Fifty people in Massachusetts sanctuary cities were arrested during a nationwide sweep by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
ICE officials said "Operation Safe City," which ended Wednesday, targeted people who have "violated U.S. immigration laws, prioritizing aliens with criminal convictions, pending criminal charges, known gang members and affiliates, immigration fugitives and those who re-entered the U.S. after deportation."
The sweeps resulted in 498 people from 42 different countries being arrested across the U.S. ICE notes that 107 people were arrested in Philadelphia, 101 in Los Angeles, 63 in Denver and 45 in New York. Other locations where raids took place include Baltimore, Washington, the Chicago area, Santa Clara County in California and Portland, Oregon.
The agency noted that agents targeted regions "where ICE deportation officers are denied access to jails and prisons to interview suspected immigration violators or jurisdictions where ICE detainers are not honored."
"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," ICE Acting Director Tom Homan said. "As a result, ICE is forced to dedicate more resources to conduct at-large arrests in these communities."
Boston Police say they were informed of the operation and that one person was arrested in the city. ICE would not give a full number of Massachusetts cities, but did confirm Brockton, Lynn and Woburn were impacted.
In Boston, ICE noted that a citizen of India, who was forced to register as a sex offender after a conviction of indecent assault and battery, was arrested. The agency did not elaborate on the other 49 Massachusetts arrests.
Nobody registered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — which provides protection from deportation for people brought to the country illegally as children by their parents — were targeted in the operation, officials said.