Sunday, 17 February, 2019

ICE reports arresting 232 people in this week's sweeps in Northern California

A poster of support appears in San Francisco on Thursday March. 1 2018. in response to ICE arrests in Northern California ICE reports arresting 232 people in this week's sweeps in Northern California
Melinda Barton | 03 March, 2018, 04:32

In a four-day sweep that ended Wednesday and stretched as far north as the OR border, ICE officers arrested 232 people who officials say violated federal immigration laws.

ICE announced deportation officers arrested more than 150 people who are in the USA illegally during the raid, noting roughly half of them have criminal convictions.

Of those arrested, 180 were either convicted criminals who had failed to leave the country after ordered to do so or returned after being deported, ICE officials said in a news release.

ICE said Tuesday that roughly half of those arrested since Sunday in Northern California had criminal convictions, including for violent offenses including assault with a deadly weapon. Some reports allege that 11 more were arrested this morning in the Bay Area.

It was unclear how many people would have eluded capture without the mayor's warning. Community organizer, Jesus Ruiz, said the rumors paralyze the community.

The ICE operations in Northern California have spurred controversy and scrutiny since this past weekend when Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf issued a warning about the pending action on Saturday. SIREN held one of its first Family Preparedness Workshops Thursday night.

"I do not regret sharing this information", Schaaf added.

"ICE's career law enforcement professionals are charged with enforcing immigration laws passed by Congress, and recent operations in the Bay Area were consistent with ICE's lawful mission", the agency said in a statement in response to the allegations.

"The Oakland mayor's decision to publicize her suspicions about ICE operations further increased that risk for my officers and alerted criminal aliens - making clear that this reckless decision was based on her political agenda with the very federal laws that ICE is sworn to uphold", Homan said in a statement this week.

Homan has said that because of sanctuary laws, the agency would double down in the state and would have "no choice but to conduct at-large arrests" due to the agency's inability to pick up individuals with criminal records from local jails.

The immigration law firm Pangea Legal Services said ICE had put "unnecessary barriers" between attorneys and those arrested, including not allowing lawyers to pass information to detainees who may want representation.

Schaaf has defended her actions saying it was her "duty and moral obligation as Mayor to give those families fair warning when that threat appears imminent".

At the beginning of the year, state Senate Bill 54, otherwise known as the California Values Act, took effect limiting immigration enforcement, in part by barring local authorities from asking about immigration status during routine interactions.

Schaaf also said she did not know details of any potential ICE sweeps, including locations. A Justice Department spokesman in the Bay Area also declined to comment.