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Thread: Immigration arrests in L.A. spark fear, outrage

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Immigration arrests in L.A. spark fear, outrage

    Immigration arrests in L.A. spark fear, outrage, but officials say they are routine

    Dozens of protesters rallied against immigration arrests at the federal detention center in downtown L.A. While immigration advocates said they believed about 100 people were arrested this week, federal immigration officials downplayed the activities as fairly routine and not tied to any new crackdown.

    Joel Rubin, Ruben Vives and Richard Winton Contact Reporters


    Arrests made by federal immigration officials in Southern California this week have heightened anxiety about a promised crackdown by President Trump on people in this country illegally.

    The arrests sparked a protest in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday evening, with immigration advocates claiming that about 100 people had been taken into custody. But immigration officials disputed those numbers and said the arrests were part of routine activities, not tied to any new crackdown.


    The situation highlighted fear among many immigrants about Trump’s vow to deport those here illegally. Los Angeles and Orange counties are home to 1 million immigrants living without proper papers, according to an analysis released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.


    Arrests sparked a protest in downtown Los Angeles Thursday evening. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)


    Some politicians said they were demanding answers from federal authorities about the arrests. Meanwhile, local police were fighting concerns that they were somehow involved in new immigration actions. Many law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles Police Department, have vowed not to take part in the mass deportations Trump and his supporters have promised.

    The Pomona Police Department put out an alert Thursday night warning of social media hoaxes claiming the agency was taking part in immigration checkpoints. Similar rumors circulated last week as well. Police officials decried them as “fake news.”


    “There is information that is out there that is wrong,” said Los Angeles Deputy Police Chief Bob Green, adding that his department would not participate in any federal immigration sweeps. “We are working hard with the immigrant communities to dispel fears.”

    Virginia Kice, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said the arrests were not part of a new and more aggressive mission the agency had adopted in light of the president’s stance on deportations.

    In a statement, she said any arrests were part of the agency’s “routine” enforcement activities.


    “Our operations are targeted and lead driven, prioritizing individuals who pose a risk to our communities. Examples would include known street gang members, child sex offenders, and deportable foreign nationals with significant drug trafficking convictions,” Kice wrote. “To that end, ICE’s routine immigration enforcement actions are ongoing and we make arrests every day.”


    Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, said 100 people were detained, 60 of them Mexican nationals.


    Salas said when she and other CHIRLA members arrived at a downtown L.A. detention center Thursday afternoon, they saw five white vans and one bus filled with people who they believed had been nabbed in the actions. They said they have not been able to get any information about those detained.


    Salas said one man was at home when there was a knock on his door. When the man opened the door, he was met by an ICE agent who asked him to provide identification. When he couldn’t do so, he was detained, she said. Another man was detained at his work at a Target store in the San Fernando Valley, she said.


    “They say it’s routine, but we don’t believe it was a routine operation,” Salas said.


    An ICE official who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and requested anonymity said the claims that ICE officers made 100 arrests Thursday were “grossly exaggerated.”


    Green said Thursday that the department knew of no ICE raids going on in the San Fernando Valley.


    The only ICE activity, he said, is the normal execution of deportation orders that is nothing out of the ordinary.


    California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) said in a statement that he’s asked “federal officials to disclose how many children, men, and women they have detained; what the processing time will be; what the rationale is for their detention; and I asked that everyone be offered access to an attorney.”


    At the federal detention center off Aliso Street downtown on Thursday night, dozens of people walked in a circle, holding signs that read: “Stop separating families” and “ICE out of L.A.”


    At one point, a federal judge tried to drive down Aliso Street to get onto the 101 Freeway, but demonstrators had blocked the street. The judge was eventually able to get to the freeway.


    Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) attended the protest. He said the issue is a personal one for him. Santiago’s father was undocumented when he immigrated to the United States from Mexico as a teen.


    “He came here to create a better life for my brother and I once we were born,” he said. “He was a hardworking guy. These people are no different. This is absolutely the point that we need to stand up for immigrant rights.”

    http://www.kfyrtv.com/content/news/8...413345483.html
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    Protest Erupts in Downtown L.A. Following Reports of Immigration Raids at Homes Across Southern California

    POSTED 7:27 PM, FEBRUARY 9, 2017, BY ERIKA MARTIN AND KIMBERLY CHENG, UPDATED AT 01:48AM, FEBRUARY 10, 2017

    While immigration advocates say more than 100 people were detained Thursday as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials conducted home raids across three Southern California counties, the federal agency insists its operations were "routine" and not part of President Donald Trump's unprecedented immigration crackdown.


    Protestors against deportation and immigration raids close off a section of Aliso Street in downtown L.A. on Feb. 9, 2017. (Credit: Chris Gierowski / KTLA)

    ICE officials have yet to release detailed information on how many people the agency arrested Thursday and where they were taken into custody, only stating that the activities were "targeted and lead driven, prioritizing individuals who pose a risk to our communities," according to ICE spokesperson Lori Haley.

    "Examples would include known street gang members, child sex offenders, and deportable foreign nationals with significant drug trafficking convictions," she said in an email. "To that end, ICE’s routine immigration enforcement actions are ongoing."


    However, according to Jorge-Mario Cabrera, communication director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of L.A., those detained were either people with deportation orders but no criminal background or family members of those sought who were home during the raids and told officials they lacked documentation.


    The organization's attorneys confirmed there is a list of more than 100 people being detained at the ICE processing center in downtown Los Angeles after immigration raids were carried out at homes in Santa Paula, Oxnard, Van Nuys, Downey and San Bernardino, Cabrera said.


    Advocates say one man was detained while working at a Target in the San Fernando Valley, while an L.A. police official said the department was not aware of ICE raids taking place Thursday in that area, according to the Los Angeles Times. Roughly 60 of those taken in were Mexican nationals, the newspaper reported.


    An ICE official who spoke with KTLA on condition of anonymity said the activists’ reports were “grossly exaggerated.”


    Immigration advocates and supporters gathered near the Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown L.A. to peacefully protest ICE's reported actions. Demonstrators closed Aliso Street to through traffic near the Alvarado Street intersection for about two hours, chanting "No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here."



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    Protestors against deportation and today's ICE raids close off a section of Aliso St in #DTLA @KTLA
    6:33 PM - 9 Feb 2017



    "For us, it is not an ordinary day," said CHIRLA Director of Policy Joseph Villa, who attended the rally. "We have hundreds of calls to our offices as well from attorneys indicating that their clients have been picked up.

    "ICE is not releasing their names. ICE is not allowing them to see their attorney," he added.


    California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León issued a statement Thursday saying he "asked federal officials to disclose how many children, men, and women they have detained; what the processing time will be; what the rationale is for their detention; and I asked that everyone be offered access to an attorney."


    Ameena Quazi, who works with the National Lawyers Guild L.A., said it was almost certain that there were more people who had been detained that activists groups had not been in touch with.


    "We do know it was very widespread, from the (San Fernando) Valley to the San Bernardino area," she said. "We do also know that people have been pulled from their homes."


    Protesters converge on the Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown Los Angeles during a rally against immigration arrests on Feb. 9, 2017. (Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles TImes)

    U.S. Representative Tony Cárdenas, whose jurisdiction covers parts of the San Fernando Valley including Van Nuys, called the ICE activities "outrageous" and similarly demanded more information.

    "This is just one more action by this administration that hurts our communities and our economy," he wrote in a statement. "I will not sit quietly by while they seek to harm the people of my district."


    Whittier resident Jessica Valenzuela, who attended Thursday's protest, said it was worrisome that "oftentimes folks’ liberties and their rights are violated during ICE raids, where they’re picked up without having adequate access to counsel, and that’s one of the biggest concerns."


    There are an estimated 1 million immigrations without proper documentation living in Los Angeles and Orange counties, according to a report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.


    The last time more than 100 people were detained in ICE raids was in Southern California last July, according to a report from the L.A. Times. All 112 immigrants arrested had criminal convictions and the sweep took four days across L.A., Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, the newspaper said.


    "It means that now what President Trump said — that he wants to deport 11 million — it is true," CHIRLA's Villa told KTLA. "He wants to deport immigrant families, he wants to deport people with no convictions at all."


    In January of last year, the federal government conducted raids to find and deport Central American families who came to the U.S. fleeing violence in their own countries and stayed illegally, as CNN reported. A total of 121 people were taken into custody, mainly in Georgia, North Carolina and Texas.


    Last February, in response to anxieties raised by those deportations, the Los Angeles Unified School District board voted unanimously in favor of a measure banning ICE agents from coming onto school property without permission.


    On Wednesday, a Phoenix resident and married mother of two who came to the U.S. when she was 14 was detained during a routine check-in with her local ICE office and deported to Mexico after an hourslong standoff with protestors. While many see Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos as the first casualty of President Trump's crackdown on immigrants without proper documentation, federal officials say her case had followed the legal system process.

    http://ktla.com/2017/02/09/protests-...tura-counties/

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