Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested nearly 500 immigrants in a multi-day national raid that specifically targeted areas with the so-called “sanctuary city” policies that have infuriated Donald Trump and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III. According to Huffington Post, around a third of the immigrants swept up by federal immigration agents had no criminal record at all. So-called “sanctuary cities” follow the law, but because Trump and America’s most racist Keebler elf have lost court battles to squash these locally decided policies, they needed something to soothe their shattered egos and establish an upper hand. We got “Operation Safe City”:
“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.”
“ICE’s goal is to build cooperative, respectful relationships with our law enforcement partners to help prevent dangerous criminal aliens from being released back onto the streets,” Homan added. “Non-cooperation policies severely undermine that effort at the expense of public safety.”
But for an administration promoting a “Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community” platform, they do little listening to actual cops, who say that nativist policies actually make their jobs harder by breaking the fragile trust between immigrant communities and local police. “That includes the Fraternal Order of Police,” notes America’s Voice, “a membership organization which endorsed Donald Trump in the 2016 election but has since told him to back off the idea of punishing cities or their police departments for immigrant-friendly sanctuary policies.”
What advocates worry about in particular are the so-called “collateral arrests,” a callous term ICE uses to describe immigrants who are not targeted for a raid but are taken into custody anyway because they happened to be there. ICE does this constantly. In an operation last month targeting immigrants who arrived to the U.S. as youth, seventy percent arrested weren’t targets. And after news of the operation leaked earlier this month, ICE canceled what would have been the largest raid in the agency’s history, targeting over 8,000 immigrants. They’ll most certainly try again, and “collateral arrests” could number into the thousands.
As David Leopold, former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, tweeted: “Trump is incompetent. But his … deportation force operates with ruthless efficiency; tearing apart families across the U.S.”