Several Bay Area law enforcement agency officials said Wednesday that they have no plans to help Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents with raids in their jurisdictions.
In Oakland, the City Council passed a resolution prohibiting local police from providing even limited assistance, like traffic control, for ICE enforcement actions.
“I am saddened by the Oakland City Council’s obvious lack of concern for law enforcement officers’ well-being and their careless disregard for their own responsibility to protect public safety,” the Acting Director of ICE Thomas Homan said.
The California state legislature made it illegal on January 1st for local, county and state law enforcement to assist federal authorities in immigration matters.
Federal officials’ ability to work with local jurisdictions was curtailed on Jan. 1st, after a new California law – SB54 – came into effect that limited inter-agency cooperation. The law officially made California the first “sanctuary state.”
The unconstitutional pushback comes as ICE plans raids across California and other sanctuary areas because federal authorities can no longer count on the local police to coordinate with them.
Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan slammed Brown for signing SB54, which he said undermined public safety, and signaled he was prepared to take action.
He said at the time that the federal government would not allow California to be “a sanctuary state for illegal aliens,” and would have no choice but to “conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests, instead of focusing on arrests at jails and prisons where transfers are safer for ICE officers and the community.”
The ill-conceived moves by Oakland’s City Council and California’s state legislature have now put local law enforcement and federal agents in a dangerous situation.
“We know nothing about anything to do with what ICE is doing — we’re as out of the loop as anyone else in the public,” said Sgt. Ray Kelly, a spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.
He said his agency doesn’t expect any notification from ICE before a sweep happens.
“They don’t have to tell us, and they may not,” Kelly said, adding that being in the dark about such a raid puts the Sheriff’s Office in a “tricky spot.”
With local and state law enforcement unable to assist, ICE will have to round up illegal aliens in the open which puts citizens and law enforcement officers at risk thanks to California’s dangerous policies.