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ICE to target undocumented criminal immigrants visiting courthouses

February 5, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
ICE to target undocumented criminal immigrants visiting courthouses

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The head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released a new directive this week requesting that immigration officers target criminal undocumented immigrants appearing in courthouses across the U.S. The judgment is considered by some as a slap against sanctuary jurisdictions where police are not permitted to pickup up illegals in the confines of a jail.

A new directive released this week by ICE officials ordered law enforcement to focus on undocumented immigrants in courthouses anywhere in the county. Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan approved the order on January 10th, CBS San Francisco reported.

“Federal, state, and local law enforcement officials engage in activity in courthouses throughout the country because many individuals appearing in courthouses are wanted for unrelated criminal or civil violations,” Director Homan indicated in the directive. “ICE’s activities in these same courthouses are consistent with longstanding law practices, nationwide. And, courthouse arrests are often necessitated by the unwillingness of jurisdictions to cooperate with ICE in the transfer of custody of aliens from their prisons.”

Homan maintained that the refusal by local law enforcement officials in sanctuary jurisdictions puts his deputies in danger.

“The State of California wants to put politics ahead of public safety,” Homan said in an interview with Fox News in January. “What they’ve done is force officers to arrest criminals on their turf — in their homes and place of business — rather than arresting them in the safety of a county jail.”

Homan added: “When you release a public safety threat back to the public, it’s a foolish decision.”

During the interview, Homan threatened to have officers in sanctuary jurisdictions charged with infringing upon federal law.

“I think we charge some of these cities with violating federal law,” Homan said, adding that the DOJ must “hold these politicians accountable. More citizens will die because of these policies. These politicians can’t make decisions and be held unaccountable for people dying.”

George Gascon, the San Francisco District Attorney, disputed the directive.

“I will tell you unequivocally, I will not cooperate,” he told a reporter from KPIX5. “I will not sign an agreement, and I want to make it clear to our community that they will be safe when they come to us.”

Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauyey, of California, reacted to the policy in a statement that read: “If followed correctly, this directive is a good start. It’s essential that we protect the integrity of our state justice system and protect the people who use it.”

The policy instructs agents to focus on targeted criminal immigrants only (with exceptions which must be approved by supervisors).

The directive calls for deportation officials to use the “non-public” areas of the courthouses whenever possible and to evade situations that might be “unnecessarily alarming to the public.”

Director Homan has quickly raised pressure on criminal aliens and gang members who are illegally in the country. Last January, Homan came under fire for stating that illegals should “be afraid” under the Trump administration while he testified before Congress.

After a speech at the Central American Prosperity and Security Conference last June, Homan defended his comments and told a CNN reporter, “It needed to be said. You should be afraid–if you lie on your taxes, you’ve got to be worried, ‘Is the IRS going to audit me?’ … When you speed down the highway, you’ve got to worry, ‘Am I going to get a ticket?’ You worry. It’s natural behavior.”

During a border security expo in Texas, Homan again defended himself saying: “I’ll never back down on those words. If you violate the laws, if you enter illegally―which is a crime―it’s not going to be OK.”

Homan took the chance to criticize officials in sanctuary communities.

“When they’ve seen what we’ve seen, then they can have an opinion,” Homan said to immigration agents and officials. “Until then, we’re going to enforce the law without apology. I’m not going to stop talking.”

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