172 Immigrants Arrested in Sanctuary Cities by ICE in Six Days
Monday, October 19, 2020

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and United States Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) concluded a targeted enforcement operation, which lasted for a week. The operation resulted in 170+ at-large illegal immigrants arrested throughout the United States in states with sanctuary policies.

About the Immigrants Arrested

ICE officers from the field offices of New York; Seattle; Denver; Philadelphia; Baltimore; and Washington, D.C., conducted the enforcement actions from October 3 through October 9. The arrests were targeted on aliens who have criminal convictions and were arrested but released by state or local law enforcement agencies despite having immigration detainers placed on the immigrants. In a press release, ICE announced that out of the 170+ arrested, more than 80% of the aliens arrested had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges at the time of the arrest.

The immigrants arrested include 54 in New York; 35 in Seattle; 34 in Denver; 26 in Philadelphia; 12 in Baltimore; and 11 in Washington, D.C. Just at the end of September, ICE announced the arrest of 128 aliens in California from where the operation was conducted from September 28 to October 2, as part of immigration enforcement actions. The news released by ICE also had data of the arrested aliens in the fiscal year 2019: ICE arrested more than 1,900 convictions and charges for homicide, 1,800 for kidnapping, 12,000 sex offenses, 5, 000 sexual assaults, 45,000 assaults, 67,000 crimes involving drugs, 10,000 weapons offenses, and 74,000 DUIs.

Acting DHS Secretary Chad F. Wolf said, “Last fiscal year, 86 percent of people arrested by ICE had criminal convictions or pending charges. ICE focuses its resources on those who pose the greatest threat to public safety. The men and women of ICE put their lives on the line every day to keep these individuals off the streets,” He further stated that, “The Department will continue to carry out lawful enforcement actions in order to keep our communities safe, regardless of whether or not we have cooperation from state and local officials. Politics will not come before safety when enforcing the law and keeping our citizens safe.”

Though the arrests made by ICE hints that it primarily targets immigrants with a criminal record, the press release by ICE stated that it does not exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.

About Sanctuary States

Sanctuary states are states with immigrant-friendly laws, that restrict cooperation with federal immigration authorities. The non-cooperation by the state or local law enforcement agencies acts as an impediment in ICE’s ability to arrest criminal aliens in such communities. It further stated that all those in violation of immigration laws can be subject to arrest, detention, and subsequently removable based on a removal order. Additionally, ICE stated that cooperation with local law enforcement is essential to maintaining public safety.


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