ICE agents have arrested more than 150 individuals suspected to be in violation of immigration laws in Northern California since Sunday, despite a warning about the operation issued by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
The targeted operation is a continuation of ICE’s efforts to prioritize enforcement against public safety threats, and leads were developed by the local field office in conjunction with the National Criminal Analysis and Targeting Center (NCATC). About half of the individuals arrested had criminal convictions in addition to their immigration violations, including convictions for assault/battery, crimes against children, weapons charges and DUI.
In a statement the day before the operation started, Schaaf warned that it was about to happen. “We want residents to prepare not panic,” she said. “We understand ICE has used activity rumors in the past as a tactic to create fear.”
ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan slammed Schaaf’s actions. “Sanctuary jurisdictions like San Francisco and Oakland shield dangerous criminal aliens from federal law enforcement at the expense of public safety. Because these jurisdictions prevent ICE from arresting criminal aliens in the secure confines of a jail, they also force ICE officers to make more arrests out in the community, which poses increased risks for law enforcement and the public,” he said. “The Oakland mayor’s decision to publicize her suspicions about ICE operations further increased that risk for my officers and alerted criminal aliens – making clear that this reckless decision was based on her political agenda with the very federal laws that ICE is sworn to uphold.”
“Thanks to the dedicated and professional work of ICE deportation officers, we were able to remove many public safety threats from the streets of the Bay Area during the past few days,” Homan added. “However, 864 criminal aliens and public safety threats remain at large in the community, and I have to believe that some of them were able to elude us thanks to the mayor’s irresponsible decision. Unlike the politicians who attempt to undermine ICE’s critical mission, our officers will continue to fulfill their sworn duty to protect public safety.”
Some of the notable arrests include Armando Nunez-Salgado, a gang member who had been removed by ICE on four previous occasions, and a second gang member with numerous offences including battery of a police officer.