Federal immigration authorities unveiled hundreds of arrests of undocumented immigrants in the so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ over the last few days. According to an official report, around 500 people were arrested by ICE agents nationwide in a four-day operation.
In Los Angeles, ICE took into custody 167 illegals. LA is considered a ‘sanctuary city’ since local authorities have set restrictions on the police in cooperating with federal authorities on immigration issues when it comes to people suspected of living in the U.S. undocumented. San Jose and San Francisco were also targeted.
In recent years, ICE has carried other similar raids across the country. But it is the first time the agency targets directly the jurisdictions considered too soft on illegal immigration by the Trump administration.
President Trump pledged numerous times to deport the nearly 12 million people living in the U.S.A. illegally. His Attorney General Jeff Sessions has urged local authorities to allow immigration agents to do their job and prevent the release from jail of illegal immigrants so that ICE can deport them.
Sessions Turning the Screw on Sanctuary Cities
San Francisco and Los Angeles are just two of the liberal strongholds that refused to comply. The two cities have even passed legislation that bars the police from helping ICE agents. Some conservative cities also fired back, refusing to hand over inmates to ICE over legality concerns.
Sessions threatened these cities with cuts in federal funding if they refuse to comply., but the nation’s courts blocked these efforts deeming them unconstitutional. The latest raids seem to be part of Sessions’ latest intimidation efforts.
Before announcing the arrests, ICE Acting Director Tom Homan noted that sanctuary cities bar his agents from accessing their jails and protect criminal aliens from deportation and immigration enforcement. Homan thinks that such behavior can only encourage illegal immigration. The official threatened that there would be more “at-large arrests” across the said jurisdictions.
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