ICE ramping up operations in sanctuary cities: report

ICE ramping up operations in sanctuary cities: report
© Greg Nash

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is ramping up efforts in sanctuary cities across the country, hoping to force the jurisdictions to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement operations, CNN reported Friday.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Austin revealed earlier this week that federal immigration officials had targeted Austin, Texas, in a series of mid-February immigration raids as retribution for a local sheriff's decision to limit cooperation with ICE.

“We had a briefing … that we could expect a big operation, agents coming in from out of town, that it was going to be a specific operation, and at least it was related to us in that meeting that it was the result of the sheriff’s new policy that this was going to happen,” Austin said in an audio recording of an immigration hearing.

ADVERTISEMENT
“My understanding, what was told to us, is that one of the reasons that happened was because the meetings that had occurred between the [ICE] field office director and the sheriff didn’t go very well."

ICE officials are having internal discussions about expanding raids in sanctuary cities, CNN reported, citing a senior U.S. immigration official.

Sanctuary cities are jurisdictions with policies limiting cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration agents and include cities such as New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Austin.

President Trump campaigned on cracking down on illegal immigration and stepping up border security. His administration has threatened to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities if they refuse to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.