Northern California ICE Operation Nets 150 Aliens in Three Days
02 March, 2018, 05:20 | Author: Lora Ball
Even though 150 illegal aliens were arrested in ICE's latest Bay Area operation, almost 900 were able to avoid the raids because Democratic Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf tipped off the communities' illegal population via social media, announcing that "multiple credible sources" informed her about the raids, which she said were to take place "within 24 hours".
She urged residents here illegally to take precautions, sparking debate about what role politicians and city governments should play in spreading information - both confirmed and unconfirmed - about possible federal immigration sweeps.
Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed Tuesday night that it detained more than 150 people who violated US immigration law in "targeted immigration enforcement operations" in the San Francisco area. Around half of the illegal immigrants arrested have past criminal history, including assault and weapons charges as well as other violent crimes.
In a statement widely shared on social media, Schaaf said "multiple credible sources" had told her that Immigration and Customs Enforcement was "preparing to conduct an operation in the Bay Area, including Oakland, starting as soon as within the next 24 hours".
Schaaf's move also drew initial criticism from some activists who said her warning may have served to sow panic among immigrant communities. ICE activity creates anxiety in segments of our diverse community and when ICE alerts us about activity in our area, we are subsequently able to communicate with community stakeholders to quell, and not exacerbate fear in our city.
"I did not give specific information that could have endangered law enforcement". Agents arrested more than 200 people earlier this month in the Los Angeles area.
"At SIREN, we condemn ICE's action but believe it's important for community members to be prepared in the event that there are similar actions in the future given that we know how this (presidential) administration is operating and targeting undocumented community members", said Priya Murthy, a policy and advocacy director for the group.
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement statement said a number of the people arrested in the raids had lengthy criminal records, including Armando Nunez-Salgado. Homan said the Justice Department is looking into whether Schaaf obstructed justice.
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