(ESPAÑOL) A nationwide ICE raid over the weekend arrested close to 500 suspected illegal immigrants, with 33 in the Washington and Oregon areas. The ICE operation, dubbed “Safe City,” purported to mainly target those with criminal convictions and charges. Very few of those individuals captured were convicted of violent crimes, according to ICE data. Presumably, the operation is dubbed “Safe City” in reference to the several sanctuary cities which have sprung up across the country purporting to not cooperate with federal immigration officials to protect illegal immigrants.
317 of the suspects had previous criminal convictions, with 86 arrests for DUIs rating as the most common conviction. Although some of those arrested had been convicted of violent prior convictions, many had minor convictions, such as trespassing.
This mirrors the February ICE raid, where nearly half of those detained had no criminal records or traffic offenses, according to published ICE data. Although some individuals had traffic or immigration-related charges pending, they were simply accused and yet to be deemed guilty or not.
“Sanctuary jurisdictions that do not honor detainers or allow us access to jails and prisons are shielding criminal aliens from immigration enforcement and creating a magnet for illegal immigration,” ICE Acting Director Tom Homan said in a statement. “As a result, ICE is forced to dedicate more resources to conduct at-large arrests in these communities.”
One of the so-called sanctuary cities, Seattle, netted ICE 26 arrests during this raid, with another 7 captured in the nearby Oregon area.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said the state won’t be intimidated by actions of the Trump Administration.
“It’s very disturbing, it doesn’t conform to American democracy, to attempt to punish any city or any state for standing up to our legal rights” Inslee said.
Sanctuary cities refuse to honor ICE detainer requests, prohibit employees from communicating with ICE about immigration status, or otherwise protect undocumented immigrants convicted of crimes from deportation.