The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Fugitive Operations announced yesterday that they arrested 498 undocumented people from 42 countries that were residing in “Sanctuary Cities.” This latest raid by ICE, following direct orders from the Trump Administration is a direct blow to the so-called united front by mayors of “Sanctuary Cities” that are supposed to keep undocumented people safe. The main objective of being a Sanctuary City is that they’re not supposed to bow down to federal mandates and protect undocumented individuals. This ICE bust proves that local authorities (including mayors, judges, and police) can only do so much.
The raid lasted four days and ended on Sept. 27. Philadelphia had the most arrests, leading with 107, Los Angeles had 101. Other individuals arrested lived in Northern California, Boston, Denver, Portland, New York, Seattle, D.C., Boston, and Baltimore. All Sanctuary Cities. As a jab to that moniker, Homeland Security called their raid “Operation Safe City.”
According to a press release by Homeland Security, those arrested were detained on federal immigration violations.
ICE arrests over 450 on federal immigration charges during Operation ‘Safe City’ https://t.co/SxsnVlQ4X5 pic.twitter.com/YgOLHcdLEp
— ICE (@ICEgov) September 28, 2017
“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,” said ICE Acting Director Tom Homan. “As a result, ICE is forced to dedicate more resources to conduct at-large arrests in these communities.”
A spokesman for Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles told The New York Times that the mayor “believes that the administration should focus its actions on people who have committed serious crimes or pose a threat to our national security.”
As a reporter for the Huffington Post notes, “1/3 of those arrested in ICE’s ‘Operation Safe City’ targeting sanctuary cities had no criminal convictions.”
“ICE has taken the gloves off, and they are going after whoever they want and for whatever reason,” Ray Ybarra Maldonado, an immigration attorney in Phoenix, told The Washington Post. “It’s a free-for-all now.”