ICE nabs 50 in Mass. dur­ing ‘Op­er­a­tion Safe City’ sweep

Boston Herald - - NEWS - By MATT STOUT — matthew.stout@boston­her­

Fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion agents ar­rested 50 peo­ple in Mas­sachusetts this week in what they called tar­geted raids in “sanc­tu­ary ci­ties” and sur­round­ing re­gions, in­clud­ing in Bos­ton, where po­lice say they were in­volved in a “lim­ited ca­pac­ity.”

Of the 50 ar­rested in Mas­sachusetts, 20 were picked up on non-crim­i­nal charges, ac­cord­ing to Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment, which ran the so-called “Op­er­a­tion Safe City” in ci­ties across the coun­try, scoop­ing up 500 peo­ple in to­tal.

ICE of­fi­cials say they did not target those pro­tected un­der the De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals pro­gram, or DACA, and in­stead homed in on adults who know­ingly vi­o­lated U.S. im­mi­gra­tion laws, as well as those with crim­i­nal con­vic­tions, charges or “known” gang af­fil­i­a­tions.

Thomas Ho­man, ICE’s act­ing di­rec­tor, di­rectly crit­i­cized “sanc­tu­ary ci­ties” in a state­ment, say­ing their pol­i­tics are shield­ing “crim­i­nal aliens.”

“As a re­sult, ICE is forced to ded­i­cate more re­sources to con­duct at-large ar­rests in th­ese com­mu­ni­ties,” he said.

ICE de­tailed just four of the Mas­sachusetts ar­rests, in­clud­ing one in Bos­ton of a “cit­i­zen of In­dia who en­tered the U.S. il­le­gally” and was once con­victed of in­de­cent as­sault and bat­tery on a per­son over 14 years old and re­quired to reg­is­ter as a sex of­fender.

In Lynn, agents de­tained a Lynn res­i­dent from El Sal­vador with a record of as­sault with a dan­ger­ous weapon con­vic­tions; in Brock­ton, a Hon­duran with an as­sault con­vic­tion; and in Woburn, a Gu­atemalan who of­fi­cials say had law­ful per­ma­nent res­i­dent sta­tus but had been con­victed of as­sault­ing a child un­der 14.

An ICE spokesman de­clined to re­lease in­for­ma­tion on other ar­rests or where they took place.

Fed­eral of­fi­cials ear­lier this year la­beled Bos­ton, as well as four other com­mu­ni­ties, as hav­ing poli­cies that “limit co­op­er­a­tion” with ICE. Mayor Martin J. Walsh has re­peat­edly pushed back on Pres­i­dent Trump’s im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies.

Po­lice spokesman Lt. Michael McCarthy said the Bos­ton Po­lice Depart­ment’s ICE li­ai­son “was in­volved in a lim­ited ca­pac­ity ... to as­sist with any Bos­ton in­ci­dents.” In Fe­bru­ary, Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Wil­liam B. Evans said the BPD would turn over vi­o­lent felons but oth­er­wise not take part in ICE raids.

McCarthy said the op­er­a­tion was not a “civil de­tainer is­sue.”

“This was a crim­i­nal op­er­a­tion,” he said. “So our in­volve­ment was in keep­ing with ex­actly what the com­mis­sioner stated in Fe­bru­ary.”


NO SANC­TU­ARY: Thomas Ho­man, act­ing di­rec­tor of Im­mi­gra­tion and Cus­toms En­force­ment, says sanc­tu­ary ci­ties shield ‘crim­i­nal aliens.’


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