In a matter of just a few weeks, thousands of immigrants living in the country without legal citizenship will be targeted for deportation by government officials.
But many law enforcement agencies within California say they plan not to cooperate with the Trump administration’s plan.
Most argue that it could come down to butchering trust within the community.
“We know how unsettling and scary this is for the community,” LAPD Chief Michael Moore said about the raids. “We are not an extension of ICE…. I do worry about the intimidation it can create.”
President Trump has delayed the operation while negotiations continue.
“At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border. If not, Deportations start!” Trump recently posted on Twitter.
Many departments across the state including the LAPD have rules setup that prevent them from cooperating with federal officials in these matters. The reasoning comes largely from the fact that police need assistance from these individuals in solving criminal investigations, but if they feel threatened by deportation, police are worried that they won’t come forward. Those policies put police in quite a conflicting spot when it comes to these new crackdowns.
The LA Times reported that Special Order 40 prohibited officers from initiating contact with anyone for the sole purpose of learning their immigration status and ruled out arrests for violation of U.S. immigration law. It was initiated by former police chief Daryl Gates, who took an overall hard stance on crime. It’s no secret that LA has a very high population of immigrants, and so in order to build trust amongst the people and have more resources to help solve crime, the legal status of individuals took a backseat.
But those statutes came under fire from both within the department and in the community with critics saying that it essentially gave a free pass to criminals who were in the country without legally-obtained citizenship.
Neighboring areas like San Francisco took the sanctuary city movement further, fully blocking any cooperation between local law enforcement and federal ICE officials.
San Francisco originally named itself a sanctuary city back in 1989, but doubled down in 2013 when the the “Due Process for All” ordinance was signed. This made it so local authorities could not hold people for immigration officials if they had no violent felonies on their records and did not currently face charges.
Trump’s plan for deportation sweeps has been widely criticized by top government officials and department heads in California.
“I strongly oppose President Trump’s threats of mass deportations,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said. “His actions are irresponsible and unnecessary if, in fact, the president is truly concerned with removing violent undocumented felons to ensure your public safety. We cannot ensure public safety if undocumented residents are afraid to report a crime.”
— LawEnforcementToday (@LawEnforceToday) June 22, 2019
Reports indicated that 140 individuals were being targeted in the sweep from the Southern California area, but officials say that’s just a small percentage of the 2,000 people that pose a threat to public and national safety.
California is currently being sued to reverse Governor Jerry Brown’s controversial Senate Bill 54, which prevented local law enforcement from cooperating with immigration officials, however, the Supreme Court has continued to note that the federal government cannot coerce states into helping with federal immigration policies.
California isn’t the only major area that’s dealing with a fight when it comes to local and federal cooperation.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced on Friday that Chicago police won’t be allowed to cooperate with ICE raids.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids that are expected to commence on Sunday in Chicago and nine other major cities.
“I have directed — and Superintendent Johnson has confirmed — that CPD has terminated ICE’s access to CPD’s databases related to federal immigration enforcement activities,” Lightfoot said in a statement.
Why? Because… her feelings
“I have also personally spoken with ICE leadership in Chicago and voiced my strong objection to any such raids. Further, I reiterated that CPD will not cooperate with or facilitate any ICE enforcement actions,” Lightfoot continues.
On Monday, President Donald Trump tweeted that an operation was about to begin to deport “millions” of undocumented migrants.
And a senior immigration official said that will start this weekend with court-ordered removals of approximately 2,000 people in 10 cities.
A senior immigration official said agents at local field offices are receiving briefings and trainings.
They’re also for mixed-immigration-status families. An example would be if a parent is undocumented but has a U.S. citizen child.
Anthony Guglielmi is the chief communications officer of the Chicago police and confirmed Friday that the city wouldn’t share data with ICE agents or participate in deportation raids.
“No city data – including all CPD law enforcement data & records – will be shared with federal Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents. Supt. Eddie Johnson has also ordered CPD not to participate in any deportation raids,” Guglielmi wrote.
Francis Suarez is the mayor of Miami – one of the cities expecting raids on Sunday. He looks at it differently.
“We agree that criminals, like dangerous gang members who came here illegally, should be deported immediately,” Suarez said in a statement. “As Mayor, I trust that only those individuals who represent a clear and present danger to our communities will be affected by this DHS policy.”
The same goes for Houston, where Mayor Sylvester Turner said he has not been directly notified by ICE about any plans to conduct raids.
In a statement Friday, he did stress a need for “comprehensive immigration reform”.
“The city does not try to do ICE’s job, nor does it try to impede ICE. And we will continue to be a city that builds relationships, not walls,” Turner said in a statement.
Here’s how the arrests will work on Sunday.
Any families caught in it will likely be moved to ICE family residential detention centers while the agency works with consulates to obtain travel documents. Many people are likely to appeal their cases but eventually most will removed.
In cases where there are US citizen children in the family, the parents will be fitted with monitoring ankle bracelets. They’ll be given permission to stay with those children to permit time to get affairs in order while other undocumented family members remain in custody.
The official noted that no one wants a situation where a child is left alone.
Of course advocacy groups are ready to fight.
“Chicago has taken concrete steps to support our immigrant communities,” Lightfoot said in her statement. “Chicago will always be a welcoming city and a champion for the rights of our immigrant and refugee communities.”
Sadly, we’re seeing more and more criminals slipping through the cracks like in Washington this week… where a rapist who was supposed to be sent back to Mexico wasn’t handed over to ICE. Why? Because you’re not allowed to talk about immigration status.
He was released from jail just days ago in Seattle. Now police are hunting for a convicted rapist who they say immediately returned to rape the same victim.
The woman’s name is not being shared, but she sat down with a local media outlet to express her anger with how King County’s been handling the case.
It started last year, when a White Center woman who is wheelchair dependent was raped by a man she didn’t know – in front of her 2-year-old child.
Francisco Carranza- Ramirez was convicted in the rape. But he served 9 months in prison before being released last week.
Detectives say Ramirez returned and once again attacked the woman.
“I thought he was going to kill me,” she said to Q13 News. “The way he had my throat I couldn’t breathe,” she said.
She is now in protective custody while Ramirez is on the run.
“In a case like this, the system completely backfired and failed me,” she said.
She says the King County Prosecutor’s Office failed her and lead to her being raped again.
“They file the charges lower so that they can convince or incentivize to plead guilty,” she said.
She says she asked the prosecutor’s office to go after Ramirez to the full extent and they refused.
“It’s not a justice system for victims, it’s a justice system for defendants,” she said.
Now that he’s been released, she says the courts failed her again. Prosecutors asked for community custody, but King County Superior Court Judge Nicole Gaines Phelps declined that recommendation.
A spokesman said the judge cannot speak about the case outside of court, but her office did send Q13 News audio of the hearing from last week.
In it, you hear the defense telling the judge that all the logistics to get Ramirez to Mexico were in place. The defense then promised the judge that his ex-wife would be responsible for getting him on a plane that was booked for his native country.
It was Ramirez who requested the ability to leave for Mexico, and there was a question by the judge on whether or not he could leave the US for Mexico if he was in community custody.
In the end, the judge ruled to allow Ramirez to leave the U.S. on the condition he provide proof that he arrived in Mexico once he got there.
The penalty if he didn’t? Simply a bench warrant with no cash bail.
Of course Ramirez didn’t go to Mexico. Instead, the 35-year-old took off… and has no known address because he is homeless.
The King County Prosecutor’s Office says it’s not their fault. They argued they never negotiated her case with the other side and there was no plea deal.
“The State did not file a lesser charge to incentivize a plea – nor did anyone in our office tell the victim that we filed a lesser charge to incentivize a plea,” the prosecutor’s office said.
According to the prosecutor’s office, Ramirez pleaded guilty to the original charges during his arraignment and the charges were based on the evidence they had.
They said his case is “very unusual”, because they say most defendants plead not guilty.
The victim says the charges were all wrong. She argues Ramirez should have been charged with aggravated factors and not just rape in the 3rd degree, for which the maximum sentencing is 1 year behind bars.
That’s the sentence Ramirez got, but thanks to “good behavior”, he got out in 9 months.
The victim stresses that a harsher charge could have led to a longer jail time.
There are also questions as to why the judge in this case did not alert law enforcement to escort Ramirez to the border.
But of course thanks to lawmakers in the incredibly liberal state, attorneys and judges aren’t allowed to ask citizenship status. That means the question of whether an agency like ICE should have been alerted is not up to the courts.
Here’s what an ICE spokesman had to say:
“In this case, we were not alerted that this person was going to be released from local custody. It makes it really difficult for us to identify them when we are in local custody because prior to this law, and this law goes a step further, but prior to this law the state has effectively blocked us from accessing any sort of state law enforcement databases … We cannot access the detainees themselves in local custody, so we have to find sources of information that are available to the public to try and determine who is in the local jail. Often times we are only going to know after the fact,” said Acting Field Officer Director for ICE Bryan Wilcox.
State Rep. Dan Griffey is ripping mad.
“It’s pissing me off, and we should all be pissed off,” Griffey said.
Griffey is an advocate for reforming sexual assault laws in Washington, and he said this proves that more work needs to be done.
“A lot of times they plead cases out but there are certain cases that are so detrimental to society,” Griffey said.
He said he wants to sponsor a bill that could change the process when it comes to the most violent sexual assault cases.
“The legislation is getting to the point that we tell prosecutors that you can’t plead these cases down in certain circumstances,” Griffey said.
He did NOT weigh in on the migration topic, but he did say Ramirez’s case defies common sense.
As for the victim? She says she’s terrified to go outside with the predator still on the loose.
“I don’t want him to hurt anybody else,” she said.