If you happened to be in or around Los Angeles this week you may have seen some new visitors in town wearing ICE/Police body armor. They’ve been paying visits to a number of businesses and residences, rounding up illegal aliens and scheduling them for deportation hearings. Their primary targets are those with known criminal records, but since they have to go out into the community to locate these criminals (rather than picking them up from local law enforcement when they get picked up for other crimes), they’re encountering and arresting some with little or no criminal records as well.
Thus far they’ve captured more than 100 and they’re not done yet. ICE spokeswoman Sarah Rodriguez would not comment on the specifics of an ongoing operation but did explain why they’re having to do it this way. (Los Angeles Times)
“This means that, ideally, we are working with local police and county jails to identify public safety threats in their custody, who are also in the country illegally, for deportation,” Rodriguez said in a written statement.
However, “uncooperative jurisdictions” like Los Angeles have forced ICE agents to “conduct at-large arrests in the community, putting officers, the general public and the aliens at greater risk and increasing the incidence of collateral arrests.
“That is what ICE is now doing in Los Angeles, and what ICE will continue to do in uncooperative jurisdictions,” Rodriguez stated.
Clearly, “uncooperative jurisdictions” is just a nicer way of saying sanctuary cities. And what we’re seeing in L.A. this week demonstrates precisely the pointless nature of these sanctuary policies and the dangerous conditions they are causing.
One of the biggest complaints coming from the liberal bastions of the #RESIST movement is that illegal aliens who are “otherwise innocent” (meaning they haven’t been found committing any other crimes beyond violating federal immigration laws) are being deported. While that’s an odd complaint to make about individuals who are, by definition, in violation of the law, let’s take them at their word. ICE isn’t sending out lists of those people to the local cops because they’re too far down on the priority list. They would like to start with the ones who have serious criminal records.
If Los Angeles (and the rest of the sanctuary state of California) was honoring detainers, notifying ICE and holding those higher priority illegal aliens for them, the problem would be solved. Agents could pick them up at local jails in a secure environment where they are unarmed and unlikely to be able to flee. Far fewer agents would be required and the community would be safer as a result. And since the ones who aren’t committing other crimes are unlikely to be in jail cells, the low priority illegals wouldn’t get swept up.
But because the “uncooperative jurisdictions” are behaving like spoiled children, ICE has to do it the hard way. They’re out in the community seeking out the high priority criminals themselves. If any of them are armed or put officers in vehicular pursuit situations, both agents and innocent bystanders are placed in danger. Also, if ICE raids a house for one of these targets and finds five other people there who aren’t on the list but are also in the country illegally, obviously they’re going to pick them up as a matter of convenience. Just because they aren’t a high priority doesn’t mean that they aren’t eligible for deportation.
So if any of you are complaining about these ICE sweeps in California, go talk to your elected representatives. They brought this on themselves. And their lack of cooperation does not mean that federal immigration enforcement officials are going to turn a blind eye or stop doing their jobs.