- Federal immigration officials are reportedly preparing for a major sweep in Northern California after the director of ICE threatened to target California for becoming a sanctuary state.
California Sens. Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein sent a letter to Homan Wednesday expressing concern that "rather than focusing efforts on violent criminals, raids carried out in neighborhoods and workplaces could result in the deportation of individuals who are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time".
Attorney General Xavier Becerra said while it is the federal government's responsibility to protect the nation's borders, the goal should be public safety, not deporting otherwise law-abiding immigrants who are in the country illegally.
According to the SFGate report, ICE authorities will be targeting the sanctuary state in a few weeks.
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The resolution is also in response to recent reports that the Department of Justice is considering arresting state and local officials if they enforce so-called sanctuary policies: Earlier this month, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Thomas Homan said on Fox News that the Justice Department needs to "start charging some of these politicians" in sanctuary cities.
California became the key ideological battleground in the debate over sanctuary jurisdictions with the killing of 32-year-old Kate Steinle by an illegal alien - who had been deported several times and convicted of multiple felonies - in July 2015.
Homan in a January 2 interview to Fox News said, "California better hold on tight" and if local politicians "don't want to protect their communities, then ICE will". "The letter states these statements are a direct threat to Californians and we request a meeting with Secretary Nielsen and Acting Director Homan so that he may clarify his statements before members of Congress". Mayor Libby Schaaf said she is ready to go to jail to oppose the move by ICE. Within a week of taking office, President Donald Trump ordered that 287 (g) and other mechanisms for more local cooperation be used. "We want to protect families, not tear them apart".
Last week, ICE agents descended upon hundreds of 7-Eleven stores across the country to check on employees' immigration status.
Activists have been urging people to document the raids on video for evidence.