Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents conducted retaliatory raids in at least one sanctuary city that refused to cooperate with federal immigration laws, a federal judge has determined, reports Tess Owen.
50 people were arrested in the raids, while more recent reports indicate that these retaliatory tactics may be more widespread than just the city of Austin, says Owen.
In an immigration hearing on Monday, Judge Andrew Austin said that the ICE had conducted city-wide raids in Austin, TX at the end of January in retaliation against the local sheriff’s department, which refused to cooperate with federal immigration law under the new Trump administration.
“President Donald Trump vowed to punish sanctuary cities… by withholding federal funding from jurisdictions that continue to affirm sanctuary status,” Owen notes.
“Claims the agency is targeting uncooperative jurisdictions apart from normal operations are inaccurate,” Danielle Bennett, a spokesperson for ICE, told Vice News. “That said, because of these jurisdictions’ uncooperative posture, a significant number of criminal aliens, including some with a history of serious offenses, have been released into these communities rather than being turned over to ICE. The agency’s pursuit of these individuals is motivated solely by our commitment to promote public safety.”