ICE raids result in arrest of more than 150 Bay Area residents

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Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf warned residents Saturday of possible Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, raids in the San Francisco area, potentially hindering the arrests of more than 800 undocumented immigrants.

More than 150 individuals have been arrested by ICE in areas including San Francisco, Stockton and Sacramento since the raids began Sunday, according to an ICE press release published Wednesday. In the Bay Area, 864 undocumented individuals “remain at large” in part because of Schaaf’s warning, ICE deputy director Thomas D. Homan said in the press release.

“The Oakland mayor’s decision to publicize her suspicions about ICE operations further increased that risk for my officers and alerted criminal aliens — making clear that this reckless decision was based on her political agenda with the very federal laws that ICE is sworn to uphold,” Homan said in the press release.

Schaaf said in a tweet Tuesday that she did not regret her decision to share information regarding ICE operations. She added that Oakland, as a sanctuary city, had not broken any laws.

Homan said in the press release that protocol from sanctuary cities such as San Francisco and Oakland prevents ICE officials from detaining immigrants who are currently imprisoned. As a result, ICE officers make more arrests in the community instead, which poses “increased risks for law enforcement and the public,” according to the press release.

Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín commended Schaaf for alerting Bay Area communities of the potential raids “responsibly” in a manner that did not put ICE agents at risk.

Arreguín added that the raids heightened fears of detainment and deportation within the local community. He said the community should continue these raid warnings, work with businesses to protect employees from raids and educate undocumented communities on their rights.

Arreguín said he thinks these raids are part of a larger federal push against California.

“The federal government has declared a war on California because of our state’s sanctuary law and other policies that directly contradict those of the Trump Administration, from offshore drilling to criminalizing adult cannabis use,” Arreguín said in an email. “For all of their bold talk about state’s rights, when it comes to immigration, they can’t help telling California what to do and threatening us whatever chance they get.”

Protesters blocked off and gathered outside the San Francisco ICE building Wednesday in response to the ICE raids, causing several San Francisco streets to shut down. The event was supported by Bay Resistance, the Immigration Liberation Movement and Free SF, according to a poster.

Chinese for Affirmative Action, or CAA, an organization that participated in the protests, reaffirmed its support to those affected by the ICE raids.

“While San Francisco remains committed to sanctuary protections, … these tactics deployed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have created tremendous panic within the community — disrupting daily living and eroding civil rights,” CAA said in a press release. “The elevated racial profiling, criminalization and fear mongering have created a chilling effect for all immigrants.”

Contact Mary Kelly Ford at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @MaryKellyFord1.