Make no mistake about it. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) is on a war footing against sanctuary cities and states.
According to an article in The San Francisco Chronicle, the immigration officials at ICE are planning for a major campaign of enforcement action in San Francisco and other sanctuary cities in Northern California. ICE reportedly is attempting to arrest over 1,500 immigrants to send a strong signal that they will pursue undocumented men, women, and children everywhere, despite any local policies designed to limit cooperation with the federal immigration agency.
The upcoming operation, centered on the Bay Area, could take place within weeks, according to a source familiar with the operation, and would be the agency’s largest enforcement action of its kind under Trump, and the first since California Governor Jerry Brown signed off on a state-wide sanctuary bill last October.
Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan angrily vowed to retaliate after Brown signed the legislation, saying that he would not allow the state to become “a sanctuary state for illegal aliens.” He claimed that the Governor’s action gave him no choice except to
“conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests, instead of focusing on arrests at jails and prisons where transfers are safer for ICE officers and the community.”
The source quoted by The Chronicle says that ICE operation would require agents to be shipped in from across the country to take part in the enforcement and that the enforcement action would target worksites suspected of employing illegal immigrants and could last several days.
California politicians were outraged by the news. Senator Dianne Feinstein vowed that immigrants “must not be targeted in raids solely because they are Californians” and said that such a massive operation could only be motivated by partisan concerns.
“The administration is carrying out its enforcement actions to make a political point and not based on the security of the country,” the Senator charged.
One immigration expert, Professor Pratheepan Gulasekaram of Santa Clara University School of Law, criticized the threat from the immigration agency saying:
“This is a bluff since California continues to resist,” he said. “This is more show than anything else. They want to make it seem like they are carrying through on this threat. … I highly doubt that ICE, in the way that it is currently funded, has the ability and resources to maintain something like this on a sustained basis.”
Professor Gulasekaram went on to say that any raids conducted by ICE would destroy lives and families but have “little meaningful outcome on public safety.”
Expect dramatic headlines, and White House gloating, to increase substantially in the weeks to come.