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ICE agents arrest 150 people in California despite warning from Oakland mayor

February 28, 2018  |  Posted by: Michael Falzarano
ICE agents arrest 150 people in California despite warning from Oakland mayor

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents detained more than 150 people in California days after Oakland’s mayor warned of the raids.

ICE officials announced Tuesday that immigration agents initiated a three-day sweep on Sunday made arresting the targets during raids covering the cities of Sacramento in the north to Stockton in the Central Valley.

According to CBS Local, half of those arrested had criminal convictions and were charged with being in the country illegally.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf on Saturday warned residents that “credible sources” had told her a sweep was imminent, calling it her “duty and moral obligation” to warn families.

Schaaf told the San Francisco Chronicle Tuesday that the warning “was meant to give all residents time to learn their rights and know their legal options.”

Lawmakers across the state from Gov. Jerry Brown down to local mayors have opposed the immigration crackdown by the Trump administration, arguing it arbitrarily punishes law-abiding people and separates families, which includes children born in the U.S.

In a statement, Acting ICE director Thomas Homan ripped Schaaf and her city for suggesting the sweep targeted so-called “sanctuary cities” that limits collaboration between ICE and local authortiies

“Sanctuary jurisdictions like San Francisco and Oakland shield dangerous criminal aliens from federal law enforcement at the expense of public safety,” Homan said. “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.”

Proponents of sanctuary cities say the practice actually improves public safety by developing trust among law enforcement and immigrant communities and maintains limited police resources for more urgent crime-fighting requirements.

ICE said those arrested included several people with convictions for crimes such as assault with a deadly weapon, including a man who had been previously deported to Mexico eight times.

However, Schaaf defended her actions Tuesday night.

“I do not regret sharing this information,” Schaaf said. “It is Oakland’s legal right to be a sanctuary city and we have not broken any laws. We believe our community is safer when families stay together.”

The immigration raids was the second sweep since a statewide sanctuary law took effect in January.

ICE agents detained over 200 people earlier this month in the Los Angeles area.

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