In a four-day sweep that ended Wednesday and stretched as far north as the Oregon border, ICE officers arrested 232 people who officials say violated federal immigration laws.
Of those arrested, 180 were either convicted criminals who had failed to leave the country after ordered to do so or returned after being deported, ICE officials said in a news release.
The sweeps, which also occurred in the Bay Area and extended into the Bakersfield area, included 115 people who had previous felony convictions for serious or violent offices like child sex crimes or weapons charges, officials said.
The arrests come amid heightened tension between immigrants groups, their supporters and federal officials who recently blasted Oakland Mayor Libby Shaaf, who warned about impending raids.
On Thursday, the Santa Clara County’s Rapid Response Hotline also reported receiving 150 calls from South Bay residents who reported ICE sightings across the region in just the past two days.
The network, a collaboration of several advocacy organizations, said it confirmed seven people were detained by immigration officers in San Jose in recent days and that others may have been arrested.
The calls rolled in as 150 undocumented immigrants were rounded up across the Bay Area this week in the latest ICE sweep to hit California. Organizers say the sweeps are retaliation for the state’s sanctuary policies, while the Trump administration argues California’s lax immigration laws have allowed dangerous criminals to run free for too long.
“In the face of an ugly campaign of intimidation from the Trump administration’s deportation force, we call upon all Californians to respond with power, not panic,” the Rapid Response Network said in a statement Thursday. “We urge every person who calls our state home to learn their basic constitutional rights. Every Californian has the right to remain silent and the right not to open their door.”
Organizers also said ICE agents used fear tactics during the arrests and prevented would-be attorneys from accessing their clients.
“ICE’s career law enforcement professionals are charged with enforcing immigration laws passed by Congress, and recent operations in the Bay Area were consistent with ICE’s lawful mission,” the agency said in a statement in response to the allegations. “ICE respects the rights of all aliens in removal proceedings to hire and consult with a lawyer of their choice and has policies in place to ensure that aliens may do so to the extent required by federal law.”
Fears of raids have prompted many undocumented immigrants to form emergency plans in the event they’re detained by ICE, and the immigrant rights group SIREN even plans to host a workshop Thursday on how families can create these emergency plans.
Meanwhile, the Rapid Response Network will protest this latest wave of arrests with a 5 p.m. rally Friday at the intersection of King and Story Streets.
Volunteers for the network report to neighborhoods across Santa Clara County where ICE activity is reported and acting as legal observers for the undocumented immigrants targeted in these operations. They do not intervene with any enforcement witnessed. Participating organizations include Sacred Heart Community Service, People Acting in Community Together, Amigos de Guadalupe, SOMOS Mayfair, LUNA, SEIU-USWW, CARAS and SIREN.
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