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ICE plans to deploy more resources in sanctuary cities

Brittny Mejia, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

LOS ANGELES -- Federal immigration officials confirmed Friday that border agents and officers, including those in tactical units, will be deployed in Los Angeles and other so-called sanctuary cities to assist in the arrests of immigrants in the country illegally.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman confirmed details of the planned deployment that were first reported in The New York Times. The agency referred further questions to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security.

CBP will deploy 50 Border Patrol agents and 50 field operations customs officers in nine areas, according to the agency. Specially trained officers will be sent to cities including Chicago and New York, The New York Times reported.

Additional agents are expected to be sent to San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit and Newark, N.J., according to the agency. The deployment of the teams will run from February through May.

CBP agents and officers being detailed to help ICE will come from different sectors and job positions, including some trained in tactical operations, according to the agency.

"ICE is utilizing CBP to supplement enforcement activity in response to the resource challenges stemming from sanctuary city policies," ICE Director Matthew Albence said in a statement.

 

Albence said in the statement that the action was being taken in response to sanctuary-city law enforcement agencies not cooperating with federal authorities by turning over immigrants being held in local jails. As a result, the statement continued, federal officers "are forced to make at-large arrests of criminal aliens who have been released into communities."

"This effort requires a significant amount of additional time and resources," Albence said. "When sanctuary cities release these criminals back to the street, it increases the occurrence of preventable crimes, and more importantly, preventable victims."

The number of non-detained cases increased from 2.6 million in fiscal year 2018 to more than 3.2 million in the following fiscal year, according to DHS.

"With 5,300 ERO (Enforcement and Removal Operations) law enforcement officers -- some of whom were detailed to the border -- ICE does not have sufficient resources to effectively manage the sustained increase in non-detained cases which is exacerbated by the rise of sanctuary jurisdictions," the agency said in a statement.

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