Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers arrested over 450 illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities including New York, Los Angeles, and Portland this week. From the LA Times:
ICE said it arrested 167 people in and around Los Angeles, a region in which several cities and counties have been tagged by justice officials as being so-called sanctuaries — a loosely defined term used to describe local governments that restrict police from assisting immigration authorities in identifying and detaining people suspected of being in the country illegally.
Arrests were also made in San Francisco and San Jose. Overall, ICE said it arrested nearly 500 people across the country over the last few days.
The surge of arrests was similar in size to several past operations ICE has carried out in recent years. But the focus on places deemed by justice officials to be soft on illegal immigration served to ratchet up an already tense standoff.
In a press release, ICE’s acting director Tom Homan said, “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.” The majority of the 498 people arrested this week had criminal convictions or had been previously deported:
- 317 had criminal convictions, as noted in the chart below;
- 68 are immigration fugitives;
- 104 are previously deported criminal aliens; and
- 18 are gang members or affiliates.
Of those 317 criminal convictions, the largest number (86) were for DUI, but there were also several individuals who had been convicted of more serious crimes, including assault and sexual abuse of minors:
- In Baltimore, a citizen of El Salvador who entered the U.S. illegally on a fraudulent passport, and was previously charged with attempted murder/conspiracy to commit murder and convicted of first degree assault. She was previously released from local custody before ICE could assume custody.
- In Boston, a citizen of India who entered the U.S. illegally and who was convicted of indecent assault/battery on a person over 14 and was required to register as a sex offender.
- In Denver, a citizen of Guatemala with lawful permanent legal status who was previously convicted of felony menacing, 6 DUIs, child abuse, assault and domestic violence harassment.
- In Los Angeles, a citizen of Mexico and documented Colonia Chiques gang member who entered the United States illegally. At the time of his arrest, the subject rammed multiple law enforcement vehicles in an effort to evade arrest. After he was placed under arrest, a search of his person revealed a loaded handgun in his pocket. The subject was turned over to local authorities and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, probation in possession of firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a loaded firearm in public.
- In New York, a citizen of Ecuador with lawful permanent resident status who was previously charged with sexual abuse of a minor and convicted of endangering the welfare of a child, and convicted of sexual abuse of a minor under 14. He was previously released from local custody before ICE could assume custody.
ICE also notes that no one with DACA status was targeted for arrest. Those who were arrested will either be deported or prosecuted for immigration crimes. All of this seems like something to celebrate. ICE took people with criminal convictions, gang affiliations or previous deportations off the streets. It’s hard to imagine any of these cities finding something to complain about here.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has repeatedly criticized sanctuary cities. Here he is speaking about the issue in March: