Wednesday, 30 September 2020

ICE is 'preparing targeted arrests in sanctuary cities to boost Trump's image as a law and order president' as election campaign enters its final month

 President Trump's administration is preparing to carry out an immigration enforcement blitz next month specifically targeting American cities that have adopted 'sanctuary' policies. 

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation could begin later this week in California before being expanded to other cities including Denver and Philadelphia.

The ICE operation is part of Trump's attempt to project himself as a 'law and order' president in the run-up to November's election. 

The Trump administration is planning an October crackdown on 'sanctuary cities' (file photo)

The Trump administration is planning an October crackdown on 'sanctuary cities' (file photo)

Trump is planning to direct his influence at cities, usually Democrat-run, where leaders have 'failed to protect their citizens from dangerous criminals'.

The plans which have been seen by the Washington Post will see acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf travel to at least one of the jurisdictions to promote ICE's work.


Two officials told the Post anonymously that the operation is more about getting a political message across than a major operation by ICE, stressing that the agency is already working hard to combat violators of immigration policy daily, often without much publicity.  

ICE officials have already threatened cities and counties that use sanctuary policies and say the agency will send more agents to make arrests in their jurisdictions if they continue advocating such policies.  

The plan involves ICE entering major Democrat California cities before expanding to Denver and Philadelphia to boost president's image on 'law & order' (file photo)

The plan involves ICE entering major Democrat California cities before expanding to Denver and Philadelphia to boost president's image on 'law & order' (file photo)

Earlier this summer the president hinted that Sanctuary Cities such as New York and Chicago might soon have to change their ways

Earlier this summer the president hinted that Sanctuary Cities such as New York and Chicago might soon have to change their ways

'We do not comment on any law enforcement sensitive issues that may adversely impact our officers and the public,' Mike Alvarez, an ICE spokesman, said on Tuesday. 'However, every day as part of routine operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement targets and arrests criminal aliens and other individuals who have violated our nation's immigration laws.' 

'Generally speaking, as ICE has noted for years, in jurisdictions where cooperation does not exist and ICE is not allowed to assume custody of aliens from jails, ICE is forced to arrest at-large criminal aliens out in the communities instead of under the safe confines of a jail,' he said.

Cities that normally operate with sanctuary policies usually refuse to hold immigrants in jail longer than they are required so that ICE officers can take them into custody. 

Although ICE agents are still able to pick up people suspected of immigration violations they do so without the help of local law enforcement such as a coordinated handover. 

It means that ICE have a much harder time picking up wanted people in cities which do not officially cooperate with the agency.   

Statistics suggest that 70 percent of ICE arrests only occur after the agency is notified about an immigrant's pending release from jail.

Previously, the Trump administration has occasionally threatened to specifically target sanctuary cities.

One plan from earlier this year was to bus migrants from the Mexican border and then release them in San Francisco. 

Since news of the ICE operations have been given greater publicity, many undocumented immigrants have gone even deeper underground over fear that they or their children could be arrested and deported, despite their kids often being U.S. citizens having been born in the country.

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