U.S. immigration officials are preparing a major sweep in San Francisco and other Northern California cities in which federal officers will try to arrest 1,500 undocumented people while sending a message that immigration policy will be enforced in the sanctuary state, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The campaign centered in the Bay Area could happen within weeks, and is expected to become the biggest enforcement action of its kind under President Trump. Trump has expressed frustration that sanctuary laws, which seek to protect immigrants and persuade them not to live in the shadows by restricting cooperation between local and federal authorities, get in the way of his goal of tightening immigration.
The operation would go after people who have been identified as targets for deportation, including those who have been served with final deportation orders and those with criminal histories. The number could rise if officers come across other undocumented immigrants and make what are known as collateral arrests. The sweep would be the first large-scale effort to target the region since Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation enacting a statewide sanctuary law in October. Supporters say the law allows undocumented immigrants to cooperate with local police and seek education, health care and other public services without worrying they will expose themselves to possible deportation. Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Thomas Homan slammed Brown for signing SB54, which he said undermined public safety, and signaled he was prepared to take action.