While President Trump continues to drop revised travel bans that restrict entrance into the country by refugees (mainly of Muslim majority countries), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is doing its part to arrest those with immigration violations who are already in the country. On Thursday, immigration officials conducted a massive sweep — as part of Operation Safe City — within multiple so-called sanctuary cities, and the “event” resulted in 450+ arrests (in one day) of undocumented immigrants.
Of that total, 167 arrests took place in the Los Angeles area. Quite possibly, the city ended up at the top of the list after California declared itself to be a sanctuary state, meaning that it refused to cooperate with and enforce the Trump administration’s immigration policies. In addition, arrests in other California cities (including San Jose) bump ICE’s nationwide arrest total to over 500 over the past few days. ICE made pointed mention of sanctuary cities and states in their announcement about this operation:
“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.”
Within the statement, ICE also insisted that it did not target any Dreamers, who are still protected under the DACA act. This could, of course, change in the future if and when Jeff Sessions announces a change of heart on behalf of Trump. After all, Sessions recently described unaccompanied minors as “wolves in sheep’s clothing.”
Of those arrested this week, ICE says that 300 had U.S. criminal convictions, and 90 of those were for drunk driving. Interestingly enough, however, the Washington Post reports that deportations are down under the Trump administration, even as the number of immigration arrests are skyrocketing. In other words, the detention centers must be packed.