Following hundreds of arrests by federal immigration authorities in February, legislators in California have filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for information regarding recent Department of Homeland Security policies and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) activities.
Democrat California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon filed the request.
The lawmakers noted in a statement that federal authorities appear to be more strictly imposing immigration law with a recent “surge in enforcement activities.” According to the statement, those authorities have offered “limited information,” despite repeated requests.
California has 5.4 million non-citizen immigrants residing in the state, and nearly half of all children there have at least one immigrant parent.
“When the safety of Californians is at stake, we must demand greater transparency, with the backing of federal courts if necessary,” the legislators claimed. “The lives and physical safety of many thousands of Californians—citizens and immigrants, documented and undocumented—depend upon knowing this information.”
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February’s immigration raids across the country yielded hundreds of arrests of illegal aliens, many without a criminal record. According to ICE, the activity was “routine.”
The FOIA request seeks details regarding recent federal enforcement in California, including the placement of ICE agents outside a Southern California church shelter to “ambush, arrest and detain homeless individuals seeking warmth there.”
Lawmakers also pointed to the case an illegal alien woman arrested at a courthouse where she was attempting to obtain a protective order against her husband.
Legislators also want details about ICE and Department of Homeland Security enforcement efforts in California near “sensitive” areas, such as schools, hospitals, and churches. They are seeking clarification on detainees’ access to lawyers and policy regarding people in the Dreamers program who were brought to the U.S. as children.
Additionally, lawmakers have asked for information about the 161 illegal aliens detained and deported in an intensive five-day sweep in Los Angeles County in February.
The Sacramento Bee reported that a spokesman for ICE cited the agency’s website as a source of information about policies concerning sensitive locations, and noted that some information about detainees may not be available due to privacy concerns.
H/T: The Huffington Post
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