The SCPD has ended all cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Ironically, the origin of this lies in the SCPD use of ICE-HIS assistance in dealing with MS-13 in Santa Cruz. This eventually led to raids on illegal aliens:
The raids are the result of a phone call in October 2011. A Santa Cruz police officer received a tip from an El Salvadoran citizen about MS-13 members selling drugs and threatening people, Flippo said. That lead evolved with tips of businesses “being extorted on Ocean Street” and reports of armed gang members by spring 2012, he added. Given the “large scope of the investigation” and its international nexus, Homeland Security became the lead agency at that time.Essentially, the SCPD requested or at least accepted federal help in this matter. Less charitably, it passed the buck to federal agencies. That the SCPD did not think that immigration-related arrests might be involved is incredible, as that is one of the primary jobs of HSI. Of course, under the Obama Administration, HSI has been notoriously weak in actually combatting illegal immigration. But as you might have heard, by February we had a new president, Donald J. Trump.
[Santa Cruz Police: Homeland Security Misled City With ‘Gang’ Raids That Were Immigration Related, By Michael Todd, Santa Cruz Sentinel/San Jose Mercury News, February 23, 2017]
Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel, who is slated to retire in June, denounced Homeland Security during a press conference Thursday. He said the federal agency misled the police department about a series of raids Feb. 13.Apparently, HSI questioned some illegal aliens present at the residences where search and arrest warrants were executed. SCPD claims numerous illegal aliens were arrested and deported, but HSI disputes that.
Disturbingly, Assistant Chief Flippo gave some extraordinary details:
Flippo said he learned during a Feb. 14 Santa Cruz City Council meeting that not all arrests were related to gang-related criminal allegations, leading him to push Homeland Security contacts for further information…Of course, such information would most likely come from illegal aliens themselves, or from their attorneys. Certainly, in my experience, HSI itself would not be authorized to release such information. But like the White House, HSI may be dealing with someone leaking information.
Flippo said six of the 10 detainees were taken to a federal facility. Of those six, five were released on GPS monitoring and one was released immigration forms. Four others were given the same immigration forms — known as a G-56 — at their homes, Flippo said.
HSI disputed Flippos’ claims:
“During the enforcement action, authorities encountered 11 illegal aliens at the operational locations who were detained initially on administrative immigration violations due to their association with suspected members of a transnational street gang,” [HSI spokesman] Schwab said. Of those detainees, one remained in custody Thursday, “due to his criminal history and possible ties to the ongoing investigation,” Schwab said.This is interesting for its own sake, but also depressing for immigration patriots. The HSI spokesman just admitted that HSI is not following instructions from the President and DHS Secretary John Kelly that “catch and release” of illegal aliens has ended.
What’s more, HSI stated the parameters of the operation were discussed in detail prior to its execution, and HSI agreed to not involve any SCPD officers in any related immigration enforcement actions:
But Homeland Security spokesman James Schwab said the police department was aware that immigrants encountered during the investigation would be held briefly during review of their “identities and case histories...”Chief Vogel’s complaint is not about trust, but about the recent election, immigration arrests, and the supremacy of Federal law in the area of immigration. Besides Vogel, other Democrat politicians in the area complained about the arrest of that one illegal alien:
Schwab said the investigation’s scope was clearly communicated before the raids.
“Several days prior to the operation, our special agent in charge office notified the Santa Cruz chief of police that any non-targeted foreign nationals encountered during the enforcement actions at the search and arrest locations would be held briefly until determinations could be made about their identities and case histories,” Schwab said. “The chief acknowledged this possibility and it was agreed that no foreign nationals would enter the Santa Cruz Police Department’s facility or their police vehicles.”
[Santa Cruz City Mayor Cynthia] Chase [Email her] said the detainments [sic, detentions] disregarded the city as a sanctuary. “I’m deeply disturbed and upset. I’m outraged,” Chase said.Like many other police chiefs, Chief Vogel puts political considerations above public safety. Support for sanctuary city policies are based on lies by the likes of Chief Charlie Beck of the Los Angeles Police Department who claim, despite all evidence, that welcoming illegals doesn’t increase crime. For many of these police chiefs, concerned about keeping their jobs in cities being taken over by foreigners, the real agenda is nullification, not law enforcement.
Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Carmel [Email him] issued a statement Thursday in support of the police department’s staunch opposition to the detainments. He said he will demand “complete information from ICE about the scope of the operation…”
“Members of our community should not live in fear that they may be detained or deported, or that their children may be separated from them because of who they know or where they live,” Panetta said. “What’s worse, the breakdown in trust between ICE and SCPD puts our communities at risk. People in our community are already rightfully fearful due to the administration’s recent anti-immigrant executive orders and directives.”
For example, here’s Chief Vogel stating unequivocally ICE had no authority to arrest illegal aliens in Santa Cruz because it is a "sanctuary city."
As I warned, what is really happening is a deliberate attempt to delegitimize and endanger federal law enforcement officials. The Cold Civil War is really heating up. And federal immigration officials will be endangered because of rhetoric like Chief Vogel’s.
It’s time for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to act. Time to crack down on Santa Cruz and all the other sanctuary cities nationwide. Harboring illegal aliens is a federal crime and these Treason cops, like Treason college bureaucrats and city officials, should be prosecuted
Because if he doesn’t, we can no longer meaningfully speak of these localities are being subject to American law.
Or, really, being part of America at all.
The blogger Federale (Email him) is a 4th generation Californian and a veteran of federal law enforcement, including service in the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and other federal law enforcement agencies.
Federale's opinions do not represent those of the Department of Homeland Security or the federal government, and are an exercise of rights protected by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.