The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, has reportedly arrested more than 150 illegal immigrants in Northern California over the past few days. Those that were arrested had allegedly violated the country’s immigration laws and are set to be deported. The agency also revealed that half of the 150 people they had arrested have criminal convictions. The operation to track down and arrest the suspected individuals had been met with much resistance in Oakland, California, most especially from its mayor, Libby Schaaf.
The city’s mayor, a Democrat who has been very vocal about her stance on the issue of immigration, even issued a warning to the public that ICE was planning several operations in the Bay Area. A day before the arrests began over the weekend, Schaaf announced that she had learned from “multiple credible sources” that raids were going to be conducted, essentially giving illegal immigrants within her city a chance to escape arrest.
Cities like Oakland and San Francisco are currently considered as “Sanctuary Cities,” with local officials and city employees being forced not to cooperate with federal immigration officers during their operations. California passed a bill last year that essentially restricts its employees from cooperating with federal agents unless the person in question has been convicted of a crime. President Trump’s push to more stringently enforce immigration laws within the country has only managed to stir the tensions between federal immigration agents and state officials.
According to a report by The Washington Post, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has publicly condemned Mayor Libby Schaaf’s actions as it apparently undermined their mission to protect public safety. ICE deputy director, Thomas D. Homan, stated that hundreds of undocumented immigrants had managed to escape thanks to the mayor’s “irresponsible decision.” Homan stated that 864 “criminal aliens” and “public safety threats” living in the city are still unaccounted for.
Schaaf recently defended her actions through a public statement and mentioned that she did not regret her actions as it was apparently for the safety of her city and its residents. The mayor also claimed that it’s her city’s right to be a sanctuary city and that they haven’t broken any laws.