In multiple raids in several cities, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested nearly 500 persons wanted for immigration violations during a four-day operation that ended on Wednesday. Operation ‘Safe City’ allowed ICE to arrest 498 persons in cities and regions where officers are denied access to jails and prisons by local authorities to interview suspected immigration violators or jurisdictions where ICE detainers are not honored.
In the so-called “sanctuary” cities and other jurisdictions, ICE targeted foreigners from some 42 different countries who have criminal convictions, pending criminal charges, gang affiliations, immigration fugitives, fugitives who illegally re-entered America after deportation. However, persons who currently benefit from the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy (DACA) were not targeted.
“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,” said ICE Acting Director Tom Homan. “As a result, ICE is forced to dedicate more resources to conduct at-large arrests in these communities.” He went on to say that ICE seeks to build cooperation with other law enforcement authorities to prevent the release of dangeorus criminal aliens to the streets. Homan said that sanctuary policies, “severely undermine that effort at the expense of public safety.”
Operation Safe City made arrests in the following cities: Baltimore (28), Cook County, Illinois (30), Denver (63), Los Angeles (101), New York (45), Philadelphia (107), Portland, Ore. (33), Santa Clara County, Calif (27); Washington, D.C. (14), and the state of Massachusetts (50).
Among those arrested during the operation were:
In Baltimore, a citizen of El Salvador who entered the U.S. illegally on a fraudulent passport, and was previously charged with attempted murder/conspiracy to commit murder and convicted of first degree assault. She was previously released from local custody before ICE could assume custody.
In Boston, a citizen of India who entered the U.S. illegally and who was convicted of indecent assault/battery on a person over 14 and was required to register as a sex offender.
In Denver, a citizen of Guatemala with lawful permanent legal status who was previously convicted of felony menacing, 6 DUIs, child abuse, assault and domestic violence harassment.
In Los Angeles, a citizen of Mexico and documented Colonia Chiques gang member who entered the United States illegally. At the time of his arrest, the subject rammed multiple law enforcement vehicles in an effort to evade arrest. After he was placed under arrest, a search of his person revealed a loaded handgun in his pocket. The subject was turned over to local authorities and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, probation in possession of firearm, carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a loaded firearm in public.
In San Francisco, a citizen of El Salvador who entered the country illegally and who has previous convictions for sex with a minor under 16. He was previously released from local custody before ICE could assume custody.
In San Jose, a citizen of Mexico who entered the U.S. on a visa and overstayed that visa for more than 10 years. He was previously convicted of felony possession and purchase of narcotics, possession of a controlled substance for sale, and felony child cruelty with the possibility of injury or death. He was previously released from local custody before ICE could assume custody.
Of the 498 individuals arrested:
317 had criminal convictions.
68 are immigration fugitives;
104 are previously deported criminal aliens
18 are gang members or affiliates.
Among the criminal convictions attributed to the aliens arrested by the operation:
Aggravated assault 6
Indecent Assault and Battery on a Child 2
Aggravated assault weapon 7
Assault - Domestic Violence 2
Negligent manslaughter vehicle 1
Cruelty toward child 4
Robbery weapon 3
Domestic violence 12
Sexual exploitation of minor 1
Driving under influence 86
False citizenship 1
Theft of us government property 1
Identity theft 3
Weapon offense 11
Illegal entry 3
According to a statement from ICE, some of the individuals arrested will face federal criminal prosecution for illegal entry and illegal re-entry after removal. “The arrestees who are not being federally prosecuted will be processed administratively for removal from the United States. Those who have outstanding orders of removal, or who returned to the United States illegally after being removed, are subject to immediate removal from the country. The remaining individuals are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.”