CORRECT TARGETING: Source: ICE Targeting ‘Sanctuary Cities’ with RaidsPosted: March 24, 2017
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been targeting so-called “sanctuary cities” with increased enforcement operations in an effort to pressure those jurisdictions to cooperate with federal immigration agents, a senior US immigration official with direct knowledge of ongoing ICE actions told CNN.
A sanctuary city is a broad term applied to states, cities and/or counties that have policies in place designed to limit cooperation or involvement in the enforcement of federal immigration operations. More than 100 US jurisdictions — among them New York, Los Angeles and Chicago — identify as such.
High-ranking ICE officials have discussed in internal meetings carrying out more raids on those locations, said the source.
This week, a federal judge in Texas seems to have confirmed that tactic. US Magistrate Judge Andrew Austin revealed during an immigration hearing Monday that a mid-February raid in the Austin metro area was done in retaliation for a local sheriff’s recent decision to limit her department’s cooperation with ICE.
“There’s been questions about whether Austin is being targeted. We had a briefing…. that we could expect a big operation, agents coming in from out of town. There was going to be a specific operation, and it was at least related to us in that meeting that it was a result of the sheriff’s new policy that this was going to happen,” Austin says in audio of the proceedings provided by the court.
The judge’s comments came as he questioned an ICE agent about a recent unrelated arrest.
Austin said that in a late January meeting, local ICE officials told him and another federal judge that an upcoming enforcement operation was being done in direct response to Sheriff Sally Hernandez’s adoption of a sanctuary policy in Travis County.
Earlier this year, Hernandez announced that beginning in February, her department would no longer honor ICE detainers unless the individual was arrested for murder, sexual assault or human trafficking, or a warrant had been issued. A detainer is a 48-hour hold request placed on suspected undocumented immigrants in local jails until federal agents can come in and take over the case.
A showdown in Travis County, Texas
It is a significant shift in the county’s immigration enforcement policy that has put the newly elected Democratic sheriff at odds with pro-enforcement local and state officials, including the Texas Senate, which recently passed a bill that withholds state dollars from sanctuary cities and Gov. Greg Abbott, who cut $1.5 million in funding to the county.
Days after Hernandez enacted the new measure, a series of immigration raids in Austin netted 51 arrests, fueling speculation that the city was being intentionally targeted. The judge’s comments in open court have further fanned those flames.
“My understanding, what was told to us, is that one of the reasons that happened was because the meetings that had occurred between the (ICE) field office director and the sheriff didn’t go very well,” said Judge Austin during the hearing. CNN reached out to the judge, but he declined to comment further.
Hernandez refused to comment because she was not present at the meeting between the judges and immigration agents.
ICE categorically denied any suggestion that planned operations were specifically aimed at the sheriff’s county. … (read more)
- Sanctuary Cities in US Swell to 600 Ahead of Potential Funding Cuts, Which Obama Admin Also Proposed (ijr.com)
- Poll: Americans oppose sanctuary cities, support Trump’s immigration agenda (hotair.com)
- Los Angeles Demands That Federal Immigration Officials Stop Calling Themselves “Police” (motherjones.com)
- Detroit will stand as ‘pro-immigration, welcoming city,’ mayor says (mlive.com)
- How A City Becomes A Sanctuary (thefader.com)
- DHS names local jails that won’t hold illegal immigrants (foxnews.com)
- Trump’s Sanctuary City Fight Could Hurt His Infrastructure Plans (newsy.com)