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Politics

Lawmakers Seek Answers On Recent Immigration Raids In California

This photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows foreign nationals being arrested this week during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Feb. 7, 2017.
Charles Reed / U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP
This photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows foreign nationals being arrested this week during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Feb. 7, 2017.

The top Democratic state lawmakers said they want more transparency about recent immigration raids in California. They have filed a Freedom of Information Act request Monday with the Department of Homeland Security.

RELATED: Rumors Of Immigration Raids, Checkpoints In San Diego Are Largely Unfounded

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon said the raids caused confusion and panic.

He said one of his concerns is whether U.S. Immigrations and Customs agents are conducting indiscriminate raids at what are known as "sensitive locations" like churches or schools.

De Leon said the Freedom Of Information Act request seeks clarity from the Department of Homeland Security: "What is the exact criteria, specifically? Let us know so as policymakers of a state like California it will help inform us on the policies we need to move forward to better protect these families in California."

A spokesperson for ICE provided a 2011 document from the Department of Homeland Security with guidance on ICE operations near schools, churches and community centers. ICE said those rules are still in place.

RELATED: San Diego Law Enforcement Awaits Clarity On Trump’s Immigration Order

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said he is looking for clarity about whether individuals who qualify for the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals - the DACA program started under the Obama administration in 2012 - could be swept up in immigration raids even if they were not the intended target

A spokesperson from ICE provided a statement saying, "Aliens granted deferred action from deportation who are subsequently found to pose a threat to national security or public safety may have their deferred action terminated at any time and DHS may seek their removal from the U.S."