In an effort to target Sanctuary Cities and intimidate those living in these protected areas, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is reportedly planning raids in the Bay Area.
ICE is planning massive raids in the Bay Area. Please be safe and protect the undocumented community.
— Johana (@estjohanaaa) January 17, 2018
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, federal agents are aiming to detain 1,500 undocumented people.
ICE tells the Chronicle they cannot confirm nor deny the possible raids, which can happen as early as this week. However, California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein was informed about the possible sweep and said immigrants “must not be targeted in raids solely because they are Californians.” She added that the only intent for a massive sweep in the Bay Area would be politically motivated.
“The administration is carrying out its enforcement actions to make a political point and not based on the security of the country,” says Sen. Feinstein, according to The Chronicle.
People may be wondering how and where these raids will be conducted?
We need to take direct action to prevent American immigration officers from laying a hand on any California residents. ICE must not be permitted to run free conducting roundups in the Bay Area, or anywhere else in the Republic of California. We need to send ICE out of California.
— Calexiteer (@LouisJMarinelli) January 18, 2018
The Chronicle reports that ICE may already have people targeted.
“The operation would go after people who have been identified as targets for deportation, including those who have been served with final deportation orders and those with criminal histories, the source said. The number could tick up if officers come across other undocumented immigrants in the course of their actions and make what are known as collateral arrests.”
One glimmer of good news for undocumented immigrants who may be feeling scared is that local police will not be assisting ICE agents in locating any individuals.
Yesterday, Sen. Feinstein and Sen. Kamala Harris wrote a letter to ICE director Thomas D. Homan, and asked to be immediately informed about the supposed raids.
News of a massive ICE raid in Bay Area causing fear in immigrant commmunities. CA Attorney General to address rumor today & remind employers what their responsibilities are under CA law #ABC7now pic.twitter.com/7OEaMfSUcs
— Janine De la Vega (@JanineDLV) January 18, 2018
“We are deeply concerned that rather than focusing efforts on violent criminals, raids carried out in neighborhoods and workplaces could result in the deportation of individuals who are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time,” the letter read.
“We firmly believe that law enforcement must prioritize dangerous criminals and not undocumented immigrants who do not pose a threat to public safety,” they added.
While President Donald Trump has had major issue with California, some speculate that ICE is targeting the Bay Area not just because it’s a Sanctuary City but also because of the recent acquittal of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, an undocumented immigrant who was found not guilty of murdering Kate Steinle in a highly publicized trial.