A major sweep of San Francisco and elsewhere in northern California is expected in a few weeks that federal immigrations expect will yield the arrest of more than 1,500 illegal immigrants in the area. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the series of raids is expected to be the biggest yet planned by the Trump administration. 

In response, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California -- a liberal Democrat who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee -- accused the Trump administration of seeking to make political points with the raid. She blasted the government for "carrying out its enforcement actions to make a political point and not gbased on the security of the country." The Chronicle quoted Santa Clara University School of law professor Pratheepan Gulasekaram as saying that the raids will "tear up a lot of lives." 

Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed SB54 in October of last year, granting statewide sanctuary for illegal aliens. This led acting ICE Director Thomas Homan to tell Fox News that California should "hold on tight." The upcoming sweep will target people identified for deportation, including those who have already been served with final deportation orders and those with criminal histories. The Chronicle reported that the number of arrests and deportees may increase should officers find other illegal immigrants iand thus make collateral arrests.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed frustration that sanctuary laws encourage immigrants to not cooperate with local law enforcement and inhibit his goal of enforcing immigration laws. One of the stipulations in California's SB54 law denies federal immigration officials the ability to detain illegal immigrants who are held in local jails. In response, acting ICE Director Thomas Homan has said that SB54 “threatened public safety,” and added that the federal government would be forced to conduct massive arrests in the communities that hold such policies.   

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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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