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Calif. Lawmakers Seek Answers On Recent Immigration Raids

Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP

This Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, photo released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows foreign nationals being arrested during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP

The top Democratic state lawmakers say they want more transparency about recent immigration raids in California. They filed a Freedom of Information Act request Monday with the Department of Homeland Security.

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon says the raids caused confusion and panic.

He says one of his concerns is whether U.S. Immigrations and Customs agents are conducting indiscriminate raids at what are known as "sensitive locations" like churches or schools.

De Leon says the Freedom Of Information Act request seeks clarity from the Department of Homeland Security: "What is the exact criteria, specifically? Let us know so as policymakers of a state like California, it will help inform us on the policies we need to move forward to better protect these families in California."

A spokesperson for ICE provided a 2011 document from the Department of Homeland Security with guidance on ICE operations near schools, churches and community centers. ICE says those rules are still in place.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon says he's looking for clarity about whether individuals who qualify for the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals - the DACA program started under the Obama administration in 2012 - could be swept up in immigration raids even if they were not the intended target.

A spokesperson from ICE provided a statement saying, "Aliens granted deferred action from deportation who are subsequently found to pose a threat to national security or public safety may have their deferred action terminated at any time and DHS may seek their removal from the U.S."