Federal authorities this week targeted so-called sanctuary city's defying President Donald Trump's desired immigration crackdown in a four-day action which saw almost 500 arrested nationwide, including 50 in MA.
They said the operation did not focus on active Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals enrollees but rather on people who have violated immigration laws and had criminal convictions, pending criminal charges or re-entered the United States after deportation. Local police limit the access of federal officials to interview the criminals arrested for crime in local jails and fail to provide proper information.
To counter the problem, Homan said that ICE was forced to allocate more resources and conduct large-scale operations, like the one this week, in those communities. Young people enrolled in DACA, which bars deportation of those who were illegally brought here as children, were not targeted for arrest, authorities said.
The most arrests were made in Philadelphia (107) and Los Angeles (101).
Salvador Sarmiento, a campaign coordinator for the Los Angeles-based National Day Laborers Organizing Network, views the arrests and ICE's publicity about them as a political statement to penalize uncooperative jurisdictions.
Though ICE did not detail the cases of all those arrested, it said that one of the arrests in Denver was of a lawful permanent USA resident from Guatemala who'd been convicted of menacing, several DUIs, child abuse and domestic violence.
Of those, 317 had criminal convictions.
"Non-cooperation policies severely undermine that effort at the expense of public safety", he added. But the Orange County Sheriff's Department has a close relationship with ICE, including a contract that allows deputies to act as immigration agents to interrogate inmates about their legal status.
ICE reported that some of the people arrested during this operation will face federal criminal prosecutions for illegal entry and illegal re-entry after removal.
Those who had outstanding orders of removal or returned to the US illegally after deportation are subject to immediate removal from the country.
"Public safety is about all of us being safe from the hands of Trump's criminalization machine and can not be defined by ICE agents who knock down the doors of our homes with guns and drag people out in front of their children", Almiron said in a statement. It showed ICE agents in plainclothes questioning a Latino man at the courthouse who they mistook for someone else.