ICE arrests nearly 500 in ‘sanctuary cities’ around the country
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:
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:
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: