By Kevin Deutsch and Sasha Gonzales
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ICE has begun an operation targeting illegal immigrants in so-called sanctuary cities across the U.S., with agents stepping up surveillance and arrests in predominantly Latino neighborhoods—including parts of the Bronx, local immigration attorneys told Bronx Justice News Sunday.
The agency’s local activities appear to include surveillance of people deemed to be in the U.S. illegally, and arrests for suspected violation of federal immigration laws. Residences and workplaces are being targeted by ICE agents dispatched to New York City specifically for this enforcement effort, the attorneys said, with ICE teams acting independently of the NYPD.
The federal government confirmed the enforcement action, which it calls “Operation Palladium,” according to The New York Times. A government official told reporters in February that ICE would be deploying Customs and Border Protection agents – typically tasked with stoping human and drug smuggling at the southern border with Mexico – as part of the operation.
The effort, ordered by President Donald Trump, targets cities in which local and state governments have declined to cooperate with ICE. In places like New York City, local law enforcement has refused to turn over undocumented residents to ICE agents for probable deportation—a move that has angered the President.
Some of the other cities being targeted by ICE as part of the ongoing operation: Boston, Detroit, Chicago, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Newark.
Trump deepened the riff with officials in those places and others last week, saying his administration would begin withholding federal funds from sanctuary cities.