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Tag: immigration

ICE Spokesman Resigns Over Trump Administration’s ‘Misleading’ Statements on Raid

By Steve Neavling

A spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in San Francisco resigned over what he called “false” and “misleading” statements by the Trump administration and top-ranking immigration officials.

James Schwab told media outlets on Monday evening that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and ICE Acting Director Thomas D. Homan were peddling a false narrative that hundreds of “criminal aliens” eluded arrest because Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf warned immigrants of a forthcoming ICE raid.

Schwab said his concerns about the misleading statements were dismissed, and ICE instructed him to “deflect” questions from the media.

“I quit because I didn’t want to perpetuate misleading facts,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I asked them to change the information. I told them that the information was wrong, they asked me to deflect, and I didn’t agree with that. Then I took some time and I quit.”

After 232 people were detained in the raid, Sessions and Homan claimed as many as 800 “criminals” evaded arrest and were a danger to the public.

Schwab said top officials painted a misleading portrait by inflating the number of people who may have avoided arrest and sensationalizing the danger that each poses.

“I didn’t feel like fabricating the truth to defend ourselves against her actions was the way to go about it,” Schwab said. “We were never going to pick up that many people. To say that 100% are dangerous criminals on the street, or that those people weren’t picked up because of the misguided actions of the mayor, is just wrong.”

In fact, Schwab told Oakland Fox affiliate KTVU that the raid netted more arrests than initially planned.

Trump Accuses Mayor of Endangering ICE Agents, But Attacks Are Rare

An ICE agent.

By Steve Neavling

President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions accused Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf of endangering federal agents by warning the public about a forthcoming immigration sweep.

“Here’s my message to Mayor Schaaf: How dare you?” Sessions said Wednesday in Sacramento. “How dare you needlessly endanger the lives of law enforcement just to promote a radical open-borders agenda?”

Thursday, Trump said, “What she did is incredible and very dangerous … She really made law enforcement much more dangerous than it had to be.”

During the four-day enforcement operation, no ICE agents were hurt. In fact, ICE “has experienced relatively few line-of-duty deaths and assaults,” the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The Chronicle wrote:

According to federal records, a handful of ICE officers are injured in assaults each year, on average. James Schwab, an agency spokesman in San Francisco, said agents face “the same dangers as any other law enforcement officer out in the field.”

No ICE officers were injured or killed in line-of-duty assaults in 2016, the last year in which FBI data are available. In 2015, four officers were injured and none killed in assaults. Seven officers were injured in assaults and none killed in 2014, records show.

However, the FBI records do not appear to reflect some on-duty deaths. Absent, for instance, was the death of San Francisco-based deportation officer Brian Beliso, who according to the agency died of a heart attack he suffered during a foot pursuit in Redwood City on June 8, 2016. And a special agent in New Orleans, J. Scott McGuire, died Jan. 24. 2016, after being injured in a hit and run in Miami Beach, the agency stated on its website.

The reported injuries to ICE officers were among the lowest in federal law enforcement, FBI figures show. In 2016, 484 Customs and Border Protection officers were assaulted. The Bureau of Indian Affairs saw 504 assaults, while the Marshals Service saw 266 assaults.

Other Stories of Interest

AG Sessions’ Fiery Attack on California’s Immigration Laws Sets Off War of Words

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

By Steve Neavling

Attorney General Jeff Sessions set off an unusually heated battle between California and the Trump administration after filing suit against the state over laws that impede the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

During a contentious, sometimes misleading speech in California’s capital, Sacramento, on Wednesday, Sessions accused California lawmakers of recklessly putting its residents at risk by obstructing federal immigration laws, the New York Times reports

California Gov. Jerry Brown responded by saying the Trump administration was “full of liars” and that Sessions was “basically going to war against the state of California.”

Brown added that Sessions was engaging “in a political stunt” with “wild accusations” meant to sow discord over immigration.

During Sessions’ speech, he said the lawsuit is designed to overturn laws designed to obstruct federal immigration agents from operating there. called out Sessions for making a number of misleading comments. 

Father Who Spent 3 Decades in America Forced to Leave, Too Old for DACA

ICE official, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling

Jorge Garcia was only 10 years old when an undocumented family member brought him to the U.S. from Mexico.

Three decades later, after raising two teenage children with his beloved wife, the 39-year-old landscaper from suburban Detroit was forced to say goodbye  to his weeping family and return to Mexico under President Trump’s stiff crackdown on illegal immigration, the USA Today reports

Garcia, who appears to have a clean criminal record, was too old to qualify for Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era policy that protected children of undocumented immigrations from deportation. Immigrants who want to qualify for DACA status DACA must be 31 or younger as of June 15, 2012.

Garcia routinely checked in with ICE but was never forced to leave.

That changed in November during his last check-in, when immigration agents told him he must leave the country.

On Sunday night, a heavy-hearted Garcia said he was sad and worried.

 “I got to leave my family behind, knowing that they’re probably going to have a hard time adjusting, me not being there for them for who knows how long,” he said, his hands pressed against his forehead. “It’s just hard.”

Trump’s Choice for ICE Leader Suggests Criminal Charges against Sanctuary Cities

ICE official, via ICE.

By Steve Neavling

Leaders of so-called sanctuary cities should be criminally charged and held “personally accountable” for shielding illegal immigrants from deportation, said President Trump’s choice to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan suggested in an interview with Fox News that places like California are putting “politics ahead of safety.”

“We gotta take [sanctuary cities] to court, and we gotta start charging some of these politicians with crimes,” Homan said.

Claiming “more citizens are going to die because of these policies,” Homan said the Justice Department must hold some politicians “personally accountable.”

Human said he plans to send in federal agents to protect residents in cities and states that refuse to work with ICE on immigration issues.

Check Out ICE’s Top Photos of 2017

By Steve Neavling

Immigration and Customs Enforcement posted its “Top Images of 2017,” offering an inside look into an agency responsible for combating human trafficking, illegal immigration and other crimes.

ICE also posted the agency’s favorite story of the year.

Here are some of the photos:

Special Agent Alexandra DeArmas of the HSI Newark Rapid Response Team delivers water in Barrio Campanella, Toa Baja, Puerto Rico.

A member of the ICE Honor Guard places a rose above the name of a fallen ICE officer. The members of the Honor Guard walk around the entire National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., and lay roses at every fallen ICE officer’s name.

An ERO deportation officer checks fingerprints using a mobile biometric software application in Long Island, N.Y., during Operation Raging Bull, a federal law enforcement operation targeting MS-13.

Ingmar Guandique, a known MS-13 gang member, is removed to his native El Salvador by ERO deportation officers.

HSI Special Readiness Team sharp shooters keep a keen eye out to assist federal, state and local law enforcement officials in maintaining public safety during Super Bowl 51 in Houston, Texas.

ICE Seeks Help from Social Media Companies to Spy on Visa Holders

By Steve Neavling

The Trump administration’s increasing battle against illegal immigration may soon include tracking the social media feeds of foreign visitors.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement told software providers that it’s seeking “algorithms that would assess potential threats posed by visa holders in the U.S. and conduct ongoing social media surveillance of those deemed high risk,” ProPublica reports. 

The move appears to be part of Trump’s demands for the “extreme vetting” of visitors from Muslim countries, raising criticism from immigrants and civil liberties advocates.

ICE is searching for “risk-based metrics” to indicate potential dangers posed by visa holders, who could remain under continuous surveillance while in the U.S., according to Louis Rodi, deputy assistant director of ICE Homeland Security Investigations’ National Security Program, who spoke at a recent tech industry conference in Arlington, Va.

“We have millions and millions and millions of people coming every year, and subsequently departing, so we have to be smart about it,” said Rodi to a room of representatives from companies like Microsoft, Accenture, Deloitte and Motorola Solutions. “And I’m sure there are tools out there that can help.”

The program, however, has not begun, stressed ICE spokeswoman Carissa Curttel.

“The request for information on this initiative was simply that—an opportunity to gather information from industry professionals and other government agencies on current technological capabilities to determine the best way forward,” Cutrell wrote in an email.

DOJ Disperses Crime-Fighting Grants to Cities That Help Feds Crack Down on Illegal Immigration

By Steve Neavling

Local police departments that cooperate with federal immigration officials were given preferential treatment for crime-fighting funds.

The Justice Department dangled more than $98 million as a reward for police departments that cooperate with President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration by letting immigration officials inside local jails and notifying the feds about undocumented immigrants, BuzzFeed reports.

At the same time, Trump’s administration is threatening to withhold crime-fighting grants from so-called sanctuary cities.

The Justice Department is disbursing $98.5 million to 179 local law enforcement agencies to hire a total of 802 officers.

About 80% of the 179 agencies that received a grant were given preferential treatment because they have agreed to cooperate with the crackdown on illegal immigration.

“Cities and states that cooperate with federal law enforcement make all of us safer by helping remove dangerous criminals from our communities,” Sessions said in a statement. “Today, the Justice Department announced that 80 percent of this year’s COPS Hiring Program grantees have agreed to cooperate with federal immigration authorities in their detention facilities. I applaud their commitment to the rule of law and to ending violent crime, including violent crime stemming from illegal immigration.”