Monday, October 21, 2019

More than a 100 people arrested after immigration raids in California

Federal immigration agents have reportedly detained more than 100 people in ongoing sweeps in the Los Angeles area, targeting undocumented people.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesperson Danielle Bennett tells NPR in an email that the agency is going after “individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety and border security.”

The immigration raids, which began Sunday, are pursuing roughly 400 people across seven Southern California counties. Bennett blamed “uncooperative jurisdictions,” like Los Angeles, for making the agency use additional resources to carry out the arrests.

The state of California began limiting cooperation with federal immigration officials this year after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill in October to create a “sanctuary state.” It blocks the police from acting as immigration agents and bars state and local law enforcement from inquiring an individual’s immigration status.

The Trump administration has pushed for increased deportations and attempted to punish sanctuary cities that refused to cooperate by withholding federal funding. Earlier this month ICE has conducted multiple raids in the state; it demanded proof of legal status for employees at 77 businesses in Northern California and a few weeks before that, ICE raided 7-Eleven stores around the country.

California police and city officials say undocumented immigrants may not help with other police investigations if they fear being targeted for deportation by coming forward. The Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has echoed the sentiment of the governor and has been adamant about the state’s position.

“We absolutely are a city that not only does provide sanctuary to immigrants, but we defend them” he told NPR last year.

NPR