U.S. immigration officials plan to conduct a "major sweep" in San Francisco and other Northern California cities over the next few weeks in the recently-minted "sanctuary state," reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
Centered in the Bay Area, the campaign has its sights set on over 1,500 undocumented individuals - sending a message that federal immigration policies will still be enforced in the 'defiant' sanctuary state. According to The Chronicle, ICE will be flying immigration enforcement officers in from around the country to assist with the raids - which will include worksites believed to be harboring illegal employees. The raids could take several days, according to an unnamed source.
The sweep would be the largest of its kind under the Trump administration, a source told the Chronicle - and would be the first such operation since California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation enacting statewide "sanctuary" laws last October - vastly limiting who state and local law enforcement agencies can detain, question and transfer at the request of federal authorities.
It also forbids police officers from making arrests for civil immigration warrants, as well as joining federal task forces intended to enforce immigration laws.
Acting ICE Director Homan slammed Jerry Brown and the state of California for passing SB54, which he said undermined public safety.
In an appearance earlier this month on Fox News, Homan accused California Democrats and Gov. Jerry Brown of placing "politics ahead of public safety," adding that California "better hold on tight," as ICE would "significantly increase" pressure on the state.
“They’re about to see a lot more special agents, a lot more deportation officers in the state of California,” said Homan.
The operation would go after people who have been identified as targets for deportation, including those who have been served with final deportation orders and those with criminal histories, the source said. 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. -SF Chronicle
When asked for comment on Tuesday, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) was outraged, saying that immigrants "must not be targeted in raids solely because they are Californians," adding that a large-scale enforcement operation would suggest that “the administration is carrying out its enforcement actions to make a political point and not based on the security of the country.”
Last week, a group of politicians including Reps. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, and Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen requesting a meeting with her and Homan to clarify the remarks he made on Fox News about stepping up enforcement in California.
“The statements are a direct threat to Californians,” the letter read. “These statements are reprehensible and the department’s change in policy will instill fear in our communities. ... Acting Director Homan’s attack on sanctuary cities is not only an infringement of state rights but a direct assault on communities of color.” -The Chronicle
Jerry Brown and other California Democrats would be wise to watch this...