U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has confirmed 150 arrests of people in Northern California this past weekend. The agency says most were unauthorized immigrants and that about half have criminal convictions.
ICE issued a statement Tuesday confirming what some activists had already reported: that agents were conducting operations in several Bay Area and Central Valley cities.
The severity of the crimes committed was not listed in all of the cases, and no names were provided. In response to a question for clarification, ICE spokesperson James Schwab wrote that, “a criminal alien is someone who is here illegally and has been convicted of a crime.”
California’s TRUST Act and sanctuary state law prevents the arrest and deportation of many non-violent and less-dangerous offenders, and also limits ways that local law enforcement can cooperate with ICE.
In a statement released Tuesday, the agency’s San Francisco field office cited several offenders, including two Sureños gang members, one of whom was arrested in Sacramento.
ICE says that person has convictions for spousal abuse, felony possession of a firearm, threatening with intent to terrorize, and several others.
Also in Sacramento, a Guatemalan citizen with a conviction for false imprisonment was arrested.
ICE arrested one person in Bay Point who it says has been deported eight times.
Agents also arrested a Honduran citizen who has multiple arrests for cocaine trafficking and one arrest for sex with a minor.
The agency called out Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s for warning citizens of ICE operations last week. The agency’s Deputy Director, Thomas D. Homan, accused the mayor of putting officers in danger. In response, Schaaf defended her decision.
Homan says 864 “criminal aliens and public safety threats” were not located in this last weekend’s raids.
A network of activist groups, including The Sacramento Immigration Coalition, previously issued a statement in response to the weekend’s ICE actions. It said in part that “we must remember that immigrants are a vital part of our communities and no amount of intimidation can silence the truth or suppress our values.
“We will continue to stand up for our values and respond with power, not panic,” the statement read.
Update: On Thursday, March 1, ICE released a statement that said agents had arrested 232 people in Northern California this week.
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