California Gov. Jerry Brown laid down the gauntlet in October by signing legislation enacting a statewide sanctuary law in his efforts to protect illegal immigrants who live in his state. According to a new report in SF Gate published on Wednesday, acting ICE Director Thomas Homan is prepared to take action against Brown’s defiant move in the not-too-distant future.
Homan stated at the time that Brown’s signing of SB54 undermined public safety and made it clear that the federal government would not allow California to be “a sanctuary state for illegal aliens.” He further acknowledged that in light of Brown’s decision, he would have no choice but to “conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at work-sites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests, instead of focusing on arrests at jails and prisons where transfers are safer for ICE officers and the community.”
Earlier this month, Homan issued an ominous warning to illegal immigrants hiding behind Brown’s “sanctuary” law: “California better hold on tight,” he said in an interview with Fox News, noting that if local politicians “don’t want to protect their communities, then ICE will.”
To that end, SF Gate warned, “U.S. immigration officials have begun preparing for a major sweep in San Francisco and other Northern California cities in which federal officers would look to arrest more than 1,500 undocumented people while sending a message that immigration policy will be enforced in the sanctuary state, according to a source familiar with the operation.”
Officials at Immigration and Customs Enforcement, known as ICE, declined to comment Tuesday on plans for the operation, the news outlet wrote before citing an anonymous source.
According to SF Gate:
The campaign, centered in the Bay Area, could happen within weeks, and is expected to become the biggest enforcement action of its kind under President Trump, said the source, who requested anonymity because the plans have not been made public.
The operation would go after people who have been identified as targets for deportation, including those who have been served with final deportation orders and those with criminal histories, the source said. The number could tick up if officers come across other undocumented immigrants in the course of their actions and make what are known as collateral arrests.
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein expressed outrage when she heard the news on Tuesday, saying immigrants “must not be targeted in raids solely because they are Californians.” She claimed, “The administration is carrying out its enforcement actions to make a political point and not based on the security of the country.”
An ICE spokesman in San Francisco, James Schwab, said in an email Tuesday that the agency “doesn’t comment on future or current operations.”
But that didn’t stop the SF Gate from quoting other sources that said, “The plan calls for immigration officers to be flown in from other parts of the country to help carry out the operation. The sweep could span more than one day and will include enforcement of work sites suspected of illegally employing undocumented immigrants.”
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) January 13, 2018
ICE Director Thomas Homan on 7-Eleven raids targeting illegal aliens: ‘It’s one of many to come’ pic.twitter.com/vnssSOZoU1
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) January 11, 2018
Breaking from @Haleaziz: U.S. immigration officials have begun preparing for a major Bay Area sweep in which feds would look to arrest more than 1,500 undocumented people in “worksites suspected of illegally employing undocumented immigrants”https://t.co/SM3PNvNC0N
— Paolo Lucchesi (@lucchesi) January 17, 2018