ICE plans to target undocumented immigrants at California courthouses
The ICE's plan to double down on illegal immigration enforcement in the state is set to be a big test to see how secure California's new sanctuary legislation is.
The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is planning to target undocumented immigrants at local courthouses across the country, particularly in the Bay Area, California, according to reports. The federal agents have reportedly laid out new guidelines for arresting illegal immigrants in the country and KPIX 5’s Phil Matier recently chanced upon the ICE's new directive.
According to the directive, the feds plan to go after undocumented immigrants which includes reaching into the local courthouses if necessary and taking them by force, reports state. San Francisco CBS Local said that the District Attorney's Office in the region did not know about the news until the news outlet apprised them of the details.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said:"I will tell you right now unequivocally, I will not cooperate. I will not sign any agreement and I want to make it very clear to our community that they will be safe when they come to us." California has already warned the ICE federal agents against conducting raids in local courts.
California, on January 1, 2018, became the first "sanctuary state" in the country to implement Senate Bill 54, which is a far-reaching measure aimed at preventing law enforcement officers from conducting illegal immigration raids. The ICE's plan to double down on illegal immigration enforcement in the state is set to be a big test to see how secure California's new sanctuary legislation is.
However, ICE agents have reiterated often since then that they can and will go into local courthouses to arrest those who have not entered the United States through legal means. A former FBI Special Agent and KPIX-5 security analyst Jeff Harp said: "What they are attempting to do is assert some authority with warrants.”
While University of California Hastings College of the Law Professor David Levine said that through these tactics, the ICE is attempting to deliver a message: "What they are trying to do is scare a lot of people."
The California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauyey, in March 2017, had said that while pulling people out of courthouses was legal, there would be consequences to public safety if this is allowed. "Victims are not going to come to court. Witnesses are not going to come to testify against bad guys," Justice Cantil-Sakauyey said.
Reports state that the ICE agents will target "fugitives" with deportation orders, and will avoid arresting anyone in areas like family courts or in case of small claims.
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