By Nick Miller and Bob Moffitt—Feb. 27, 2018
Activists claim U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested or detained nearly a dozen individuals in Northern California this past weekend.
Volunteers with “rapid response” networks — groups that monitor ICE behavior in communities and help immigrants with legal services — released a statement decrying the arrests as an “ugly campaign of intimidation from the Trump administration’s deportation force.”
But a spokesperson for ICE said the agency is focusing on “individuals who pose a threat to national security, public safety, and border security,” and that it does not arbitrarily detain or harass immigrants.
Arrests reportedly occurred in Sacramento, Napa, Merced, Contra Costa, Madera and Monterey counties on Sunday — but there were specifics about the operations, including charges against individuals.
Thomas Weiler is with Faith in the Valley, a coalition of central California religious organizations that provides counseling for people who are in the country illegally. He says the organization was called regarding five separate alleged ICE operations this weekend.
Weiler described one arrest he says occured at a Circle K convenience store in Merced. He says four men had stopped for coffee on their way to work.
“It seems ICE was already in the convenience store also buying coffee or whatnot,” Weiler explained, “and, upon leaving the store, these four gentlemen, just out of the blue, were asked for their documentation” by the agents.
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