'Sanctuary' cities targeted by ICE in immigration raids as nearly 500 arrested


A federal operation to arrest undocumented immigrants this week netted nearly 500 people in cities and states that have openly opposed the Trump administration's deportation initiatives.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Thursday that its four-day "Operation Safe City" targeted people in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Denver, Washington and Baltimore as well as Cook County, Illinois; Santa Clara County in California's Bay Area; Portland, Oregon; and Massachusetts. 

Officials in those places — some referring to themselves as "sanctuary" communities — have been vocal about not fully cooperating with federal immigration authorities, at times clashing with state leaders who support President Donald Trump's agenda. Sanctuary communities have passed ordinances limiting compliance with federal immigration laws and seek to shield undocumented immigrants who may be deported simply over their immigration statuses or low-level criminal offenses.

"Sanctuary jurisdictions that do not honor detainers or allow us access to jails and prisons are shielding criminal aliens from immigration enforcement and creating a magnet for illegal immigration," Tom Homan, ICE's acting director, said in a statement. "As a result, ICE is forced to dedicate more resources to conduct at-large arrests in these communities."

22 PHOTOS
Sanctuary Cities in the USA
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Sanctuary Cities in the USA

Washington, DC

(Photo: Shutterstock)

New York City, New York

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Jersey City, New Jersey

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Los Angeles, California

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 

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San Francisco, California

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San Diego, California

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San Jose, California

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Oakland, California

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Salt Lake City, Utah

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Houston, Texas

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Detroit, Michigan 

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Chicago, Illinois 

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Minneapolis, Minnesota 

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Denver, Colorado

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Baltimore, Maryland

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Seattle, Washington

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Portland, Oregon

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New Haven, Connecticut 

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Cambridge, Massachusetts

(Photo: Cassandra Hubbart, AOL)

Portland, Maine

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It is not unusual for ICE to round up immigrants by the hundreds or even low thousands, although the latest raid comes on the heels of a planned operation that would have targeted about 8,400 undocumented immigrants this month.

Related: ICE Cancels Huge Nationwide Immigration Raid

But the Department of Homeland Security scrapped the operation after the agency said it was halting nationwide enforcement actions in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

This latest effort indicates the administration is ready to renew its efforts.

More on the devastation caused by Harvey: 

33 PHOTOS
Houston, Texas post Hurricane Harvey
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Houston, Texas post Hurricane Harvey
Ginger Benfield works to save family photos in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in west Houston, Texas, U.S. September 11, 2017. "Memories are the hardest thing, but at least they are in your heart," said Benfield. Benfield's home flooded after controlled releases from Addicks Reservoir and neighboring Barker reservoir. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Mechanic Sebastian Ramirez pours new oil into a truck that was flooded by tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Ramirez has worked on more than 100 flooded vehicles since the storm, but always tells the automobile owners that he can't guarantee how long the vehicle will run if he's able to fix the immediate problem. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
James Giles pauses for a moment as Do'nie Murphy gets a breath of fresh air as they clean out a Mexican restaurant that was completely immersed in water in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Kingwood, Houston, Texas, U.S. September 9, 2017. "We never thought it would come to this point," said Giles. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
From left, Kameron Smith, 4, Darius Smith, 9, and Deandre Green, 10, play with toys that they found in the piles of destroyed property at Crofton Place Apartments in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 8, 2017. The children's apartment was destroyed by the flood waters. Picture taken September 8, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Carlos Crane, 54, of Crane's Service Center, cleans a padlock so he can lock up tools after the shop was completely immersed in water in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Kingwood, Houston, Texas, U.S. September 9, 2017. "Just cleaning and keep going, we take it one day at a time," he said. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Vainer Fredrick, 26, cleans out a convenience store that was completely immersed in water in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Kingwood, Houston, Texas, U.S. September 9, 2017. "I'm glad I'm working and making good money," said Fredrick. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Janice Young, 63, waits for FEMA outside of her Crofton Place Apartment, north Houston, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Texas, U.S. September 8, 2017. "I lost everything I got, I thank God I didn't loose my life," she said. Picture taken September 8, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Kalacedtra Smith, eight months pregnant, is joined by her son Kameron Smith, 9, as she rests for a moment after inspecting the water damage in her Crofton Place Apartment in north Houston during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Texas, U.S. September 8, 2017. Picture taken September 8, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Jacob Chaisson, 9, and his brother Joseph Chaisson, 10, play with items that they found in the piles of destroyed property at Crofton Place Apartments in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 8, 2017. Picture taken September 8, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
A pile of destroyed property surrounds a pillow with the word "Hope" inscribed on it in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in west Houston, Texas, U.S. September 11, 2017. This neighborhood flooded after controlled releases from Addicks Reservoir and neighboring Barker reservoir. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Isom Horace, 61, sits on the from porch of his north Houston apartment in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 8, 2017. Although he still has to pay rent, Horace doesn't know where he will stay the night. He can't stay in his apartment because it is so badly damaged and lined with mold and mildew. "It was like a river was running through the apartment...home sweet home," he said. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Vera Hsiung cleans off her husband, Elliot Wu's, neck and face as they clean out their home which was flooded with water for twelve days in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in west Houston, Texas, U.S. September 11, 2017. "We're really worried about contacting disease from exposure to mold," said Hsiung. Their home flooded after controlled releases from Addicks Reservoir and neighboring Barker reservoir. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Pamela Shaffer photographs a portrait from her 1984 wedding in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in west Houston, Texas, U.S. September 11, 2017. "It's hard to let go of these things, just pack stuff up and hope for the best," said Pamela. Shaffer's home flooded after controlled releases from Addicks Reservoir and neighboring Barker reservoir. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Savannah Shaffer (L) hugs her mother Pamela Shaffer after finding a pair of boots that weren't damaged by the flooding in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in west Houston, Texas, U.S. September 11, 2017. "We celebrate every victory," said Pamela. The Shaffer's home flooded after controlled releases from Addicks Reservoir and neighboring Barker reservoir. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Jon Shaffer salvages what he can from his home, which was flooded for twelve days, in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in west Houston, Texas, U.S. September 11, 2017. Shaffer's home flooded after controlled releases from Addicks Reservoir and neighboring Barker reservoir. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Francile Lovings, 52, sits on her front porch to avoid the odour of mould and mildew in her home during the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Acres Homes, Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Lovings, who is waiting for assistance from FEMA, is still sleeping in the home although it doesn't have electricity and the mould gets worst everyday. "Im just praying and hoping I can survive until I get out of this situation," said Lovings. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Cynthia Cochran plays with her granddaughter Elizabeth Thomas, 2, as her husband Edward Stanton sits by the window in their FEMA provided hotel room in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Cochran, who lost all of her belongings in the flood said, "This is just another stumbling block. I don't know how I'm going to step over it, but I'm going to step." REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Joderrica Cornealius, 18, reads to her cousin, Elizabeth Thomas, 2, in a FEMA provided hotel room in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Cornealius' home didn't flood, but she came to the hotel to show support to her family members who lost everything in the flood. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Dameon Horton, (L) and his father Paul Horton grill ribs outside their FEMA provided hotel room in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Talking about the the flooding, Paul said, "I didn't know what to do, but I couldn't crack under pressure, I got kids, I had to go into survival mode. Texas is strong, for real, we gonna get ourselves together and get back to work." REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Elizabeth Thomas, 2, watches videos on her mother's phone outside their FEMA provided hotel room in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Thomas' family lost all of their belongings in the flood and are living in a hotel room temporarily. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Quincy Smith, 59, and his wife Francile Lovings, 52, sit outside their home to avoid the odour of mould and mildew in their home during the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Acres Homes, Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. The couple is waiting for assistance from FEMA. They are still sleeping in the home although it doesn't have electricity and the mould gets worst everyday. "Im just praying and hoping I can survive until I get out of this situation," said Lovings. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Mike Taylor, 59, drains water from the gas line in his car in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Acres Homes, Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. "I got it bad, I'm so hot and tired," said Taylor. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Coby Cochran, plays peek-a-boo with her daughter, Melanie Thomas, 7, outside their FEMA provided hotel room in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. "I'm a single mom and it's hard losing everything, but God is going to take care of us no matter what. Just live and love," said Cochran. "Momma I'm happy as long as we're together," said Melanie Thomas. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Coby Cochran, (L) and her daughter Elizabeth Thomas, 2, receive a visit in their FEMA provided hotel room from family member, Joderrica Cornealius, in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. "I'm a single mom and it's hard losing everything, but God is going to take care of us no matter what. Just live and love," said Cochran. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Quincy Smith, 59, is seen inside his bathroom during the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Acres Homes, Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Smith and his wife are still sleeping in the home although it doesn't have electricity and the mould gets worse everyday. "It's rough trying to live day by day, especially when you don't have any money, we're just trying to make it through until FEMA comes," said Smith. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Coby Cochran, (L) and her daughters Elizabeth Thomas, 2, and Melanie Thomas, 7, receive a visit in their FEMA provided hotel room from family members in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. "I'm a single mom and it's hard losing everything, but God is going to take care of us no matter what. Just live and love," said Cochran. "Momma I'm happy as long as we're together," said Melanie Thomas. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Evelyn Teague, 88, heads home after Sunday service at True Vine Missionary Baptist Church in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Although no water came into Teague's home parts of her ceiling caved in. "God's taking care of me," said Teague. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Damaged property is piled up on the streets as mechanic, Sebastian Ramirez, prepares to put new oil into a truck that was flooded by tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Ramirez has worked on more than 100 flooded vehicles since the storm, but always tells the automobile owners that he can't guarantee how long the vehicle will run if he's able to fix the immediate problem. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Paris Thomas, 3, sings along during the Sunday service at True Vine Missionary Baptist Church in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Thomas' family lost all of their belongings in the flood and are living at a hotel with the assistance of FEMA. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Coby Cochran, tries to figure out how to get her daughter, Melanie Thomas, 7, to school in the morning as they spend time outside their FEMA provided hotel room in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. "I'm a single mom and it's hard losing everything, but God is going to take care of us no matter what. Just live and love," said Cochran. "Momma I'm happy as long as we're together," said Melanie Thomas. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Melanie Thomas, 7, wears a donated dress and shoes at the Sunday service at True Vine Missionary Baptist Church in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. Her family lost all of their belongings in the flood and are living at a hotel with the assistance of FEMA. "Momma I'm happy as long as we're together," said Thomas. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
Paris Thomas, 3, thumbs through the Bible as she attends Sunday service at True Vine Missionary Baptist Church with her sister Elizabeth Thomas, 2, and mother, Coby Cochran, in the aftermath of tropical storm Harvey in Houston, Texas, U.S. September 10, 2017. Picture taken September 10, 2017. The family lost all of their belongings in the flood and are living at a hotel with the assistance of FEMA. "I'm a single mom and it's hard losing everything, but God is going to take care of us no matter what. Just live and love," said Cochran. REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry
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"ICE's goal is to build cooperative, respectful relationships with our law enforcement partners to help prevent dangerous criminal aliens from being released back onto the streets," Homan said.

According to ICE, of the 498 people arrested this week, 317 had criminal convictions. Some were also categorized as "immigration fugitives," "previously deported criminal aliens," and/or associated with a gang. 

Those arrested were originally from countries such as El Salvador, India, Guatemala, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, ICE added.

10 PHOTOS
US Department of Homeland Security -- TSA, ICE, Customs and Border Protection
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US Department of Homeland Security -- TSA, ICE, Customs and Border Protection
WASHINGTON, USA - MARCH 7: The Department of Homeland Security logo is seen on a law enforcement vehicle in Washington, United States on March 7, 2017. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer stands in the TSA pre-check area at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. The TSA, part of the Homeland Security Department (DHS), reported seizing a record number of firearms at U.S. airports in 2015, a 20 precent increase over 2014. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officer operates an x-ray machine in the TSA pre-check area at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. The TSA, part of the Homeland Security Department (DHS), reported seizing a record number of firearms at U.S. airports in 2015, a 20 precent increase over 2014. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Prohibited items are displayed as they sit in a voluntary abandoned property bin in the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) pre-check area at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Virginia, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015. The TSA, part of the Homeland Security Department (DHS), reported seizing a record number of firearms at U.S. airports in 2015, a 20 precent increase over 2014. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) sign stands at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Financing for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is set to lapse after Friday and the agency would face a partial shutdown unless Congress provides new money. More than 200,000 government employees deemed essential at DHS, including TSA officers, would still have to report to their posts, even though their pay would stop unless Congress finds a solution. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers check passenger's identification at a security checkpoint at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015. Financing for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is set to lapse after Friday and the agency would face a partial shutdown unless Congress provides new money. More than 200,000 government employees deemed essential at DHS, including TSA officers, would still have to report to their posts, even though their pay would stop unless Congress finds a solution. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 02: A sign directs travelers to a security checkpoint staffed by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers at O'Hare Airport on June 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Department of Homeland Security said that the acting head of the TSA would be replaced following a report that airport screeners failed to detect explosives and weapons in nearly all of the tests that an undercover team conducted at airports around the country. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
The entrance to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Cyber Crimes Center is seen in this U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) building in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S. on July 21, 2015. Courtesy Josh Denmark/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY.
$506,057 of the more than a $1-million collected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Laredo, Texas port of entry in two separate southbound enforcement actions is seen after being seized in this undated handout photo released by CBP on July 27, 2010. On July 22, CBP officers seized $506,057 in undeclared cash from a 36-year-old male Mexican citizen from Brookshire, Texas driving south into Mexico. The second money seizure occurred on July 25 as CBP Field Operations Officers and Border Patrol (BP) agents seized 50 bundles containing $607,629 in undeclared U.S.currency from a 33 year-old Mexican citizen driving south into Mexico from Houston, Texas. The drivers were turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents for further investigation. REUTERS/U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS
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Attorney General Jeff Sessions has warned cities that supporting sanctuary policies could cause them to lose millions in federal grants — particularly if they don't help the federal government deport suspected undocumented immigrants already being held in jails.

During a visit to Portland this month, Sessions told officials that "to win this multifront war against rising crime, we need to use every lawful tool we have."

Related: Spurred by Trump, States Battle Their Sanctuary Cities

City officials declared Portland a sanctuary city in March, and its mayor, Ted Wheeler, has criticized the Trump administration's push to end the Obama-era program that has allowed undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children to remain in the country.

The administration, meanwhile, has faced setbacks as it seeks to overhaul immigration — an issue that has failed repeatedly to gain traction in Congress.

Two weeks ago, a U.S. district judge in northern Illinois gave sanctuary cities a temporary victory, saying the Justice Department can't withhold public safety grants to Chicago because officials there don't want to impose certain immigration policies.

Most of the criminal convictions were for driving under the influence as well as assault- and drug-related offenses, ICE said. Others were arrested for marijuana possession, traffic offenses and even charges of being a "peeping tom."

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