Immigrant Rights Group denounces ICE retaliation against sanctuary cities with sweeping nationwide raid

For Immediate Release: 
Friday, September 29, 2017

Washington, DC — Detention Watch Network denounces Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) operation ‘Safe City’ that targeted sanctuary cities with nationwide raids impacting nearly 500 individuals, their families and their communities.

The following is a statement by Danny Cendejas, Organizing Director of Detention Watch Network:

“On the heels of the public outrage over the leaked ‘Operation Mega,’ ICE used operation ‘Safe City’ to retaliate against immigrants and advocates, while also targeting jurisdictions that  have taken steps toward protecting the rights and safety of all their residents. 

ICE has ramped up interior enforcement across communities nationwide. Its decision to publicize this particular operation as targeting sanctuary cities is driven by a culture of aggressive bullying and retaliation against immigrants and anyone who chooses to stand by their side. Operation ‘Safe City’ is yet another example in a long line of egregious ICE behavior at the expense of immigrant lives from an agency that regularly lies, actively hides information from the public and retaliates against anyone who speaks out.

As with other raids, ICE is attempting to divert public outrage by insisting that it is only targeting so-called “criminals.” We reject these divide and conquer tactics entirely, and affirm the dignity of all immigrants, while also noting ICE’s lie — as large numbers of people without criminal convictions were also caught in ICE’s dragnet during this operation. 

We denounce operation ‘Safe City’ as a permutation of the particularly cruel and cynical Operation Mega. But it’s also a higher profile example of the shockwaves that ongoing raids send across communities and of the racial profiling that immigrants and people of color face daily on a sweeping, destructive scale. We will continue to call out ICE’s sinister tactics and expose them as the agency that they are — rotten to their core.”


Detention Watch Network (DWN) is a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to expose and challenge the injustices of the United States’ immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for profound change that promotes the rights and dignity of all persons. Founded in 1997 by immigrant rights groups, DWN brings together advocates to unify strategy and build partnerships on a local and national level to end immigration detention. Visit Follow @DetentionWatch.