ICE arrests more than 200 people in 4-day California raid
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested more than200 immigrants suspected to be in the country illegally in raids over four days in California, the agency announced Thursday.
A total of 232 suspected immigrants were arrested in the San Francisco Bay area, the agency said in a statement reported by Fox News.
Of those, 180 “were either convicted criminals, had been issued a final order of removal and failed to depart the United States, or had been previously removed” from the U.S. and returned illegally, ICE said.
Another 115 “had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses,” the statement added.
This week’s raids followed the arrest of 200 immigrants in a similar operation in January.
According to the agency’s acting director, Thomas Homan, hundreds of other immigrants would have been caught in the sting were it not for the actions of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (D).
The mayor warned in a tweet Saturday that “multiple credible sources” told her the agency was planning raids in the area this week.
“I consider myself a law-abiding citizen. I consider myself a believer in an American democracy that moves towards a more just society. And I definitely consider myself part of the resistance,” Schaaf told The Washington Post about her actions.
“I think it’s my responsibility as a person in power and privilege to share the information I have access to, to make sure people know what their rights are,” she added.
ICE, however, has criticized her actions.
“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.
President Trump blasted the state of California last week over “sanctuary city” policies where local officials refuse to help federal officials enforce immigration laws. Trump threatened to pull ICE out of the state in retaliation.
“If we ever pulled our ICE out, if we ever said, ‘Hey, let California alone, let them figure it out for themselves,’ in two months they’d be begging for us to come back, they would be begging. And you know what? I’m thinking about doing it,” Trump said.
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