Is ICE Targeting ‘Sanctuary Cities’ for Enforcement?

On September 29th, 2017, Mercury News reported that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently arrested at least 498 people in a four-day national immigration sweep. This is a sudden and very concerning increase in immigration enforcement action. Once again, it is another highly public action taken by the agency in an effort to intimidate immigrants and to send a message to state and local government officials. Indeed, representatives from ICE stated that the agency was specifically targeting its enforcement operations at sanctuary cities. Here, our Los Angeles deportation attorney explains what we know about these recent ICE raids.

What We Know About Recent ICE Raids in Southern California

According to public information released by ICE, 167 of the 498 people picked up in the late September immigration raids, or 33 percent of the total, were arrested in Southern California. More specifically, ICE enforcement officers announced the arrest of 101 people in Los Angeles County and the arrest of an additional 66 people in other counties in our region, including in Orange County and Ventura County.   

ICE Director Tom Homan Admits that the Agency is Targeting ‘Sanctuary Cities’

The acting Director of ICE, Tom Homan, released a statement admitting that the agency is now targeting its enforcement actions at sanctuary jurisdictions. Though he did not use those words, the message from the agency could not have been more clear. Mr. Homan stated that any jurisdiction that was “not sufficiently compliant” with ICE policies and requests should expect to see an increase in “at large immigration raids.” This is disturbing, as ICE is explicitly trying to take action to make sanctuary policies less effective, reducing state and local protections for immigrants.

Undocumented Immigrants With Clean Criminal Records Were Arrested

As has been the case with many of the Trump Administration’s immigration-related actions, ICE is creating considerable confusion with its latest raids. While ICE officials have publicly stated that they are focusing these enforcement raids solely on people who have prior criminal records, their actual conduct has not been entirely consistent with those supposed goals. In fact, the recent immigration raids have been far broader than those stated priorities. According to the agency’s own records, more than one third of the people arrested in the recent four-day immigration sweep had no prior criminal record whatsoever. Our immigration law firm will continue to monitor the priorities and actions of ICE very closely so that we can better inform and serve immigrants in Southern California.

Our Attorneys Assist Immigrants in L.A.

At the Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our immigration attorney in Los Angeless have extensive experience handling cases involving deportations and removals. If you find yourself facing potential deportation, you need to seek immediate legal assistance. For immigration help, please call us now to schedule your fully confidential case evaluation. Our firm is located in downtown Los Angeles, and we represent clients throughout Southern California, including in El Monte, Lakewood and Long Beach.