ICE arrests 498 in 'sanctuary city' raids; 33 in Portland

Allan Goodman
September 30, 2017

The operation targeted people who allegedly violated United States immigration laws, and prioritized those with criminal convictions, pending criminal charges or gang affiliations, and those who re-entered the country after being deported. Those arrests included 167 people taken into custody in Southern California.

States and cities that have openly opposed the government's deportation initiatives of#illegal immigrants were the targets of federal raids this week that arrested nearly 500 undocumented immigrants. The action seems to be ICE's first billed as exclusively focusing on places it considers to be uncooperative.

Thomas Homan, ICE's acting director, directly criticized "sanctuary cities" in a statement, saying their politics are shielding "criminal aliens".

"ICE is forced to dedicate more resources to conduct at-large arrests in these communities", Homan continued. The bulk of the arrests occurred in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Denver, New York City, and Massachusetts, ICE said on Thursday.

In Orange County, Santa Ana officially declared itself a sanctuary in January.

Over 300 of the people arrested this week had criminal convictions, ICE said, according to NBC. Of those, 317 had criminal convictions. The agency did not say why roughly one-third of those arrested - or 181 people - were taken into custody even though they do not have criminal records.

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ICE said the four-day push did not target "Dreamers", who entered the country as children and remain under the Obama-era policy under the Deferred Action for Childhoods Arrivals (DACA).

Philadelphia saw the largest number of arrests, 107.

According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the operation, dubbed Operation "Safe City," "focused on cities and regions where ICE deportation officers are denied access to jails and prisons to interview suspected immigration violators or jurisdictions where ICE detainers are not honored".

Juntos accused ICE of using "Gestapo style tactics in the name of public safety" during the raids.

Mayor Hancock in the past several weeks signed a new immigration ordinance passed by the city council that prohibits city employees from collecting information on people's immigration status and the sharing of that information for the goal of federal immigration enforcement. Resistance has come from more conservative corners as well, where authorities have been unwilling to hold on to inmates for ICE out of concern that doing so is illegal. "It shouldn't be a surprise to these cities that an operation like this has gone forward".

Prior to our FOIA-ing the data from ICE, which revealed at least 31 undercover arrests had occurred at Denver's courthouses between October and May, city officials only knew about a handful of such arrests, including those documented by videos made by members of the Meyer Law Office.

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