Over 150 people suspected of being in violation of immigration laws were arrested by federal agents across Northern California since Sunday, including the Bay Area, according to a Tuesday news release from U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). About half of those arrested have criminal convictions. At this time, there are no reports of arrests in Santa Cruz County.
The sweep follows an alert sent out by Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf on Saturday warning the undocumented community of a possible upcoming ICE operation.
“As Mayor of Oakland, I am sharing this information publicly not to panic our residents but to protect them,” Schaaf said in the alert. “My priority is for the well-being and safety of all residents — particularly our most vulnerable.”
Schaaf’s decision to warn the public of the upcoming raid sparked backlash from ICE.
“The Oakland mayor’s decision to publicize her suspicions about ICE operations further increased [risks] 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,” said ICE deputy director Thomas D. Homan in a statement on Tuesday.
ICE has requested that the Department of Justice look into whether or not Schaaf violated any laws in publishing the alert, according to reports from Fox News and the Mercury News.
California’s status as a sanctuary state limits state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal officials in identifying undocumented residents. This does not override federal immigration agencies such as ICE from conducting operations and making arrests.
In response to the raids, about 200 people protested outside of the San Francisco ICE office on Wednesday.
As of time of print, ICE has not confirmed whether the sweep has ended.