ICE Accuses Oakland City Council of Encouraging Interference in Deportations
The head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has accused the Oakland City Council of encouraging residents to interfere with immigration raids by passing a resolution directing officers of the Oakland Police Department not to “collude” with immigration agents.
The resolution in question was passed unanimously Tuesday night in response to an ICE raid in August during which local police assisted federal agents with traffic control while they served a questionable warrant in West Oakland.
It builds on legislation passed in July “cutting ties” with ICE, and clarifies that Oakland police are not to collude with federal immigration agents in any aspect of their operations, including traffic control.
This is in keeping with Oakland’s sanctuary city policies – which supporters have argued improve public safety by allowing undocumented immigrants who have witnessed or been the victims of a crime to come forward
without risking deportation.
“If members of the Oakland City Council are truly concerned about undermining the rule of law and about public safety, perhaps they should look in the mirror,” ICE Deputy Director Thomas Homan said in a statement.
“Sanctuary cities knowingly and intentionally release criminal aliens, who are already in the country in violation of the law, back onto the streets where they can reoffend in the very communities they live in – threatening public safety.”
Homan claimed that by preventing ICE from arresting immigrants in local jails, sanctuary cities force his agents to make those arrests out in the community where there’s an “increased risk to public safety,” and agents will “likely encounter other illegal aliens that weren’t previously on our radar.”
“It also sends a message to the community that encourages disrespect and interference in lawful ICE operations,” Homan said.
This showdown between Oakland and the federal government is developing amid reports that ICE is planning a massive operation in Northern California, specifically targeting sanctuary jurisdictions like Oakland and
The mayors of both cities have gone on record stating their willingness to go to jail in response from statements Homan made to Fox News indicating that he’d like to see leaders from sanctuary cities face criminal
charges for obstructing his agency’s attempts to deport undocumented immigrants.