U.S. Customs and Enforcement (ICE) agents recently announced that they have been conducting targeted enforcement efforts in the San Francisco area. The purpose of this effort is to arrest individuals who have violated federal immigration laws. Within the space of a week, ICE agents arrested more than 150 individuals, only about half of which had any history of criminal convictions. ICE characterized these arrests as designed to protect the U.S. from public safety threats. Considering the lack of criminal history for some individuals, or a minimal criminal history in some cases, the presence of public safety threats from these individuals seems far from clear. According to ICE, however, 88% of arrested individuals in similar efforts in Los Angeles had a criminal record, and in fiscal year 2017, 81% of the over 20,000 immigrants arrested had a criminal record. ICE also used its announcement as an opportunity to warn of the danger of sanctuary jurisdictions, such as San Francisco and Oakland, where local governments shield “dangerous criminal aliens . . . at the expense of public safety.” In its press release, ICE Deputy Director Thomas D. Homan also accused the recently publicized actions of the Oakland mayor in publicly warning residents about the possibility of ICE raids. Homan further claimed that the mayor’s “irresponsible decision” to “attempt to undermine ICE’s critical mission,” has left 864 immigrants who are a threat to public safety at large in the Bay Area. According to ICE, this practice places officers at great risk of harm, requires ICE to expend additional resources, and increases the risks of collateral arrests. In its press release, ICE highlighted the arrest of Armando Nunez-Salgado, a Mexican native and alleged Sureno gang member who had been deported on four previous occasions and amassed criminal convictions over a period of 18 years, which resulted in 15 years of incarceration. Given the current political climate, there is a much greater risk of detention and deportation for all undocumented immigrants present in the U.S. At Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., we are dedicated to protecting the rights of detained noncitizens and working toward their release from detention. We know how to evaluate your case, explore your options, and provide you with the strongest defense against removal possible. Contact your California deportation defense attorneys today and set up an appointment to speak with our legal team.