Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested more than 100 illegal immigrants with criminal histories in California over the past few weeks as part of an ongoing sting operation.
ICE officers took into custody 128 people in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco between Sept. 18 and Oct. 3, according to Department of Homeland Security Chief Chad Wolf. About 96% of those arrested had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges at the time of arrest, but had been released from jail by sanctuary cities, Wolf said.
One illegal immigrant arrested in Los Angeles was a 40-year-old El Salvador native convicted of first-degree murder in 2009. The illegal immigrant was released by the Los Angeles County Jail shortly thereafter, Wolf said.
These arrests were apart of ICE’s ongoing deportation sting, which has specifically targeted sanctuary cities, such as Los Angeles.
“When we target sanctuary city policies — or sanctuary cities — it’s not about Republicans, not about Democrats, not about elections,” Wolf said, according to the Washington Examiner.
“It’s about dangerous policies that are dangerous for that community … We’re going to go in there. We’re going to pick up individuals that should not be in those communities — so wherever they’re at. Obviously, we understand, and we know that California has a number of sanctuary cities in their jurisdiction.”
As these stings continue, local neighborhoods and workplaces in sanctuary cities should expect “a more visible ICE presence in California and other noncooperation sanctuary city policies remain in effect,” Wolf said, adding that these operations wouldn’t be necessary if state and local officials simply worked with ICE.
“We’re going to continue enforcement actions across the country,” he said. “ICE has no choice but to conduct more at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and its work sites, which inevitably result in additional collateral arrests instead of targeted arrests at jails where enforcement is safer for everyone involved.”