OAKLAND — Public outcry over Oakland police’s involvement in an Aug. 16 Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid prompted the city to cut all ties with the federal agency.
City council members unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday that expands the sanctuary city policy to bar any branch of city government from cooperating with any ICE action.
Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan, who introduced the resolution alongside Councilwoman Desley Brooks, told the Oakland Tribune that now is more important than ever to cut ties with ICE.
“The head of ICE has made public statements that have helped make it more clear that ICE is not actually focusing on solving serious and violent crime, but is focused on being part of (President Donald) Trump’s political vendetta,” Kaplan said.
The council directed city staff to draft an ordinance that makes the ban on working with ICE stronger.
The city’s previous policy prohibited local law enforcement from participating in federal immigration investigations. But the Aug. 16 raid in West Oakland, and information released to the public afterward, warranted a more clear boundary, Kaplan said.
Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick was told the day before the raid that a federal search warrant stemming from a “longstanding, criminal” human trafficking investigation would be served at the house, she said at council meeting in November.
However, neither the two men detained during the raid nor anybody living at the house have been convicted or charged with a crime. One of them men faces deportation, the other has since died, Kaplan said.
ICE officials have maintained that the raid was part of a criminal investigation that remains ongoing. Kirkpatrick erroneously claimed that criminal charges had been filed during a public meeting after the raid.
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