jails and prisons are shielding criminal aliens from immigration enforcement and creating a magnet for illegal immigration. As a result, ICE is forced to dedicate more resources to conduct at-large arrests in these communities.”
The aggressive arrest & detain blitz ushered in by the Trump administration and DOJ against the estimated 12 million undocumented residents of this country stipulate that local law enforcement cooperate with immigration agents, allow them unrestricted access to jails, provide immigration information on legal detainees, alert federal immigration agents when undocumented immigrants are due for release, and retain detainees for ICE to take them into custody. Sanctuary Cities protect undocumented residence by refusing or demonstrating reluctance to comply with federal immigration requirements.
ICE maintains that those arrested had criminal convictions, not specifying that ‘criminal convictions’ can include traffic stops for exceeding the speed limit, outage of a headlight, or high exhaust emissions. Undocumented persons can also be targeted with undeclared ‘stop and frisk’ actions by local police or ICE agents. Each target or traffic stop can include inquiries as to a person’s documented immigration status, making any arrest of an undocumented person a ‘criminal conviction’.
California, which is close to becoming a sanctuary state, has a near 40 year history of sanctuary, with Berkeley and other cities declaring sanctuary in the 1980s to accept Central American immigrants.
For more information on the recent ICE targeting of sanctuary cities refer to The Los Angeles Times: ICE arrests hundreds of immigrants in ‘sanctuary cities’ around the nation, California and The Daily Beast: ICE Arrests 500 in ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Raids, from which this information was taken.