Federal agents arrested 498 people from 42 countries in a four-day nationwide
operation targeting cities that United States Immigration and Customs
Enforcement said give sanctuary to undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes.
ICE officials said that the sweep, Operation Safe City, which concluded
Wednesday, focused on “sanctuary jurisdictions” where the agency is denied access to jails to interview suspects
and where its requests to take those arrested into custody are not honored.
The operation came amid an
escalating conflict between these jurisdictions and the Trump administration, which has faced several
legal challenges in its efforts to mandate cooperation between local law enforcement and
federal immigration authorities. The arrests this week were a stinging
rebuke to sanctuary cities, several of which have passed ordinances or
policies preventing full cooperation with ICE.
“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,” Thomas
D. Homan, the acting director of ICE, said in a statement. “As a
result, ICE is forced to dedicate more resources to conduct at-large arrests
in these communities.”
The most arrests were made in Philadelphia (107) and Los Angeles (101).
There were also many arrests in Northern California; Boston; Denver; and
Typically, in such sweeps, teams of agents fan out in the early hours of
the day to arrest people before they leave for work, after monitoring
their movements in advance.
Among those arrested in Los Angeles, the agency said, was a Mexican gang
member who entered the United States illegally. When agents encountered
him, he rammed his car into multiple law enforcement vehicles in an effort
to evade arrest. After he was arrested, agents found a loaded handgun
in his pocket.
“Laws created under the guise to protect immigrants who are here
to better their lives are being used by criminal elements to protect themselves,”
said Jorge Field, assistant field office director for ICE in Los Angeles,
adding that “having to make these arrests in public puts more people
All told, agents arrested 167 undocumented immigrants in seven counties
of Southern California, he said.
Honoring a campaign pledge, President Trump has made cracking down on illegal
immigration a top priority. His attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has been
a key proponent of punishing localities that refuse to cooperate with
Mr. Sessions recently denounced a bill passed this month by the California
Legislature to limit communication between federal immigration agents
and state and local law enforcement, among other provisions.
The Trump administration has tried to withhold federal money to sanctuary
cities, only to face several
challenges in court.
A federal judge in Chicago this month
blocked a Justice Department policy that would require Chicago to cooperate with federal immigration authorities
if the city wished to receive public funds for safety. The preliminary
injunction applied to cities nationwide.
What constitutes a sanctuary city is loosely defined, but many cities have
said that cooperating with ICE undermines public safety because doing
so erodes trust between police and immigrant communities.
In March, Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles signed an executive directive
titled “Standing With Immigrants: A City of Safety, Refuge
and Opportunity for All,” which reasserted the city’s longstanding policy of not cooperating
with federal immigration enforcement.
In response to the latest ICE roundup, a spokesman for Mr. Garcetti said
the mayor “believes that the administration should focus its actions
on people who have committed serious crimes or pose a threat to our national
In Denver, which had the third-highest number of arrests, the sheriff’s
department notifies ICE when it is about to release an immigrant whom
the agency has requested be held in detention. However, it does not hold
inmates beyond a scheduled release date if ICE does not get them. It also
does not allow agents to interview inmates without a judicial warrant.
Immigration arrests jumped nearly 40 percent in the first three months
of the Trump administration. ICE arrested 41,318 immigrants, a rate of
more than 400 each day, compared with 30,028 over roughly the same period in 2016.
Among those taken into custody in this week’s operation, 317 had
criminal convictions, including 86 for driving under the influence, the
most of any listed offense. Other crimes included assault, drug trafficking
and domestic violence, as well as trespassing, invasion of privacy and
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/28/us/ice-arrests-sanctuary-cities.html?mcubz=0
REVILLA LAW FIRM, P.A.
The Deportation Defense Law Firm
If you or a loved one is facing deportation, contact our Miami immigration
lawyers today to get a better understanding of your legal options. Our
team of highly experienced immigration attorneys has successfully represented
thousands of clients who were at risk of being deported by thoroughly
analyzing their case and developing effective strategies to help achieve
the best outcome.
We understand that the current immigration climate in our country has caused
fear, insecurity, and panic about immigration options and status. However,
there is also a lot of misinformation circulating and that's why it's
important to contact an immigration lawyer who will offer informed legal
guidance on the issues affecting your case.
Contact us today to schedule your free in-office consulation. Telephone
consultations are also available for a nominal fee.
(305) 858-2323 or toll free (877) 854-2323
"We will fight to keep you in the United States"