ICE Immigration Raids Expected To Begin In 10 Cities On Sunday
Though federal immigration authorities are expected to begin sweeps in Southern California this weekend as part of a nationwide push to arrest undocumented immigrants named in court-ordered deportation warrants, it was unclear Friday if the operation would extend into San Diego County.
Lt. Shawn Takeuchi, spokesman for the San Diego Police Department, said officials at his agency had gotten no word of out-of-the-ordinary actions planned by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities in the city.
"They do their thing, because they have their goals and priorities, which are different than ours," Takeuchi said Friday.
Takeuchi noted that even if they were aware of any such planned raids, personnel with his agency and other local law enforcement bodies are prohibited by state law — and, in the case of the SDPD, internal policy — from using their resources to aid in federal immigration enforcement.
Officials with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department declined to disclose whether they had been told of any such immigration crackdown planned for upcoming days within their area of jurisdiction.
"It would be inappropriate for the Sheriff's Department to comment on operations conducted by other agencies," said Lt. Justin White, media- relations director for the county agency.
Likewise, ICE officials declined to confirm or deny news stories reporting that the sweep will begin Sunday in 10 U.S. cities, including Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami. None of the stories mentioned San Diego as being on the list.
"Due to law enforcement sensitivities and the safety and security of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel, the agency will not offer specific details related to enforcement operations," the federal agency asserted in a prepared statement. "As always, ICE prioritizes the arrest and removal of unlawfully present aliens who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security."
Though ICE sought to keep its strategies for heightened enforcement under wraps, the Los Angeles Police Department issued a statement confirming the reported plans for an immigration sweep this weekend.
"The department is aware of upcoming Immigration and Customs Enforcement actions beginning this Sunday, directed toward individuals who have been issued final deportation orders," the LAPD stated. "These enforcement actions will include individuals residing in the Los Angeles region. The department is not participating or assisting in any of these enforcement actions."
About 140 people are being targeted in Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reported.
In its statement, LAPD said its leadership had told members of the local Latino community that Los Angeles police officers would not be participating in the federal actions.
"We are committed to protecting the public through meaningful relationship building and community partnerships," the agency asserted.
Before kicking off his reelection campaign, President Donald Trump tweeted Monday night that ICE agents "will begin deporting the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States ... as fast as they come in."
Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in. Mexico, using their strong immigration laws, is doing a very good job of stopping people.......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 18, 2019
Taking a stand against the president's planned immigration sweep, California Gov. Gavin Newsom called the impetus for the proposed raids "cruel" and "misdirected" and said the prospect of their becoming reality was "creating unnecessary fear and anxiety."
Newsom said he wanted state residents to know "they have legal rights and protections, regardless of their immigration status."
"California is a place of refuge — that includes our schools, our courts and our hospitals and clinics," the governor said. "We hold certain institutions sacred, and people should continue to access programs and services they need."