Immigration advocates vow to monitor ICE activity

02 March, 2018, 05:20 | Author: Martin Tyler
  • A man is arrested in a targeted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation to catch fugitives re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens in Los Angeles on February 7

Acting Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan said Wednesday that the Oakland mayor's public warning about an upcoming raid left hundreds of criminals on the street and endangered law enforcement.

"Sanctuary jurisdictions like San Francisco and Oakland shield risky criminal aliens from federal law enforcement at the expense of public safety", said Thomas Homan, the acting director of ICE.

"It is Oakland's legal right to be a sanctuary city and we have not broken any laws", she said.

Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed Tuesday night that it detained more than 150 people who violated US immigration law in "targeted immigration enforcement operations" in the San Francisco area.

ICE officials say of the 150 people who have been arrested since Sunday, almost half had criminal convictions including assault and battery, weapons charges and DUI charges.

She later said she did not regret tipping off illegal immigrants about the operation
She later said she did not regret tipping off illegal immigrants about the operation

In a statement widely shared on social media, Schaaf said "multiple credible sources" had told her that Immigration and Customs Enforcement was "preparing to conduct an operation in the Bay Area, including Oakland, starting as soon as within the next 24 hours". "The people of the San Francisco Bay Area will continue to oppose these cowardly attacks, and we will remain open to the patriotic immigrants who are the constant reinvigoration of America", she added.

"While the vast majority of cities in America do cooperate with ICE, others force ICE to assign additional resources to conduct at-large arrests in the community, putting officers, the general public and the aliens at greater risk and increasing the incidence of collateral arrests", James Schwab, a spokesman for ICE's San Francisco office, said in a statement Monday. "I believe in this moment, it is essential that we all stand together and make it clear that we know ICE is not keeping us safe", said Kaplan.

The Trump administration has attempted to punish sanctuary cities for refusing to comply with federal detention orders.

Homan blasted so-called sanctuary laws in San Francisco and Oakland, saying they endanger immigration officers who aren't allowed in jails and therefore must make more arrests in the community. Although the raids prioritized people who pose a threat, officials said anyone violating immigration laws were subject to arrest. She said she felt an ethical duty to warn those potentially affected.

"I was very glad to see that BPD denied all 68 ICE detainer requests this year", said City Councilor Josh Zakim, who authored the measure in 2014.

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With Senate Bill 54 in October, California became a "sanctuary state" for undocumented immigrants.

Schaaf said she is concerned that this "has been used as a wedge issue and that this ugly myth that immigrants are criminals".

Earlier this month, more than 200 immigrants were either arrested or detained by Southern California ICE agents in what activists described as a large-scale raid.

"We are not going to tolerate this in our community", said Lupe Delgado, community organizer for Faith in the Valley.

Dozens of ICE arrests have been reported in Northern California, with many coming out of the Fresno area, according to immigration attorney Hamid Yazdan Panah with the Northern California Rapid Response and Immigrant Defense Network.

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Mayor Schaaf, this I say to you.

People living near this downtown Stockton neighborhood say they saw ICE enforcement officers knocking on doors. Danielle Bennett, an agency spokeswoman, said more information would be released later in the week.

According to Schaaf, the Trump Administration believes immigrants are criminals.

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