SAN FRANCISCO – Federal ICE officials are planning a major sweep of the Bay Area and other Northern California areas in the coming weeks as part of an operation to target more than 1,500 undocumented immigrants in the area, SFGate reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.

The source told SFGate that the sweep is expected to be the largest of its kind since President Trump took office. However, ICE officials declined to comment on the operation, the paper reported.

The news has political antagonists with the president’s immigration policy scrambling. Upon hearing about the planned operation Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., accused the Trump administration of trying to make a political point.

California has clashed with law enforcement over immigration enforcement for a number of years. Most recently this past October, California Governor Jerry Brown signed SB54 into law, which effectively limits local police from cooperating with federal authorities.

Trump has repeatedly expressed frustration that such laws encourage immigrants to become uncooperative with local law enforcement and inhibit his goal of enforcing immigration laws. It certainly becomes a tax burden, something conservatives in the state grouse about.

One of the stipulations of SB54 is that it denies federal officials the ability to detain illegal immigrants who have been placed in local jails, a move that has beat cops unhappy, regardless of the political positions taken by department heads in major cities.

new border tunnel

Border tunnel discovered by Customs and Border Patrol agents in 2017. (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol)

ICE officials have warned that such standards would force the agency to arrest undocumented immigrants in the communities that hold such policies.

Thomas Homan, the acting ICE director, maintained that SB54 “threatened public safety,” and that under such circumstances, the federal government would be forced to conduct massive arrests in the communities that hold such policies.