Oakland Responds to New ICE Raids

Activists have blocked the intersections surrounding the ICE building in San Francisco this week. Facebook photos by Megan Zapanta and April Martin.

Oakland officials and community groups are responding in the wake of news of increased ICE deportation raids throughout Northern California.

Federal officials said this week they arrested more than 150 undocumented immigrants in a Northern California sweeps to counter local sanctuary laws.

The raids, part of an operation called “Keep Safe,” were conducted throughout Northern California, including arrests in San Francisco, Bay Point, Sacramento and Stockton.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf earned an angry response from ICE when she warned the Oakland community that immigration raids were pending. She announced that she had learned from “multiple credible sources” that ICE was planning an operation in the Bay Area.

ICE Deputy Director Thomas D. Homan said Mayor Schaaf’s announcement was the reason a number of undocumented suspects were still at large.

“864 criminal aliens and public safety threats remain at large in the community, and I have to believe that some of them were able to elude us thanks to the mayor’s irresponsible decision,” said Homan.

City Councilmember-at-Large Rebecca Kaplan condemned the current ICE raids, saying “The Federal ICE agency continues [its] attacks on many in our community, targeting people who are not accused of crimes, and undermining the safety of our community.”

ICE calls the operation “Keep Safe,” but “when we look at actual results, we can see that the actions of ICE are not keeping people safe,” said Kaplan.

“When conducting a raid in West Oakland in August, ICE stated that they were doing so to protect a young man from child trafficking. There turned out to be no evidence this was taking place, and nobody was charged with a crime,” she said.

But the 19-year-old young man in that case, Darwin DeLeon, “has since passed away, with no mention or support from the ICE officials who said they were protecting him,” she continued.

“An Oakland family was disrupted and publicly slandered, and a young man had his older brother taken away and sent for deportation proceedings,” said Kaplan.” All of this was done on the basis of claims that the 19-year-old was being saved from human trafficking, though no criminal charges were filed.

“We know they tell untruths in our community and…make all of us less safe. This is part of why it’s important that the Oakland City Council passed our resolution ending all collusion between OPD and ICE—and why we must stand strong in the face of federal efforts to disrupt our communities.”

For legal assistance, contact Centro Legal De La Raza’s immigration clinic, call (510) 437-1554, email info@centrolegal.org
To report ICE activity, call the hotline at: (510) 241-4011.


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