ICE chief faces rowdy crowd at California forum

ICE chief faces rowdy crowd at California forum
© Greg Nash

The Sacramento County Sheriff and the acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) faced a rowdy crowd Tuesday night in California during a community forum on immigration.

The purpose of the forum, held in Sacramento, was to allow people to "hear directly from the top about how immigration enforcement is being prioritized in the community, what role the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department or other local law enforcement plays, and what information is true or false."

"While agreement may not be reached, the intent of this forum is to try and find common ground by reducing conflicting information, eliminating ambiguity, and reducing fear by presenting factual information directly from their sources," a flier tweeted out by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department said.

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Some protesters gathered outside the community forum for a "Unity Rally," according to the Los Angeles Times.

Inside the event, people chanted: "Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here," according to reporters at the forum. People could also be heard shouting, "No ban, no wall."

A group wearing shirts that spelled out "ICE OUT" were asked to leave the forum, according to a reporter from ABC 10.

During the event, Sheriff Scott Jones and acting director of ICE Thomas Homan spoke to the crowd and answered questions.

"We don't walk through neighborhoods looking for people that are different than we are," Homan said during the forum, according to the LA Times.

Homan also said ICE is a law enforcement agency, noting the agency doesn't get to "pick and choose what we enforce."

"We are sworn law enforcement officers that enforce the laws on the books, and that's what we're doing," he said. "No one would ask the FBI not to enforce the laws. ... ICE is a law enforcement agency and the men and women of ICE are sworn to enforce the laws and that's what we have to do."

The forum comes a day after Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHillicon Valley: State officials share tech privacy concerns with Sessions | Senator says election security bill won't pass before midterms | Instagram co-founders leave Facebook | Google chief to meet GOP lawmakers over bias claims On The Money: US trade chief casts doubt on Canada joining new deal | House panel invites Watt accuser to testify | Brady defends GOP message on tax cuts State officials press Sessions on tech privacy worries MORE announced state and local governments seeking Justice Department grants must certify they are not sanctuary cities to receive the money. Such cities' policies says that their local officials will not participate in federal law enforcement efforts to deport undocumented immigrants. 

“Such policies cannot continue. They make our nation less safe by putting dangerous criminals back on the streets,” Sessions said during a surprise appearance in the White House press briefing room. 
 
“Today, I am urging states and local jurisdictions to comply with these federal laws.”
 
The announcement was the latest step by the Trump administration to crack down on sanctuary cities.