Our friends, family and neighbors in Northern California may be facing a major immigration raid from United States Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported that ICE officials will likely undertake a major immigration sweep through the Bay Area that could result in over 1,500 arrests.
In response to these reports, California’s senators are demanding information from the federal government regarding any such raid. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, both Democrats, recently contacted Thomas Homan, the Acting Director of ICE, requesting details on potential raids. The Senators also reportedly asked the agency how it prioritizes raids and insisted on receiving communication on any future immigration raids in California. Representatives from ICE have declined to confirm or deny rumors about the raid.
California’s status as a “sanctuary state” means that its law enforcement officials have minimal cooperation with immigration authorities in arresting undocumented immigrants. Federal immigration leaders have been frank in denouncing the “sanctuary” policy. Mr. Homan made several pointed statements last month criticizing the state of California and insinuating that ICE would not take kindly to the state’s policies.
So far, California leaders have been outspoken in supporting the state’s immigrant community against a federal raid. Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) called the alleged sweep “deeply shameful.” Several law enforcement officials stated that they will not cooperate or participate in any federal immigration raids. In an even bolder move, the Oakland City Council passed a resolution that prohibits its police force from cooperating with federal immigration agents—even to direct the traffic.