Federal officials are conducting an immigration enforcement operation in the Los Angeles area, with more than 100 suspected undocumented immigrants detained so far. The sweep, which started on Sunday, focuses on immigrants who threaten border security, national security, and/or public safety, according to Sarah Rodriguez, the spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
In a written statement, Rodriguez said that ICE is doing its best to work alongside county jails and local police departments to identify such individuals who are in public jails and take them into custody to deport them from the US. But, she points out that Los Angeles is one of the jurisdictions that has chosen to be uncooperative with ICE agents, forcing them to conduct such arrests on suspects who are at large in the community. This increases the chances of danger to the immigrants, the agents, and the general public, and increasing the chances that undocumented immigrants who have not been specifically targeted will also be swept up in the arrests.
Several law enforcement agencies in California, including the Los Angeles Police Department, have refused to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on such sweeps, with officers forbidden to ask questions about immigration status.
The agency will not release further information on the sweep until it has concluded. Officials with the Trump administration have warned that California could be targeted by ICE for further immigration raids because of its attempts to create a ‘sanctuary’ environment for undocumented immigrants.