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ICE Goes After Sanctuary Cities – Makes Nearly 500 Arrests on Immigration Charges

On Thursday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made the announcement of arresting 498 individuals in jurisdictions that blocked federal immigration enforcement activities.

ICE’s Fugitive Operations teams made those arrests during a four-day operation, which ended Wednsesday, called “Operation Safe City,” an apparent reference to the “Sanctuary City” label politicians use to describe certain areas of the nation.

The majority of the arrests happened in Philadelphia, Denver, New York City, Massachusetts and Los Angeles, ICE said on Thursday. The majority of those arrested had criminal convictions or were deported before.

In a statement, ICE acting Director Tom Homan argued for greater federal immigration resources devoted to sanctuary jurisdictions that failed to cooperate with federal officials.

“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,” he said.

“ICE is forced to dedicate more resources to conduct at-large arrests in these communities,” Homan continued.

Thursday’s news came after months of tough stances from the  Trump administration regarding sanctuary jurisdictions. For example, earlier this month, Homan criticized a new California law that limited cooperation between federal officials and state and local law enforcement.

“By passing this bill, California politicians have chosen to prioritize politics over public safety,” Homan said.

On Thursday, as he did earlier this month, Homan emphasized the importance of cooperation across different levels of law enforcement.

“ICE’s goal is to build cooperative, respectful relationships with our law enforcement partners to help prevent dangerous criminal aliens from being released back onto the streets,” Homan said. “Non-cooperation policies severely undermine that effort at the expense of public safety.”