ICE plans major sweep in Northern California, Bay Area

Jorge Garcia

Seventeen Florida sheriffs from Brevard, Pinellas, Lee, Manatee, Bay, Walton, Hernando, Polk, Indian River, Charlotte, Monroe, Sarasota, Columbia, Santa Rosa, Suwannee, Hillsborough and Pasco counties have committed themselves with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold suspected illegal immigrants for deportation processing.

University of San Francisco immigration law professor Bill Hing said that it's possible even legal residents and US citizens could get swept up in such an immigration raid, which could open ICE up to civil rights lawsuits.

USA immigration officials are preparing to arrest more than 1,500 undocumented individuals in San Francisco and other Northern California cities as a response to California becoming a sanctuary state a year ago, according to a tip the San Francisco Chronicle received from an anonymous source Tuesday. "The number could tick up if officers come across other undocumented immigrants in the course of their actions and make what are known as collateral arrests".

In addition, ICE conducted raids about a week ago in other sanctuary jurisdictions, from California to Florida, at 7-Eleven stores, as a signal to businesses not to hired undocumented workers.

Homan responded with a statement Wednesday calling the council's action "unconscionable" and saying it "poses dangers for local communities".

The sanctuary state law of California limits its cooperation with federal immigration authorities and forbids police from arresting people simply due to their undocumented status.

According to the SFGate report, ICE authorities will be targeting the sanctuary state in a few weeks.

Attorney General Xavier Becerra said while it is the federal government's responsibility to protect the nation's borders, the goal should be public safety, not deporting otherwise law-abiding immigrants who are in the country illegally. It's an issue of public safety, he said, and local officials would be affording ICE agents the opportunity to start the deportation process in a safe setting.

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While they don't interfere with enforcement operations or interact with ICE agents, the volunteers will act as an extra set of eyes during enforcement operations, Ruiz said.

"SB 54 does not prevent ICE from doing its work", he said.

In response to California's so-called sanctuary state status.

The source who spoke to The Chronicle said the plan calls for immigration officers to be flown in from other parts of the country to help carry out the operation.

"This is a great day for the rule of law in this country and sends a message that local law enforcement is unified with our federal partners to lawfully ensure the removal of criminal aliens", Gaultieri. Oakland police had assisted ICE this summer, when agents said they were conducting a human trafficking investigation.

Officials say a 2014 court ruling regarding ICE detainer requests did not give jail operators legal authority to hold inmates after they resolved their local charges. "If the politicians in California don't want to protect their communities, then ICE will".

"This feels political", Alfi said.

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