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ICE Arrests 101 People In Los Angeles As Part Of Nationwide Sweep Targeting Sanctuary Cities

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An individual being arrested by an ICE officer during the raids in May. (Photo by Ron Rogers courtesy of ICE)
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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested 101 people in the Los Angeles area during a four-day nation-wide immigration sweep that ended Wednesday. The sweep, known as "Operation Safe City," targeted cities with so-called "sanctuary" protocols in place.

ICE officials specifically went after undocumented immigrants with "criminal convictions, pending criminal charges, known gang members and affiliates, immigration fugitives and those who re-entered the U.S. after deportation," according to ICE. The sweep did not include immigrants with active Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) status.

Of the 101 arrests in Los Angeles, 85 of the individuals had criminal convictions—meaning 16% percent of the Angelenos arrested had no prior criminal convictions, per numbers given to LAist from an ICE spokesperson.

The sweep arrested immigrants in 10 locations across the country. Los Angeles had the second-most arrests, behind 107 arrests in Philadelphia (498 people were arrested in total). The list of locations—which also included New York, Washington D.C., and Baltimore—are all cities where "where ICE deportation officers are denied access to jails and prisons to interview suspected immigration violators or jurisdictions where ICE detainers are not honored." While Los Angeles is not an official "sanctuary city," we do have an LAPD mandate which prohibits officers from asking about an individual's immigration status. L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer has also sued the Trump administration over threats to deny federal fundings to cities with sanctuary status. California is also on the path to passing a landmark "sanctuary state" bill (albeit, one that still includes cooperation between state law enforcement and federal immigration authorities).

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Outside Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Santa Ana, and Malibu are all sanctuary cities, according to CBS.

In reference to these cities, ICE Acting Director Tom Homan said, "[s]anctuary 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,” therefore "forcing" ICE to "dedicate more resources to conduct at-large arrests in these communities.”

The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Los Angeles (CHIRLA), the largest immigrant rights organization in California, decried the "politically motivated" ICE sweeps in a statement released Thursday, characterizing them as a "new low for the Trump administration."

"ICE is a rogue agency with trigger-happy elements who time and time again have demonstrated their lack of human decency and respect for justice and human rights. We have a hard time believing anything ICE has to tell us about those it arrested this week in this dastardly operation. But we are very clear that ICE's actions make our cities unsafe and inflict terror on millions in communities that just want to live with security and liberty."

According to ICE's breakdown of the arrests, 181 of individuals arrested nationwide had no previous criminal conviction.

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ICE has enacted other raids in Los Angeles this year, including a raid in May that led to nearly 200 arrests.