Charles Reed/US Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP
The Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency rebuked Gov. Jerry Brown, D-Calif., on Friday for enacting a statewide sanctuary law for illegal immigrants, and said the decision will prompt a higher number of raids that target that population.
“Governor Jerry Brown’s decision to sign SB54 and make California a sanctuary state for illegal aliens – including those who have committed crimes – will undermine public safety and hinder ICE from performing its federally mandated mission. The governor is simply wrong when he claims otherwise,” acting ICE Director Tom Homan said in a statement.
“ICE will have no choice but to conduct at-large arrests in local neighborhoods and at worksites, which will inevitably result in additional collateral arrests, instead of focusing on arrests at jails and prisons where transfers are safer for ICE officers and the community,” Homan added. “ICE will also likely have to detain individuals arrested in California in detention facilities outside of the state, far from any family they may have in California.”
The new state law was signed into law Thursday and prevents law enforcement in any jurisdiction of the state from asking people about their immigration status. It also prohibits state and local officers from responding to ICE requests to detain an illegal immigrant who has been arrested for committing a crime for 48 hours until the person can be transferred into federal custody.
Associated Press/LM Otero
“It also bans unconstitutional detainer requests and prohibits the commandeering of local officials to do the work of immigration agents,” Brown wrote in a statement about the California Values Act.
However, Homan said the decision will “negatively impact” the agency’s operations in the state to such an extent that ICE may incidentally arrest others who would not initially be targeted as they conduct enforcement operations of criminal and noncriminal illegal immigrants.
“Despite the severe challenges that this law creates for ICE, we remain committed to our public safety mission and we will continue to do our sworn duty to seek out dangerous criminal aliens and other immigration violators. ICE seeks straightforward cooperation with all sheriffs and local elected officials. This misguided legislation will severely undermine those efforts,” Homan added.