U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to make a “major sanctuary jurisdiction announcement” in Sacramento Wednesday, as tension continues to mount between the White House and California over the state's decision to stand by its sanctuary cities.
The announcement will be made at a California Peace Officers' Association event on the 26th Annual Law Enforcement Legislative Day, according to his office. The event will start at 8:05 a.m. at Kimpton Sawyer Hotel.
No other details have been released.
Dozens of undocumented immigrants have been arrested across Northern California last month, according to federal officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Removal Operations.
The arrests have sparked fear in immigrant neighborhoods and kept people at home for fear of being arrested, according to local business leaders. ICE arrests come amid a nationwide debate over whether local jurisdictions that call themselves “sanctuary cities” must cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
About half of the individuals arrested have criminal convictions in addition to immigration violations, including convictions for assault/battery, crimes against children, weapons charges and DUI, he added.
“Sanctuary jurisdictions like San Francisco and Oakland shield dangerous criminal aliens from federal law enforcement at the expense of public safety," said ICE Deputy Director Thomas D. Homan. "Because these jurisdictions prevent ICE from arresting criminal aliens in the secure confines of a jail, they also force ICE officers to make more arrests out in the community, which poses increased risks for law enforcement and the public."
Honan also criticized Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf's decision to alert the public about ICE operations, saying it "further increased that risk for my officers and alerted criminal aliens — making clear that this reckless decision was based on her political agenda with the very federal laws that ICE is sworn to uphold.”
Both Schaaf and San Francisco Mayor Mark Farrell responded to the news of Sessions's scheduled appearance in Sacramento.
“This is not the first time that the federal administration has rattled its saber. We have seen repeated attacks on our city and its values - from insulting tweets to hateful policy decisions - but San Francisco will not be intimidated," Farrell said. "Our priority is the safety and wellbeing of our residents and no attack will undermine the values of our City. San Francisco is and will remain a home for hardworking immigrants and I am committed to defending and supporting our longstanding sanctuary policies.”
Schaaf called Oakland a "city of immigrants."
"We will continue to exercise our legal right to exist as a sanctuary city," Schaaf said. "We will continue to inform all residents about their constitutional rights, and we will continue to support California’s sanctuary status."
“We will also distinguish between law abiding residents who work hard and contribute to our community from dangerous criminals," Schaaf added. “This administration has tried to portray all immigrants as villains. We know that is a racist lie, and we will shed light on that myth every day."
BREAKING NEWS: Attorney General Sessions to make major sanctuary jurisdiction announcement at 26th annual Law Enforcement Legislative Day! Join us as we go live on Facebook Wednesday, March 7 at 8:00 a.m. PST. https://t.co/kdhS04czIP #lawenforcement #legislation #California pic.twitter.com/npkjq5w4vE
— CPOA (@CalPeaceOfficer) March 6, 2018