The 2020 immigration blitz will likely begin in California.
The Trump administration is preparing a massive immigration enforcement campaign in October that would target arrests in U.S. cities and jurisdictions that have adopted “sanctuary” policies.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation, known informally as the “sanctuary op,” could begin in California as soon as later this week. It would then expand to cities including Denver and Philadelphia, according to two of the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive government law enforcement plans.
Chad Wolf, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, probably will travel to at least one of the jurisdictions where the operation will take place to boost President Trump’s claims that leaders in those cities have failed to protect residents from dangerous criminals, two officials said.
Trump has inveighed against sanctuary jurisdictions throughout his presidency, and he has expanded those attacks to include Democratic mayors in cities convulsed by racial justice demonstrations and sporadic rioting after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The immigration operation would sync with two themes of Trump’s reelection campaign: his crackdown on immigration and his push to vilify cities led by Democrats, whom he blames for crime and violence.
An ICE spokesperson emphasized that enforcement action by the agency prioritizes immigrants with criminal records.
Most arrests by ICE take place after they have been notified about an immigrant’s pending release from jails or state prisons.
“For the safety of our officers and the public, ICE does not comment on leaked operations,” they said. “… Generally speaking, as ICE has noted for years, in jurisdictions where cooperation does not exist and ICE is not allowed to assume custody of aliens from jails, ICE is forced to arrest at-large criminal aliens out in the communities instead of under the safe confines of a jail.”
Additionally, the Trump administration is considering putting up billboards of immigration violators.
The billboards would be put up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement — the enforcement arm of the Department of Homeland Security — in at least one city and would call attention to immigrants who have committed crimes and been released by local authorities. It’s unclear what the billboards will look like and at what cost. If the plan proceeds, it seems intended to single out sanctuary jurisdictions and stoke fear within those communities.
Additionally, The Trump administration is considering putting up billboards of immigration violators.
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