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Operation 'Safe City': ICE Arrests 450 'Sanctuary City' Immigrants

by Countable | 9.29.17

What’s the story?

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Fugitive Operations teams arrested nearly 500 people in raids targeting undocumented immigrants in so-called "sanctuary cities."

ICE announced on their website that:

"Operation ‘Safe City’ focused on cities and regions where ICE deportation officers are denied access to jails and prisons to interview suspected immigration violators or jurisdictions where ICE detainers are not honored."

Officials said that the four-day "Operation Safe City" targeted undocumented immigrants in New York, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Philadelphia, Denver, Washington and Baltimore, as well as Cook County, Illinois; Portland, Oregon; and Massachusetts.

Why does it matter?

President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have advocated for a crackdown on the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. Part of this crackdown, as the Los Angeles Times explained, is a demand that "local law enforcement agencies give immigration agents unfettered access to jails and delay releasing immigrants from custody so that agents can nab them."

But cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and New York have pushed back against the Trump administration’s demands by passing ordinances to limit police compliance with ICE agents in order to shield undocumented immigrants.

Sessions has excoriated these sanctuary cities in speeches, calling them a "predator’s best friend." The AG has also threatened to withhold funds from cities, which the courts have ruled are unconstitutional.

Some have seen "Operation Safe City" as punishment for sanctuary cities’ non-compliance.

"It’s clearly a political move that is not actually geared toward public safety," said Talia Inlender, a senior staff attorney at Public Counsel, which advocates for immigrants.

But Tom Homan, ICE’s acting director, said the operation was necessary precisely because the cities shield immigrants.

"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, "Homan said in a statement. "As a result, ICE is forced to dedicate more resources to conduct at-large arrests in these communities."

ICE said the operation "targeted individuals who have violated U.S. immigration laws," with agents focusing on undocumented immigrants with criminal pasts and “known gang members and affiliates.” Those benefitting from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program “were not targeted.”

What do you think?

Was Operation ‘Safe City’ a "political move that is not actually geared toward public safety"? Or do sanctuary cities force ICE to “dedicate more resources to conduct at-large arrests in these communities”? Hit Take Action, tell your reps what you want ICE focusing on, then comment below.

—Josh Herman

(Photo Credit: Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

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Leave a comment
(318)
  • Kodiwodi
    09/29/2017
    ···

    I don't even know why I respond to these actions, none of you listen. Almost 70% of the population wants a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants but you our representatives apparently represent someone else. ICE should be disbanded. Their actions and your lack of action is inhumane and immoral. Get the hell out of Sanctuary Cities. You are not making them safer. Start working on a path to citizenship.

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  • AlexRoseSc
    09/29/2017
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    This is outrageous and OFFENSIVE TO ALL AMERICANS regardless of their citizenry. This is a DISGRACE; California needs to respond to this NOW and protect our citizens against the Trump administration's war on the rule of law and America's values. I'm going to be sick seeing this. What a disgrace. I demand Californian officials explain to us what they are intending to do to stop this.

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  • Clara
    09/29/2017
    ···

    Why do you even ask what we think about this! ???? Does it even matter ? You guys are letting the President and his swamp get away with murder. History will judge all of you! I'm ashamed of what's happening in this country, totally ashamed!

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  • Countryfirst
    09/30/2017
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    Arresting some field worker supporting their family does NOT make anyone safer..arrest the damn crooks in Washington DC Cabinet postions and the top crook TRUMP!!

    Like (88)
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  • David
    09/29/2017
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    We need to stop detaining & deporting people. Defund ICE, support sanctuary cities, provide a path to citizenship!

    Like (68)
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  • Alex
    09/29/2017
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    I am absolutely disgusted by so called "Operation 'safe city.'" This is not keeping anyone safe. It is disgustingly targeting individuals, MANY of whom have no criminal record. I am appalled that resources are being used in this manner I instead of working to establish a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. There are plenty of American citizens who pose a MUCH higher threat than the individuals being targeted, the vast majority of whom are contributing to our society without getting any benefits in return.

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  • Gail
    09/29/2017
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    Why can't ICE arrest some Russian agents instead, the ones say who hacked Equifax and our election? Arresting the gardeners doesn't make me feel any safer.

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  • Rita
    09/29/2017
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    Being undocumented is, at most, a misdemeanor. The people who have no other criminal offenses should not be subjected to this treatment. The resources required to make these arrests and detain those arrested should be put to better use, like something that might actually keep us safe.

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  • KansasTamale
    09/29/2017
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    STOP ARRESTING PEOPLE WHO ARE LAW ABIDING. This is ridiculous. THIS IS NAZI TACTICS. These people have done nothing to be arrested for. We are the COUNTRY OF THE IMMIGRANTS. EVEN THE WHITE SUPREMACISTS WERE IMMIGRANTS.

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  • Lindsay
    09/29/2017
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    This is unconscionable. I cannot believe that such a blatant political backlash is allowed to occur. This is clear retaliation against sanctuary cities. Stand up to this administration of bullies.

    Like (18)
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  • Azrael
    09/29/2017
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    Everything this admin does is vindictive It’s not public safety White supremacy??? Kkk moves??? Every photo of this admin is a room full of old white rich men Makes one wonder

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  • Lando
    09/29/2017
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    Absolutely not. This is abhorrent. Create a pathway to citizenship and stop fear-mongering ideologies against immigrants; read: Latinx, Muslim, and Immigrants of Color.

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  • Sheryl
    09/30/2017
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    Noooo. This is disgusting and unacceptable. Are you an immigrant? Your parents? Grandparents? Great grandparents? Which is it? America IS immigrants. If you feel this is appropriate, please deport yourself and your family first

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  • OWorthyFool
    09/30/2017
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    Operation Safe City sounds like something out of a dystopian novel- too cruel and flagrantly immoral to possibly be true. But that's the reality we live in, and we must not let it pass without protest. These actions, like everything ICE does, are abhorrent and should be condemned in the strongest terms. Those detained must be protected from abuse and deportation. This is sickening.

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  • Jb
    09/30/2017
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    What part of the definition of sanctuary does this Administration not get? Of course NOT! They want to put medical in the hands of states but people in the same state aren't protected by that same mindset? These people pose NO threat. I live in Los Angeles. California is a sanctuary state so I know what I'm talking about. I may not be a person without proper papers but I live and work along side them every day. Polite, courteous, hard working and loving this country far more than many who were born here that I've met.

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  • Penny
    09/30/2017
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    I’m just wondering, when do the concentration camps open? Where will the check points be stationed and how often will we all have to show our “papers?” Will yellow stars have to sewn on the clothing of suspected ‘illegals?’ As absurd as that all sounds, I would never have imagined that in America we would have a sanctioned police organization that raids homes, businesses, hospitals, schools, or courthouses to round up suspected immigrants and in the process terrorizes children and shatters families. What an embarrassing shame.

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  • HockeyGuy
    09/29/2017
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    Stop ICE from kidnapping people now!!!

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  • Ruth
    09/30/2017
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    This is ridiculous. How about moving on to something that Americans care about like bringing our soldiers home, repair relationships with allies and taking care of our own.

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  • Martha
    09/30/2017
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    ICE act like terrorists, ripping families and dreams apart. Re point to this country is that we are a melting pot - help every person who wants to be an ingredient in the melting pot , melt in! Help them become citizens. Soooo many studies show how our immigrants are our most economically productive members of society. They bring us more math and science skills. They're frequently entrepreneurs that create jobs. They help us see more globally. I know being a white supremacist is supposed to be cool now - but not to me! I am a citizen of the world. Bring on the immigrants!

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  • Dave
    09/30/2017
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    To all the the people who feel that these people do not deserve to live here or anywhere, to get help or deport them. You are flying on the same rock through space. Your like a bunch of fleas on on a dog, fighting over who own the dog! Get a grip, you need them as much as they need you! People need to walk a mile in each other's shoes. No one ever makes it on their own! If it was so good in their country I don't think they come here just to screw with you or me. You have a lot to thank corporate greed for the problem for pitting people against each other.

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