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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Government & Elections | Immigrant Rights | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice
Oakland Deports ICE
On the day Homeland Security announced planning for a major immigration raid in the Bay Area in response to sanctuary city laws...
...and the Department of Justice confirmed that it was looking for ways to arrest Sanctuary City Mayors and other officials...
...the City of Oakland raised its middle finger in defiance.
In an 8-0 vote, the Oakland City Council voted last night, Tuesday, January 16, 2018, to eliminate any and all cooperation with ICE in both criminal and civil matters, except in a case of public emergency.
The vote, postponed for months by political manuevers worthy of Machiavelli, arose from an ICE raid that took place in Oakland on August 16th, ostensibly as a criminal investigation into human trafficking. Oakland Police were seen directing traffic, blocking off the ends of a street for ICE agents, and observed in near proximity to the house being raided. However, no evidence of trafficking was ever found, no charges were ever filed, and the only person in trouble was a young undocumented man in the house who is now undergoing deportation proceedings. The people of Oakland, with one of the largest foreign-born populations in the state, were not happy about any of this.
Prior to the raid, the City Council has passed a resolution prohibiting cooperation with ICE in deportation cases, but left ambiguous whether the Oakland Police could cooperate with ICE agents who claimed to be pursuing criminal investigations.
Oaklanders anger was demonstrated as scores of people attended multiple City Council and Public Safety Committee meetings, almost unanimously demanding the City Council make clear that there could be no further cooperation of any sort. (See some of the impassioned testimony here)
Oakland learned the same lesson that Santa Cruz learned months before: ICE agents and their supervisors are more than willing to blatantly lie to obtain cooperation for local police. Immigrations raids staged as criminal investigations are apparently de rigueur for ICE.
[Santa Cruz Police] Chief Kevin Vogel accused Homeland Security officials of lying about the scope of the raids conducted jointly between his department and federal agents this month...
This ultimately lead the Oakland City Council to the same conclusion as its immigrant activists: the only way to insure that localities are not providing deportation assistance is to eliminate any possibility of cooperation in any form with ICE.
The City Council has now taken this action through the resolution it passed last night.
(Follow the campaign to #DeportICE from the Bay Area on Twitter with that hashtag)