The head of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said Friday that his agency had “no choice” but to arrest illegal immigrants in California’s neighborhoods and worksites despite newly signed sanctuary city legislation in the state. Those arrested would also likely be placed in out-of-state detention centers, ICE Acting Director Thomas Homan said in a statement. Homan’s comments came a day after California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, signed state Senate bill SB54, or sanctuary state legislation. The new state law, which takes effect Jan. 1, will ban police from asking people about their immigration status or participating in federal immigration enforcement activities. Jail officials would be allowed to transfer inmates to federal immigration authorities only if they have been convicted of certain crimes. Homan cautioned the bill helped protect illegal immigrants from deportation and made the state a “magnet.” “Ultimately, SB54 helps shield removable aliens from immigration enforcement and creates another magnet for more illegal immigration, all at the expense of the safety and security of the very people it purports to protect,” Homan warned. However, Brown noted the law does not bar ICE from operating in the state. His office declined to comment further on the ICE statement Friday. “They are free to use their own considerable resources to enforce federal immigration law in California,” Brown wrote. Brown said the law does prevent the “commandeering of local officials” to do immigration work. “These are uncertain times for undocumented Californians and their families, and this bill strikes a balance that will protect public safety while bringing a measure of comfort to those families who are now living in fear every day,” Brown said.
Well, here’s a newsflash… If they’re living here illegally, they SHOULD be “living in fear every day!”